Taiwan starts construction of new missile corvettes, minelayers

Taiwan has kicked off construction of three Tuo Chiang-class missile corvettes and four next-generation minelayers in a ceremony attended by the country’s president Tsai Ing-wen on May 24.

The three catamaran corvettes are being built by Lung Teh Shipbuilding and will displace 680 tons at a length of 65 meters.

They will armed with Hsiung Feng-II and Hisung Feng-III anti-ship missiles and take over a number of duties now performed by the navy’s less maneuverable frigates and destroyers, according to SCMP.

The project is worth an estimated $1 billion and will see the first stealth corvette delivered in 2021.

The first of the new minelayers is is also expected to be delivered in 2021.

The start of construction of two new ship classes for the Taiwan Navy follows this month’s begin of construction works on a facility that will deliver the nation’s first domestically-built submarine.

Construction works on the shipyard are expected to be completed by the end of 2020 while the first boat is envisioned for a 2024 delivery.

Photo: Taiwan Navy photo of the first Tuo Chiang-class missile corvette. Photo: Taiwan Navy