President Tsai pointed out that starting from today, the Tajiang warship will assume the task of combat readiness.
The Tajiang warship is not only more concealed and stable in navigation, it is also the navy’s first small ship with air defense capabilities. I believe that with the addition of this warship, the Navy’s task of defending the sea and territories will be even more powerful.
The ship’s name, the “Ta Chiang” (塔江), contains a reference to the Tawa River (塔瓦溪) in Taitung County, which forms the ancestral hunting grounds of the aboriginal Paiwan people, while also alluding to the vessel’s symbolic role as a “tower” (塔) on the front line of the nation’s defense, the Navy said.
According to ROC Navy Command, the Ta Chiang corvette has a length of 65 meters, a width of 14.8 meters, a maximum displacement of 685 tons, a maximum draft of 3 meters, and a maximum speed of 40 knots.
As the first upgraded and modified unit of the Tuo Chang-class corvette, Ta Chiang had her keel laid on May 24, 2019 and was launched and named on December 15, 2020. The ship came out from the shipyard and started sea trial on May 3.
The ships in the class were planned to come in two variants, air-defense (anti-air warfare – AAW) and anti-ship (anti-surface warfare – ASuW). According to ROC Navy officials, the three ships of the first batch were initially set to focus on air-defense capability via the TC-2N surface to air missile (SAM) developed by local company NCSIST. The three ships of second batch were set to be anti-ship version fitted with subsonic Hsiung Feng-II and supersonic Hisung Feng-III anti-ship missiles, emphasizing countering China’s surface ships.
However, in December 2018, a governing DPP’s legislator of foreign affairs and defense committee of Taiwan’s parliament said that the 11 follow-ups of Tuo Chiang-class will come in a single variant: There will be no distinction between AAW and ASuW versions. The anti-submarine capability (ASW) will also be removed.
The Ta Chiang corvette and its follow-ons are set to feature a powerful weapons fit consisting in:
- 8 Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles (subsonic)
- 4 Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles (supersonic)
- 16 TC-2N surface to air missiles
- 1 Otobreda 76 mm main gun
- 1 Phalanx CIWS
The program of record calls for 11 ships in the class, the last one to be delivered in 2026.
The second Min Jiang-class mine laying ship was delivered to the ROC on the same occasion. According to Lungteh Shipbuilding, the vessels have a length of 41 meters, a width of 8.8 meters, a draft of 1.7 meters and a full load displacement of 347 tons. The maximum speed is 14 knots. According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, four mine laying ships are on order for the ROC Navy. They will greatly enhance Taiwan’s offensive mine fighting capacity and effectively counter the threat of the PLA Navy.