Kuang Hua VI-class missile boat
|Name:||Kuang Hua VI|
|Builders:||CSBC Corporation, Taiwan|
|Operators:||Republic of China Navy|
|Preceded by:||Hai Ou class missile boat (Dvora class)|
|Succeeded by:||N/A (Latest missile boat class authorised)|
|Planned:||30, plus the prototype FACG-60|
|Active:||30 plus the prototype FACG-60 (as of 5. March 2014)|
|Propulsion:||Tognum Series 4000 diesel engines|
|Speed:||33 knots (61 km/h)|
|Range:||1,000 nautical miles (2,000 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)|
|2 x AV-2 decoy launchers|
The Kuang Hua VI class missile boat is a new type of patrol craft entering service with the Republic of China Navy (ROCN). The prototype was launched in 2003, and the whole class is scheduled to enter service by 2010.
The Kuang Hua VI project was first unveiled in 1996, designed to replace the Hai Ou class missile boat of patrol vessels currently in service with the ROCN. The missile boat's design was to be stealthy, therefore not carrying any air or surface search radar on board, except for the navigational radar. The missile boat's targeting info is going to come from shore and other larger naval combatants via datalink.
The contract to produce 30 Kuang Hua VI missile boats was awarded to CSBC Corporation, Taiwan (then as China Ship Building Corporation, CSBC) in 2003. The prototype, FACG-60(Fast Attack Craft, Guided missile), was commissioned on October 1, 2003.
However, the tender was subsequently disputed by rival bidders and the Taiwanese legislature froze the budget for the construction of the class until 2007. The ROCN and CSBC subsequently agreed that construction would commence on the 30 vessels and that work would be completed by the end of 2011, in batch of two missile crafts, but the construction works will be shared with 2 other civilian shipyards.
It was reported on November 26, 2007 that work on the first two missile boats had begun.
FACG 61 and 62 were handed over to ROC Navy in late May and entered ROCN service by end of August 2009. Second batch consist of FACG 63 and 64 had handed over to ROC Navy on Sept 5th, 2009 and entered service November 10, 2009. Third batch of FACG 65 and 66 handed over to ROCN October 30, 2009 and entered service December 17, 2009. Forth batch of FACG 68 and 69(hull number 67 skipped due to two digits added up to 13, consider unlucky number by ROCN) handed over to ROCN December 22, 2009 and entered service on Feb. 10, 2010. Fifth batch of FACG 70 and 71 handed over to ROCN March 15, 2010. And FACG 70 and 71 entered service on May 18, 2010, as part of the first KH-6 missile craft guided squadron, 5th Sea Dragon squadron, that stand up with the first 10 missile crafts and the prototype on May 18, 2010. And according to the news reports, it's expected the 31 KH-6 guided missile crafts will form into 3 existing Sea Dragon squadron, and phases out 3 of the 5 current Sea Dragon squadrons with older and small Hai Ou missile boats. The 2 remaining Sea Dragons squadrons with less than 20 years old Hai Ou missile boats will soldiering on. On May 14, 2010, the sixth batch of FACG 72 and 73 handed over to ROCN, and commissioned into service on July 15, 2010. On July 16, 2010, the seventh batch of FACG 74 and 75 were handed over to ROCN. On September 27, 2010, the eighth batch of FACG 77 and 78(hull number 76 skipped due to two digits added up to 13, consider unlucky number by ROCN) were handed over to ROCN and entered service with ROCN on November 12, 2010. FACG 79 and 80 handed over to ROC Navy on November 22, 2010, and entered service on January 10, 2011. Last batch of KH-6 missile boats, FACG 92 and 93 handed over to ROC Navy on October 12, 2011.
All 31 KH-6 missiles boats are part of the Hai Chiao(Sea Dragon) PGMG Guided Missile Boat/Craft Group (海蛟大隊), which has 5 missile boat squadrons, with 1st, 2nd and 5th squadrons having 31 KH-6 missiles boats, while the 3rd and 4th squadron still have 20 Hai Ou missile boats remaining in service.
5th Missile Boat Squadron, officially commissioned and stood up at Tsoying naval base in Southern Taiwan with 11 KH-6 missile boats on May 18, 2010, consisted of FABG 60(prototype), 61-71 without 67.
1st Missile Boat Squadron, officially commissioned and stood up at Suao naval base in Northern Taiwan with 10 KH-6 missile boats on April 7, 2011, consisted of FABG 72-82 without 76.
2nd Missile Boat Squadron, officially commissioned and stood up at Tsoying naval base in Southern Taiwan with 10 KH-6 missile boats on December 2, 2011, consisted of FABG 83-93 without 85..
The only prototype of the Kuang Hwa VI, FACG-60, lost its power and was entrenched upon tetrapods on an outer seawall/breakwaters while entering port after Typhoon Jangmi. The Navy initially considered scuttling the ship as previous attempts to remove it failed and it was cheaper. Dept of Navy salvage crew managed to remove the ship from the seawall/breakwaters. FACG-60 was finally refurbished.
In 2007 it was announced that Taiwan had placed an order for 90 Series 4000 large diesel engines from Tognum subsidiary MTU Asia, which would be used to power the Kuang Hua VI class, 3 engines per missile boat.
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