Taiwan’s Navy is looking to build 50-ton fast-attack missile boats as tensions rise with China in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan-based Central New Agency (CAN) reported on August 31.
The report said that the Navy requested the government for NT$31.6 billion (US$1.02 billion) to build missile-armed vessels, under the national annual defense budget which was submitted for legislative review last Friday.
The missile-armed boats are part of an effort to strengthen Taiwan's asymmetric warfare capabilities in the face of a growing military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait, CAN quoted a high-ranking defense official as saying.
The envisioned boats will be relatively small, fast and capable of being armed with missiles, guns or torpedoes, report said.
The planned attack boats will be equipped in particular with two Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles, the official quoted in the CNA report said.
The Navy’s defense proposal also seeks NT$917.77 million to build four naval minelayers to deter enemy ships, the same official said.
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The United States National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018, approved by President Trump earlier this week, has made China livid for setting the US military on a path of "long-term strategic competition with China," while at the same has received praise from Taiwan for US military support in its confrontation with Beijing. "We resolutely oppose any country having any forms of formal and military exchanges with Taiwan, this stance has been consistent and clear," he said
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