By James R. Holmes
News that Taiwan is set to get some stealthy fast patrol boats is welcome. But without some daring personnel, it might come to nothing.
Huzzah! The Taipei Times’ J. Michael Cole broke the story this weekend that Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan has levied funds to field a squadron of between seven and eleven stealthy Hsun Hai (Swift Sea) fast patrol boats by 2014. Computer generated images depict a sleek catamaran that resembles a smaller sibling of USS Independence, a variant of the U.S. Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship. Each new craft will reportedly displace around 500 tons while sporting eight domestically manufactured Hsiung Feng-II and -III antiship cruise missiles. To all appearances, the Hsun Hai constitutes a marked improvement over the ungainly Kuang Hua VI fast attack craft currently serving in the Republic of China Navy (ROCN). It packs twice the wallop of the Kuang Hua VI. It appears more stealthy, with fewer sharp angles and protuberances to attract unwanted attention from Chinese radars. And with its catamaran hull and low profile, the new man-of-war should be able to handle rough seas in the Taiwan Strait and elsewhere rather than bobbing around like a top. The plan for a Hsun Hai squadron looks like a good start.
Read the full story at The Diplomat