g4lly Posted October 11, 2009 Share Posted October 11, 2009 http://www.informationdissemination.net/2009/10/taiwans-secret-new-littoral-warship.html Taiwans Secret New Littoral Warship This article popped up today as the most interesting development for the Taiwan Navy in a long time. Here is a translation/summary courtesy of ID regular Altoid. The 2010 defense budget was sent to the Legislative Yuan for approval, where the existence of a 900-ton coastal-defense missile-boat development program was inadvertently placed in the non-classified budget. This ship will have stealthed features, and will be the ROC Navy's first multi-hull (catamaran) ship class, and will be equipped with eight Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles. Taiwan's mid- and small- warships were once very numerous 30 years ago, but by modern standards they are old with anemic firepower. The current main strength of Taiwan's missile craft fleet is the Hai Ou class (Dvora), and 2 200-ton Lung Chiang class, one of which was built in Taiwan, with extremely poor capabilities, with long dock stays. The other ship also has had operational difficulties, including fire. Additionally, the more recent domestically-produced Ching Chiang class has not performed to initial expectations. Because the PLAN has recently introduced the stealthy, high-speed Type 022 into mass-production and operational service, our missile systems will be hard-pressed to counter this, and our small and large warships will be severely threatened, and our military has been grasping for a solution. Under the DPP administration, the navy designed the Kuang-Hwa VI class missile boat, but during the contract bidding process, the contractors used business and political connections to influence the selection committee, resulting in a unfair process and numerous corruption scandals. This delayed construction, and although the program is now in mass-production, it is already inferior to the Type 022. To match communist China's strength, the navy has secretly started a new development program, and has completed it's twin-hull design, but not the systems loadout. The 2010 defense budget has allocations for the development of the necessary systems. According to legislative sources, this new missile-craft will have a 900-ton displacement, will be used for coastal defense, but also have the flavor of larger missile corvettes, and be specifically designed to counter the Type 022. It will have a dual-hull, stealth capability, eight Hsiung Feng III antiship missiles, auto-cannons, with a total length of 40 meters, and a crew complement of 45. The translation is correct, but it is possible the reporter has the details wrong. Maybe not though? What exactly does a 40 meter, 900 ton SWATH armed like a FAC with a rather large crew of 45 look like? At 900 tons, it sounds like the design trades speed for sea keeping. I have discussed the Type 022 as the Chinese Streetfighter several times on the blog, but reading this article has me wondering if perhaps Taiwan has decided to counter with its own version of the proposed SEA LANCE. A creative SWATH idea sourced to the Naval Postgraduate School, SEA LANCE (26 MB PDF) was around 50 meters and 600 tons, and was designed with 51 VLS cells. That is about the only warship design I can think of similar to what the news article is discussing. Considering this ship is about the same dimensions as a Type 022, which is 43 meters long and goes for about 220-250 tons; is it possible the extra weight comes from armor and this design represents a new theoretical approach to littoral warfare? We don't usually put much emphasis in armor on ships anymore, and I'm not sure if armor would make a difference on a 900 ton ship. With that said, there have been design ideas floating around to put a sort of double hulled, cage type armor around littoral ships to protect them from modern anti-ship missiles, and cover the cage with a stealth composite material to produce small stealthy missile corvettes that were survivable against a direct attack. I'm just speculating. I look forward to seeing whether the size of this ship is reported accurately, and if so what it looks like. Building missile boats to fight missile boats strikes me as an odd approach, as helicopters are obviously the more effective approach. Still, Taiwan is smarter to build large numbers of littoral streetfighters than building more larger western frigates and destroyers, as the challenge they face is quantity not quality. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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