After six months of tests, a new missile boat that the navy has developed independently was inaugurated yesterday at the Tsoying naval base in Kaohsiung. The vessel is scheduled to replace an aging ship of the same category.
"The new missile boat features shorter construction time, lower costs and higher mobility. It is expected to become a deterrent force," said navy commander-in-chief Admiral Miao Yung-ching (
The new vessel of 186.5 tonnes is armed with four domestically built Hsiung Feng-II anti-ship missiles, capable of engaging targets 150km away.
With the four Hsiung Feng-II missiles, the ship has a much greater strike capability than the aging Seagull-class missile boat it is to replace. However, it is slower than the Seagull, with a top speed of only 33 knots. The Seagull's maximum speed is 40 knots.
In the Sept. 4 Hankuang No. 19 exercise and its rehearsals, the missile boat fired two Hsiung Feng-II missiles, successfully hitting its targets.
The missiles were fired as part of the tests for the new missile boat, which is the prototype of the "Kuanghua No. 6" shipbuilding project.
The missile tests marked the final stage of the new vessel's pre-production trials, which started in April. The good results made yesterday's inauguration of the boat possible.
The new missile boat was one of a few naval weapon systems that was able to work normally in the Hankuang No. 19 exercise. The exercise marked the navy's greatest setback in recent years as a Standard SM-1 air defense missile hit the wrong target and a torpedo launched from a submarine went out of control.
The new missile boat also has partial stealth capabilities due to the hull's special design and the paint over the hull being made of radar-absorbing materials, according to information provided by the navy.
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