Photos by Lee Chan Wei
Taiwan’s first locally designed stealth missile corvette, the 500-tonne Tuo Chiang (Tuo River), began sea trials of its propulsion system.
The ship was towed from the Lung Teh Shipbuidling Co at the port of Nanfangao in Yilan County and sailed to waters south of Turtle Island.
Each costs about US $ 72.39 million.
The armaments of the vessel, which is described as an “aircraft carrier-killer” by media outlets, include eight Hsiung Feng II or eight Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles, an Otobreda 76mm gun, 12.7mm machine guns and a MK15 Phalanx close-in weapons system. Construction of the vessel began in November 2012.
It has a top speed of about 70kph and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704km).
It is 60.4m long and 14m wide, and carries a crew of 41.
The navy said the ship, with its high mobility, strong firepower and stealth features, will enhance national defense.The navy plans to commission between eight and 12 of the corvettes.
The twin-hulled design of the corvette enabled it to maintain high-speed navigation.The navy said the tests checked whether the engine can meet the requirements of traveling at high and low speeds.The vessel was scheduled to dock at Suao military port.
Assembly and testing of its Hsiung Feng II and Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles are to be carried out before the navy puts the vessel through nine months of tactical testing.
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