Naval Warfare

Taiwan Receives Two Tuo Chiang-class Stealth Guided-missile Corvettes

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Taiwan Receives Two Tuo Chiang-class Stealth Guided-missile Corvettes

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Taiwan Receives Two Tuo Chiang-class Stealth Guided-missile Corvettes
Taiwan Receives Two Tuo Chiang-class Stealth Guided-missile Corvettes

The Republic of China Navy (RoCN) has received its fifth and sixth Tuo Chiang-class guided-missile corvettes. President Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen, who presided over the handover ceremony at Su’ao Harbor in northeast Yilan County, said the indigenous Tuo Chiang-class corvettes are a testament to Taiwan’s growing defense autonomy. PPG-625 An Chiang and PPG 626 Wan Chiang were the last of an initial group of six that Lungteh Shipbuilding was commissioned to produce. A pair of “carrier killer” corvettes were officially delivered to Taiwan, as the self-ruled island continues to grow its defense capabilities with an eye on China. This speed, agility, and stealthiness coupled with their firepower makes the Tuo Chiang well suited to swarming attacks against much larger capital ships like China’s aircraft carriers—hence its nickname.

The Tuo Chiang-class corvette (Tuo River) is a Taiwanese-designed class of fast (up to 45 knots, 83 km/h, 52 mph) and stealthy multi-mission corvettes built for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy. It is designed to counter the numerous and increasingly sophisticated People’s Liberation Army Navy ships by utilizing hit-and-run tactics, and thus features clean upper structure design with very few extrusions to reduce radar signature, pre-cooled engine exhaust to reduce infrared signature, and a reduced visual signature to reduce chance of detection. The ship increases its survivability in naval warfare by utilizing advanced stealth technology and low radar cross section (RCS), which makes it less detectable by radar and allows it to be obscured by background radar noise when operating closer to the coastline.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen inspects the commissioning of two new navy ships in the northern Taiwan port of Suao on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.  (Photo by Taiwan Presidential Office)
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen inspects the commissioning of two new navy ships in the northern Taiwan port of Suao on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (Photo by Taiwan Presidential Office)

The ship is a wave-piercing catamaran design which is 60.4 metres (198 ft) long, 14 metres (46 ft) wide and carries a crew of 41. It is capable of a top speed of 40 knots and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km; 2,300 mi). It is armed with eight subsonic Hsiung Feng II and eight supersonic Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles launchers, a Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, and a 76 mm (3 in) main gun. The ship can operate up to sea state 7 in waves up to 20–30 ft (6.1–9.1 m) high. Taiwan Security Analysis Center (TAISAC) stated that the ship features stealth technologies to minimize radar detection, a combat system that includes a distributed-architecture combat direction system known as “Taiwan Aegis” developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology and an indigenous search/track and fire-control radar and electro-optical director.

In December 2020 the first of the improved Tuo Chiang-class corvettes, PGG-619 Ta Chiang, was launched in Yilan. 6 improved models are to be delivered by 2023. The new models feature improvements in weaponry, mission systems, and design. Ta Chiang has been positively received by military analysts. Lungteh launched the third Tuo Chiang-class corvette in February 2023. The fifth vessel, An Chiang, was launched in October 2023. The An Chiang is named after Yilan’s Annong River. The Tuo Chiang-class have a Coast Guard variant known as the Anping-class. The Taiwan Coast Guard’s Anping-class patrol vessel is based on the upgraded and modified model of Tuo Chang-class corvette. The Taiwan Coast Guard planned to build 15 Anping-class patrol vessels from 2018, with the final ship expected to be delivered in 2026.

Taiwan Receives Two Tuo Chiang-class Stealth Guided-missile Corvettes
Taiwan has commissioned two new Tuo Chiang-class stealth guided-missile corvettes as a safeguard against the rising threat from China. (Photo by Taiwan Presidential Office)

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