New Taiwanese corvettes have to ‘hunt’ Chinese aircraft carriers

TAIPEI, (BM) – New Taiwanese corvettes have already been named as the local response to Chinese aircraft carriers. In the face of tensions between Taipei and Beijing, their production is significantly accelerated in the coming years, which announced in the background of launching the first modernized Tuo Chiang type unit, learned citing Defence24.

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The Taiwanese authorities intend to introduce new ships to the armed forces faster. It is about improved versions of the Tuo Chiang type corvette, another representative of which has just been launched at the shipyard located in Su’ao [Yilan district] by the Lung Teh Shipbuilding company. We should remember that the first unit, Tuo Chiang, was commissioned in 2014-2015 based on a program initiated in 2010. It is a locally designed structure based on a catamaran layout.

In 2016, the order plan was to include the construction of 11 ships of this type for its fleet. The Ta Chiang, President of the Republic of China in Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, took part in Tuesday’s launching ceremony. She emphasized that she was proud that its own arms industry built the ship. Noting that investing in its industry’s capabilities is one of the state’s priorities, and thanks to the modernization of defense resources, Taiwan can maintain security and protect its existence. This Chiang is now scheduling to undergo sea trials and, if successful, will enter service around July 2021. Interestingly, Taiwan’s fleet emphasizes that the name’s choice for the ship refers to its ancient peoples’ hunting traditions.

Simultaneously, Taiwan announced that the Government would accelerate the plan to build more units of this type. Initially, the local defense ministry assumed three modernized Tuo Chiang type units in 2017-2025. The agitated situation in relations with Beijing led to the fact that the units were to be built by 2023. The shipyard itself was to indicate that by 2023 it would be able to deliver up to five units of this type to the military, according to “Taiwan News.”

Deputy Defense Minister Chang Che-ping recommended the ship’s program’s acceleration due to the speed of movement on the water, the catamaran’s high maneuverability, and the armament with anti-ship missile systems and torpedoes. The construction of the modernized Tuo Chiang perceives as a response to the growing fleet of large surface vessels operated by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. First of all, we are talking about aircraft carriers, but you also need to add large helicopters or landing ships. Thus, the presence of Tuo Chiang is supposed to be an attempt to gain the ability to deter the Chinese side from introducing large groups of these ships into action against Taiwan.

We recall that the Hsiung Feng II [eight HF-2] and Hsiung Feng III [eight HF-3] missiles are the key weapons, but two torpedo tubes are also necessary – Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes. The ship will also be equipped with the Sea Sword II anti-aircraft missile system, the Phalanx system, the OTO Melara 76 mm sea cannon, and two 12.7 mm Browning M2HB machine guns. The modernized units have a more extensive surveillance system and a new generation of radio-electronic warfare systems.

The ship itself was built in stealth technology, limiting the radar reflection’s effective area and reducing the thermal signature, making it difficult to detect by the enemy. The new Tuo Chiang’s displacement is to be 685 tons, length 60.4 m, and some experts determined the operational range at 1800 nautical miles. In the context of Taiwan’s new frigates, there is also mention of a new patrol unit, even in the catamaran system, of the Anping type. Its daily user is to be the Coast Guard. There are suggestions in the Taiwanese press that the Anpings are also preparing to be militarized quickly in an armed conflict, for example, by saturating them with missile systems that allow them to fight enemy ships.

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In response to information about Taiwanese corvettes, the Chinese authorities said they have a very effective countermeasure against them. According to the Global Times, these are Z-9 helicopters equipped with anti-ship missiles. The Chinese did not hesitate to point out that they conducted exercises in the fight against ships such as modernized Taiwanese corvettes. Beijing experts emphasize that if the Chinese side saturated the potential battlefield with boats, planes, and helicopters, no Taiwanese unit, even the newest one, would have a chance to survive.

China believes it can invade Taiwan in 24 hours, but that is not the case at all

Tensions between China and Taiwan have escalated sharply in recent months. The threats followed one after another, especially after Taiwan decided to buy 66 F-16 fighters. China seeks to look strong and powerful by conducting a series of exercises aimed at demonstrating superiority.

However, the goals set before the Chinese government for disarming Taiwan’s air defense ground systems in two hours, followed by an air attack, would be feasible. Is it possible for China to carry out such an attack so quickly and efficiently and to end the Taiwanese resistance quickly within 24 hours? Let’s see!

According to Naval and Merchant Ships magazine, the Chinese government has commissioned a computer simulation of such a scenario, and subsequent simulations have shown that this is entirely achievable and possible.

Analysis of the results shows that China is capable of an intensive artillery and air strike, which will destroy the Taiwanese air defense system within five to ten minutes. It sounds optimistic, but again – it’s just a computer simulation. So, after the “successful” artillery attack on Taiwan’s air defense systems, it would be appropriate to be followed by an air attack by the Chinese Air Force, and as we know, they currently have both Russian-made fighters and their own, mostly the 4th Fighter. the J-16 generation and the fifth-generation J-20 fighter.

What we still know from the published analytical data from the simulation attack is the inclusion of both Chinese aircraft carriers, which would be useful in case of “external” support in favor of Taiwan. It is difficult to predict there, as we are talking about two clear Chinese aircraft carriers and a vague enemy, which can be anyone, with any weapon.

The data concludes that Chinese troops will enter the islands and everything will end quickly. Everything looks wonderful and possible, according to the Chinese military and the simulation. However, the well-known maxim in the military case “no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy” is also valid in this Chinese scenario. The data on the optimism with which artillery, air force and landing forces would cope with “possible foreign intervention” are quite doubtful.

China has forgotten that the United States and its partners have really good ground and air equipment to monitor, analyze and assess the situation, and will see the attacks in question before they begin. Deploying specific systems takes time, and the Chinese military has not considered this more than important fact. Of course, so far only the United States maintains its level of presence in the Pacific, but even that is enough to make timely decisions and measures. Let’s not forget the dozens of American attack platforms located in the same region, especially in places like Guam.

Read more: Taiwan acquires US ballistic and cruise missiles, China strengthens its missile bases

The Pentagon has also positioned dozens of B-2 and B-52 bombers in the region, which, if China has forgotten, regularly carry out various reconnaissance missions. Even the fact that until a month ago Beijing complained about the “near entry” of American aircraft into Chinese airspace under the guise of civilian liners should tell Beijing that this tactic works and can also be used.

“Suppression of foreign interference” by Beijing not only sounds incredible, but it is an absurd statement. The next statement that the Chinese air force would deal with Taiwanese fighters or air defenses also sounds absurd. Taiwan currently has modern means and weapons technology that would face the Chinese attack without any problems, and would even respond appropriately. China misses another important fact – Taiwan has an early warning system that could have the opposite effect – no, or very few Chinese missiles will be able to reach the target, let alone destroy it.


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