Asymmetrical warfare and groups of warships, together with land-based missiles on trucks, still constitute Taiwan’s best national defense strategy, a security analyst said yesterday.
Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), an associate research fellow at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, made the comments following Monday’s launch ceremony for a second Tuo Jiang-class corvette.
The navy is expected to receive delivery of the new corvette in 2025, following sea trials, with two more corvettes expected to follow.
The Coast Guard Administration’s (CGA) requisition of 12 Anping-class corvettes — similar to the Tuo Jiang, but with added facilities and equipment for rescue operations — are expected to be delivered by 2026, along with a prototype from the indigenous submarine program.
The coast guard on Friday received delivery of two corvettes — the first in the Anping-class series — at a ceremony in Kaohsiung.
Adopting an expansionist mindset, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet received delivery of 107 surface ships between 2012 and last year, but Taiwan should reference the Swedish naval model, Su said.
The Swedish Royal Navy primarily deploys warships of 600 to 1,500 tonnes, which alongside land-based missile systems, gives it naval superiority in its region, Su said.
Taiwan could recreate this model by pairing the Tuo Jiang with patrol ships of less tonnage, as this would be more in line with Taiwan’s strategic needs and more cost effective, Su said.
The disparity in the navies of Taiwan and China, Taiwan’s limited resources, and the cost of research and development to manufacture larger vessels are all factors working against Taiwan having a “big navy,” Defence International magazine editor Chen Kuo-ming (陳國銘) said.
Israel’s 1,900-tonne Sa’ar 6 corvette and Sweden’s 600-tonne Visby-class corvette are examples of warships that Taiwan should follow, Chen said.
Newer warship designs should be highly automated and have fewer crew members, Chen added.
Separately yesterday, the Ministry of National Defense announced that the navy expects to receive delivery of four minelayer ships by the end of next year, an amphibious transport dock ship — also known as a landing platform dock — in 2022, as well as a disaster relief support ship, known only by the project name Anhai (安海), in 2023.
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