Taiwan’s Lungteh Shipbuilding has launched the first improved variant of the Tuo Chiang (also spelled Tuo Jiang) class of fast missile corvettes for the Republic of China Navy (RoCN).
Named Ta Chiang (pennant number 619), the vessel entered the water in a ceremony held on 15 December at the company’s facility in Suao, southern Yilan County, that was presided over by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
The president said Taipei aims to build a total of six of these improved ships by 2023, with up to five additional ones expected to be built thereafter.
Developed under the Hsun Hai programme, the Tuo Jiang-class vessels are designed to provide the RoCN with a high-end, asymmetric means to defeat amphibious landing and capital ships.
As Janes reported, the corvettes, which feature a wave-piercing catamaran hull form, waterjet propulsion, and a low radar cross-section (RCS) design, are meant to assume responsibility for the lower intensity maritime security missions currently undertaken by the service's larger and more-expensive destroyers and frigates in peacetime, while providing an affordable but effective asymmetrical counter against an adversary's larger warships.
Ta Chiang (also spelled Ta Jiang) is the first series-produced vessel of the class and features several enhancements over first-of-class Tuo Chiang – which was commissioned in late 2014 – in terms of weaponry, mission systems, and design.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) quoted the RoCN as saying that Ta Chiang