Taiwan’s Navy will begin research in stealth technology construction for small-but-powerful frigates with deadly weaponry onboard, in an effort to ramp up asymmetric warfare amid growing threats of Chinese military invasion.
Taiwan’s Chief of the General Staff Lee Hsi-ming confirmed on January 8 that the Navy will begin research into the construction of 60 "Stealth Mini-Missile Assault Boats" weighing 45 tons each; with the goal of having the fleet completed within four years, Taiwan News reports quoting CNA.
The statement comes after various media reports emerged that the Chinese Navy is working on latest strategy of building new large surface warships, including aircraft carriers. Lee said the mini boats will accommodate only 2-3 sailors who could fire surface-air missiles on enemy vessels.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Defense (MND), given the growing strength of the enemy and based on the operational concept of "winning the battle at sea and defeating the enemy on the beaches," the department has put forth this guidance to the Navy to research the construction of an asymmetric force that can effective meet these challenges based on the resources at hand.
The MND said that once research has been completed and approval is granted by authorities, a plan will be put forward on the construction of the crafts. The development of the vessels would be led by the National Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology in coordination with domestic shipyards.
Tensions have risen since December 2017 after a senior Chinese diplomat threatened China would invade Taiwan if any U.S. warships made port visits to the island which China claims as its own territory.
Trump’s administration also signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2018 fiscal year, which authorizes the possibility of mutual visits by navy vessels between Taiwan and the United States.