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Taiwan to commission two more stealth missile corvettes amid rising tensions with China

A Taiwanese navy personnel looks at the nation's first domestically built 600-ton Tuo Jiang twin-hull stealth missile corvette at Suao Naval Base in Yilan (File Photo: Reuters)

In what seems to be a step to safeguard its waters from China’s military aggression, Taiwan’s Navy is expected to commission two more domestically-built Tou Jiang-class stealth missile corvettes into service next month, Central News Agency Taiwan reported on Monday.

The Taiwan-based news agency reported citing sources familiar with the matter that the two corvettes, the Hsu Jiang (PGG-621) and the Wu Jiang (PGG-623), will be officially commissioned into the Navy in an early May ceremony.

The two corvettes, launched in February and June 2023, respectively, were delivered to the Navy this February. They are the third and fourth mass-produced Tou Jiang-class stealth missile corvettes.

Designed and manufactured by Taiwan, the Tuo Jiang-class corvette is a fast and stealthy multi-purpose corvette built for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy, Central News Agency Taiwan reported.

Other than the prototype, Tuo Jiang (PGG-618), which was commissioned in 2015, the first batch comprised six corvettes, with the fifth and sixth, An Jiang and Wan Jiang, set to be delivered to the Navy soon, the unnamed source added.

The Navy is set to build a total of 11 Tuo Jiang-class corvettes by the end of 2026.

The Tuo Jiang-class corvette has a wave-piercing catamaran design, is 60.4 meters in length and 14 meters in width, and is capable of a top speed of 30-plus knots and a range of 1,800 nautical miles, according to the Navy.

The corvette is fitted with subsonic Hsiung Feng-II (HF-2) missiles, supersonic Hsiung Feng-III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, a 76mm cannon and Sea Sword II carrier-based medium-range air defence missiles, giving them the ability to hit air and sea targets simultaneously, Navy data shows.

Earlier, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence detected 10 Chinese military aircraft and six naval vessels around the nation between 6 a.m. on Sunday (April 21) and 6 a.m. on Monday (April 22), reported Taiwan News.

Eight out of the 10 Chinese aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line, according to the Ministry of Defence.

In retaliation, Taiwan sent planes and naval ships and deployed air defence missile systems to monitor the PLA activity.

Since September 2020, China has increased its use of grey zone tactics by incrementally increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan, reported Taiwan News.