A relatively new class of corvette warship serving the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy is the Tuo Chiang-class. These ships, to number twelve in all, have been designed with stealth-centric characteristics that help to limit radar signatures by reducing onboard protrusions and breaks in the clean lines of the vessel. As of 2017, one vessel - lead ship Tuo Chiang - has been completed with a further eleven planned. Tuo Chiang maintains an active status is the ROCN fleet.
Tuo Chiang is the culmination of the "Swift Sea" program launched by the government to enhance naval capabilities in and around Taiwanese waters. The program was announced in 2010 and the budget approved the following year. A mockup was unveiled in 2013 and the name of the lead ship (as well as the class) was announced in March of 2014. Construction of the vessel had begun back in 2012.
The warship displaces 567 tonnes under full load and sports an overall length of 198 feet, a beam of 46 feet and a draught of 7. 5 feet. Its shallow draught allows the corvette to operate along coastal areas of the Taiwanese coast as well as reach out to deep water. Power is from a single MTU 20V 4000 M93L marine diesel outputting 5,766 horsepower. This is coupled to 4 x MJP CSU 850 series waterjets for pinpoint maneuvering. Maximum speed in ideal conditions is 40 knots making Tuo Chiang a very fast watercraft for its size and displacement.
The main design feature of Tuo Chiang is its catamaran hull arrangement which assists in providing the necessary "dash" speeds for the vessel as well as promoting generally good sea keeping in choppier waters. The vessel is designed for operations up to Sea State 7 (high wave action, with 9 being the absolute max rating).
Aboard the ship are forty-one personnel as well as advanced processing systems and sensors. Surface search is directed by the CS/SPG-6N(S) series radar fit and fire control by the CS/SPG-6N(T) radar. A depth sonar can be deployed to hunt submarines. Electronic warfare is handled through a 12 counter-IR/RF chaff dispensing suite with six fitted at the bow and the remaining six at the stern - giving Tuo Chiang strong coverage against inbound enemy missiles.
The weapons suite makes Tuo Chiang a "multi-mission" vessel, one able to undertake a variety of sortie types beyond patrolling. She is outfitted with 8 x Hsiung Feng III series and 8 x Hsiung Feng II series anti-ship missiles. More conventional armament is had through the 76mm OTO-Breda turreted deck gun set over the forecastle. A single 20mm Phalanx weapon system is carried for Close-In defense against aerial inbound threats. 2 x 12. 7mm Browning M2HB heavy machine guns are carried for extreme close-in defense against approaching fast attack watercraft. Beyond this, Tuo Chiang is also given 2 x Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes with one set over portside and the other over starboard.
Over stern is a helideck suitable for the launching and retrieving a single medium-lift Navy transport helicopter for resupply at-sea.
The profile of Tuo Chiang is one of a futuristic sea-going vessel with slab-type, featureless sides and an unbroken deck line. The hull superstructure sides are integrated into the hull sides proper. The bow is purposely designed to be relatively featureless with minimal protrusions apparent (save for the turreted deck gun). The bridge structure is formed as part of the hull superstructure and the main mast set overhead is largely enclosed.
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
198 ft (60. 35 m)
46 ft (14. 02 m)
7. 5 ft (2. 29 m)
40 kts (46 mph)
1 x 76mm OTO-Breda turreted deck gun
8 x Hsiung Feng III Anti-Ship Missiles (ASMs)
8 x Hsiung Feng II ASMs
1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
2 x Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes
2 x 12. 7mm M2HB Browning Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs).
1 x Medium-Lift Navy Transport Helicopter.