Taiwan Navy commissions new Tuo Chiang-class warship

09/09/2021 06:58 PM
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The Ta Chiang (PGG-619), a Tuo Chiang-class stealth multi-mission corvette, is commissioned by the Navy on Thursday. CNA photo Sept. 9, 2021
The Ta Chiang (PGG-619), a Tuo Chiang-class stealth multi-mission corvette, is commissioned by the Navy on Thursday. CNA photo Sept. 9, 2021

Taipei, Sept. 9 (CNA) Taiwan on Thursday commissioned a Tuo Chiang-class stealth multi-mission corvette, a new domestically built naval vessel equipped with modern weaponry and capable of making rapid strikes.

At a ceremony at the Su'ao naval base in Yilan County, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said the warship, named the Ta Chiang, was a major development in the government's indigenous ship-building program.

The Ta Chiang, named after the Tawa River that runs through the ancestral hunting grounds of the Paiwan indigenous people in Taitung County, is the first small warship in the Taiwan Navy that features air defense capabilities, Tsai said.

The president said she gave the vessel that name to remind the Taiwan people that the military will do its utmost to safeguard the country, in the spirit of the Paiwan people, who are renowned for their tenacity in the face of adversity, their bravery, and their fighting skills.

"No matter what difficulties may arise, we can overcome them one by one," Tsai said, referring to Taiwan's pursuit of autonomy in national defense.

President Tsai Ing-wen (front, center) at the launch ceremony of the missile corvette. CNA photo Sept. 9, 2021
President Tsai Ing-wen (front, center) at the launch ceremony of the missile corvette. CNA photo Sept. 9, 2021

The Tuo Chiang-class corvette was officially delivered to the Navy by Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. in late July, after several months of testing and sea trials.

The stealth vessel features high maneuverability and rapid strike capabilities and is equipped with modern weaponry such as the Sea Sword II air-defense missile, which was developed by Taiwan's National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), the Navy Command said.

The Sea Sword II, a ship-launched version of the NCSIST's Tien Chien II air-to-air missile, is an active radar-guided mid-range air defense missile that can engage anti-ship missiles and threats from aircraft simultaneously, according to the institute's website.

Lieutenant Commander Liu Hsueh-chien (劉學謙), who captains the Ta Chiang, said its arsenal also includes the Hsiung Feng II and III anti-ship missiles, as well as a 76 mm cannon.

The Ta Chiang has a maximum speed of 40 knots and a displacement of 685 tonnes.

At Thursday's ceremony, Liu encouraged all the men and women in uniform and onboard the Ta Chiang to uphold their duty of combat readiness and to work together to protect Taiwan's maritime waters.

Also at the ceremony, the Navy took delivery of its second rapid mine-laying vessel, which features an automatic mine-laying system developed entirely by the NCSIST.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin)

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