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Taiwan's first indigenous stealth corvette joins drill

2015/01/01 21:49:15

Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) Taiwan's first locally built stealth missile corvette was put to work Thursday for the first time, during a drill in waters off the southwestern coast of the country.

The exercise involved over 10 vessels, including guided missile destroyers, frigates and the Tuo Jiang -- a 500-ton corvette that boasts high mobility, strong combat capabilities and the ability to avoid radar detection.

The simulation began with two enemy vessels venturing into waters off southwestern Taiwan, which prompted the Taiwan Navy to send a fleet, led by its Kidd-class destroyers, after them.

The Tuo Jiang joined the exercise after eight missile boats launched an "attack" on the destroyers.

It was the first time that the corvette was put into action since it was delivered to the Navy in late December last year.



The locally built vessel has a maximum speed of 38 knots, but reached 40 knots during the drill.

In another simulated scenario, the Navy deployed two S-70C anti-submarine helicopters to work in tandem with the destroyer to counter threats by enemy submarines.

The vessels then returned to port for supplies in preparation for other battles.

Lt. Gen. Huang Shu-kuang, commander of the drill, said the Tuo Jiang proved that Taiwan has the ability to build its own military vessels.

The Tuo Jiang will later work alongside Chinchiang-class corvettes, greatly boosting the Navy's combat capabilities, Huang told CNA.

The twin-hull Hsun-hai class corvette is equipped with several weapons, including the locally developed Hsiung Feng II and Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles, a 76 mm gun and Mark 46 torpedoes.

It has a range of 2,000 nautical miles, is 60.4 meters long, 14 meters wide, and can carry a crew of up to 41.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Scully Hsiao)
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