Tuo Chiang-class corvette

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沱江艦.jpg
Class overview
Name: Tuo Chiang class
Builders: LUNG TEH Shipbuilding, Yilan County, Taiwan
Operators: Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy
Preceded by: Ching Chiang patrol boat
Cost: NT$2.2 billion (US$72.39 million)[1]
Built: 2012-
In commission: 2014-
Planned: 12
Completed: 1
Active: 1
General characteristics
Type: Coastal Corvette
Displacement: 567 tonnes full load [2][3]
Length: 60.4 m (198 ft)(Length on cushion)
Beam: 14 m (46 ft)
Draught: 2.3 m (7.5 ft)
Propulsion: MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engine - rated at 4,300 kW (5,766 bhp), 4 x MJP CSU 850 waterjet
Speed: 40 knots (74 km/h) (fully armed)
Complement: 41 (including officers)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Navigational Radar
  • CS/SPG-6N(S) 2D Surface Search Radar
  • CS/SPG-6N(T) Fire Control Radar
  • Variable Depth Sonar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
12 counter-IR/RF chaff dispensers (6 bow and stern)[4]
Armament:
Aviation facilities: Flight deck,[4] primarily for VERTREP

The Tuo Chiang-class corvette (Chinese: 沱江; literally: "Tuo River") is a class of stealth multi-mission corvettes operated by the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy. The ship incorporates various stealth features to have a lower cross-section and avoid radar detection.[5][6][7] Developed under the Hsun Hai (Chinese: 迅海; literally: "Swift Sea") program, these corvettes are intended to take over some of the missions currently undertaken by larger ships.

Development[edit]

The program was announced by the Republic of China (Taiwan) Ministry of National Defense (MND) on 12 April 2010. It was developed by the Naval Shipbuilding Center in Kaohsiung,[8] The Tuo Chiang class was developed to address common weaknesses of traditional small warships such as patrol craft and corvettes, namely poor sea-keeping, a significant handicap for warships expected to sortie for extended periods of time in rough seas around Taiwan, and limited usefulness under high-intensity conflict scenarios.

In 2011, the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan approved a NT$24.98 billion (US$853.4 million) budget to fund the construction of up to 12 ships.[9] On 18 April 2011 a top military officer and a lawmaker announced that the construction of a 500-ton prototype would begin in 2012. In the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition in 2013, the Navy unveiled a model of the Hsun Hai project corvette. The prototype of the Hsun Hai program was named and christened on Friday, 14 March 2014 as ROCS Tuo Chiang (PG-618) in honor of the gunboat that was a combatant in the 9-2 Sea Battle during Second Taiwan Strait Crisis.[10]

In early 2016, the ROC Navy began plans for procuring three air defense frigates. It has been speculated that these frigates would possibly be catamarans based on the Tuo River-class hull. Expected weapon systems include the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) equipped with a naval variant of the Sky Bow III and the Sky Sword II, possibly quad-packed in the VLS cells, as well as the Sea Oryx self-defense missile.[11] The Sky Bow III system has a dual role of anti-aircraft warfare and ballistic missile defense.[12] This speculation persisted until TADTE 2017, where it is revealed that the ROCN has chosen the traditional mono-hull configuration for their next generation primary surface combatant designs (including a general-purpose frigate design and an air defense destroyer concept) although it remains all but certain that the Sky Bow III and the Sky Sword II will be utilized to arm these next-generation warships.[13]

Design[edit]

The ship is a catamaran design which is 60.4 metres (198 ft) long, 14 metres (46 ft) wide and carries a crew of 41 personnel. It is capable of a maximum speed of 40 knots, and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km; 2,300 mi) at lower speeds. It is armed with four modular missile container bays (each can carry a quad box container for the subsonic Hsiung Feng II, the supersonic Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles, or, in the future, Sky Sword II anti-aircraft missiles, with the standard loadout being eight HF-2 and eight HF-3 missiles), a Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, and a 76 mm (3 in) main gun.[8] The ship can operate up to sea state 7 in waves up to 20–30 ft (6.1–9.1 m) high.[4] Taiwan Security Analysis Center (TAISAC) stated that the ship features stealth technologies to help evade radar detection, a combat system that includes a distributed-architecture combat direction system developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and an indigenous search/track and fire-control radar and electro-optical director.[14][15][16][17]

The ship has been criticized for its lack of air defense armament even though the presence of a Phalanx CIWS onboard already represents an improvement over the Ching Chiang-class patrol ships (which is solely reliant on a forward-mounted 76mm gun) that it and its mass-production follow-ons are meant to supplement and eventually supplant; it does have survivability due to its stealth technology and low radar cross section (RCS), which makes it difficult to observe via radar and making the ship even more obscure when operating closer to the coastline.[18]

Ships of class[edit]

Eleven more ships of the class are currently planned for construction. The follow-on ships are expected to have a lengthened hull to improve buoyancy and be equipped with 3D search radar and naval version of the Tien Chien II SAM in order to strengthen air defense, resulting in increased displacement by 100 tonnes over that of the prototype ship.[19]

 Number   Pennant Number   Name   Builder   Launched   Commissioned   Status 
1 PGG-618 Tuo Chiang (沱江) Lung Teh shipyard, Su-ao 14 March 2014 [20] 23 December 2014[21] Active

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Carrier-killer' starts trials". Taipei Times. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  2. ^ LaGrone, Sam (24 December 2014). "Taiwan Navy Takes Delivery of First Stealth 'Carrier Killer' Corvette". United States Naval Institute. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Wong, Kelvin (19 August 2015). "Taiwan highlights new features, further development for Tuo Jiang stealth corvette". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Minnick, Wendell (31 December 2014). "Taiwan Navy Accepts New Catamaran". Defensenews.com. Archived from the original on 9 April 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  5. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/12/12/taiwanese-navy-showcases-new-killer-stealth-corvette.html
  6. ^ http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/taiwan-navy-launches-new-stealth-boat
  7. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com/taiwan-navy-stealth-missile-warship-corvette-2014-12
  8. ^ a b Cole, J. Michael (12 April 2012). "'Carrier killer' program goes ahead". Taipei Times. Taipei. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Taiwan's first stealth missile corvette christened Tuo River". Want China Times. 14 March 2014. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ ROC Navy to Build Three Air Defense Catamaran Corvettes based on Tuo River-class - Navyrecognition.com, 15 March 2016
  12. ^ Taiwan's NCSIST Successfully Tested a Ship-based Variant of Tien Kung III BMD Interceptor - Navyrecognition.com, 2 January 2017
  13. ^ ROC Navy "Year 2020" plan (Traditional Chinese)
  14. ^ "Taiwan shows images of carrier killer". UPI.com. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Taiwan developing 'carrier killer' for navy: report". Spacewar.com. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Minnick, Wendell (18 April 2010). "Taiwan Plans Stealthy 900-Ton Warships". Defensenews.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Missile Launchers, Vessels, UAVs Unveiled at TADTE". Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  18. ^ Taiwan Navy Emphasizing Domestic Shipbuilding Program in Ongoing Maritime Restructure - News.USNI.org, 25 March 2016
  19. ^ Navy plans to build an upgraded version of corvette: source - Taipei Times, 9 April 2017
  20. ^ "Taiwan launches first carrier killer stealth missile corvette". IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Pan, Jason (24 December 2014). "'Tuo Jiang' commissioned into service at Suao event". Taipei Times. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 

External links[edit]