Taiwan Navy asked to explain apparent ship plan delay

2010-12-14 (China Military News cited from taipeitimes.com and written by Rich Chang) — Taiwan navy yesterday was asked to justify an apparent decision to delay plans to launch a program to build submarine chasers to increase the nation’s coastal defense capabilities.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) told a Foreign and National Defense Committee meeting at the legislature that while the navy had assigned budgets for the Hsun Hai Plan, under which the nation would develop a 900-tonne, 40m-long twin-hull corvette, the plan had since been delayed.

One of Taiwan’s Lafayette-class frigates

The navy first announced the plan in April. The submarine chasers would reportedly carry up to eight Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles, with a range of 150km, and eight recently developed Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missiles. The corvettes are to be designed by United Ship Design and Development Center, with assistance from the academic community.

The navy put into service its first indigenous Kuang Hua VI-class (KH-6) missile boats in May, which are also part of an initiative to strengthen coastal defense. Nineteen KH-6s are believed to be in service at present.

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