The Republic of China Navy (RoCN) launched the first of a new class of stealth missile corvettes on 14 March.
Tuo Jiang , a 500-tonne twin-hull boat built by Lung Teh Shipbuilding, was named in a ceremony conducted in Suao, Yilan County.
The high-speed corvette, described as a 'carrier-killer' by Taiwanese media, has a maximum speed of 38 kt and a range of 2,000 n miles. The 60 m by 14 m vessel has a low radar cross section (RCS) design and can carry a crew of 41.
There are few details on Tuo Jiang 's weapon systems but armaments reportedly include the Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) ramjet-powered supersonic anti-ship missile. The HF-3, manufactured by the defence ministry's Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), is touted as Taiwan's most potent weapon against the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) aircraft carrier. Previously revealed models of the corvette showed a primary gun on its foredeck and a close-in weapon system (CIWS) turret towards its aft section.
The Taiwanese legislature approved a TWD24.98 billion (USD823 million) budget in 2011 to fund the construction of between seven and 11 of such corvettes under the Hsun Hai (Swift Sea) programme. A fleet of 12 ships is now expected.
Tuo Jiang will undergo final tests and reviews before it is commissioned. The vessel is scheduled to be deployed with the RoCN in the first half of 2015.