Navy applies for NT$31.6 billion to build missile boats

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Sep 01, 2018 - Page 3

The navy has submitted a request for NT$31.6 billion (US$1.03 billion) to build 50-tonne fast-attack missile boats, as part of the national defense budget, which was submitted for legislative review yesterday.

A high-ranking defense official, who asked not to be identified, said the boats are part of an effort to strengthen Taiwan’s asymmetric warfare capabilities in the face of a growing military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait.

The nation cannot rely on conventional warfare as a solution, and must adjust its approach, the official said.

As such, it is important to focus on quality, efficiency and precision over quantity, with the acquisition and construction of fast-attack missile boats, mobile air defense systems and anti-armor weaponry a priority, the official said.

Assault boats are small, fast, agile and can be armed with anti-ship missiles, guns or torpedoes, the official said.

The planned attack boats would each be equipped with two Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles, the official said.

The navy is also seeking NT$917.77 million to construct four minelayers to deter enemy ships, the official added.