The Ta Chiang-class corvette, in entering service, would bolster the navy’s anti-air capabilities, demonstrate Taiwan’s resolve to defend its maritime borders and showcase domestic design in the service of national defense, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told a ceremony at the military harbor in Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳) yesterday.
Tsai recalled naming the corvette in December last year, saying that military members should aspire to live up to its name — to be as fierce in battle as Paiwans (排灣) living along the Tawa River (塔瓦溪) — so that Taiwanese can witness the armed forces’ commitment to defending their nation and homes.
The Ta Chiang’s excellent design has garnered international acclaim and is the “pride of Taiwan,” she said.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
Tsai thanked the navy’s officers and sailors, the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) and the Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co (龍德造船) for all of the hard work that went into meeting the deadline.
Separately, the navy said that the Ta Chiang is highly mobile and armed with the CSIST’s most recent anti-air missile, a ship-based version of the Tien Chien II (Sky Sword) missile.
Unlike the Tuo Jiang-class corvette, the 700-tonne Ta Chiang is equipped with four Hsiung Feng III (“Brave Wind III”) supersonic anti-surface missiles, eight Hsiung Feng II subsonic anti-surface missiles and two eight-cell launchers for the Hai Chien II (Sea Sword) missiles.
Photo: Cheng I-hwa, Bloomberg
The navy said that the Ta Chiang — equipped with more advanced radar systems and armed with state-of-the-art anti-air missiles — would markedly increase its anti-air capabilities.
The corvette is to be assigned to its 131 Flotilla, the navy added.
It is the duty of all officers and sailors to keep the Taiwan Strait safe and to ensure that vessels flying Taiwan’s colors have smooth and undisrupted passage, the navy said.
“We hope the public will continue to support the national defense policies of the government and the buildup of next-generation armaments to bolster the navy’s capability to defend the nation,” it said.
The Ta Chiang corvette would be based at the Port of Keelung, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) said, adding that the next two corvettes are expected to be put into service in the third quarter of next year.
The navy — with a future fleet of 12 Tuo Jiang-class corvettes, alongside 31 Kuang Hua VI-class fast attack missile crafts, highly mobile land-based missile trucks and other vessels capable of being converted into military boats — would have a highly effective anti-surface force, he said.
The ceremony was also attended by Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正), National Security Council member Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) and Veterans Affairs Council Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬).
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