Taiwan To Build Stealth Warships

Taiwan plans to build a new ‘stealth’ warship armed with
guided-missiles next year in response to China’s naval build-up, a top
military officer and a lawmaker said Monday.
Construction of the prototype of the 500-ton corvette is due to start
in 2012 for completion in 2014, deputy defense minister Lin Yu-pao said
in answer to a question by Kuomintang party legislator Lin Yu-fang at
The warship, which the navy says is harder to detect on radar, is
expected to emerge after China puts into service its first battle
carrier group, the legislator said.
The twin-hulled boat will be armed with up to eight home-grown
Hsiung-feng II ship-to-ship missiles and eight other more lethal
Hsiung-feng III anti-ship supersonic missiles.
The remarks came as China has been restoring The Varyag, an old Soviet aircraft carrier bought in 1998.
The aircraft carrier will be used for training and as a model for a
future indigenously-built ship, according to Andrei Chang, head of the
Kanwa Information Centre, which monitors China’s military.
The ship, currently based in the northeast port of Dalian, could make its first sea trip “very soon,” he said.
Calls have been mounting on the island for the military to come up with counter-measures against the perceived threat.
Ties between Taiwan and China have eased markedly since Ma Ying-jeou
of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008, ramping up
trade and allowing in more Chinese tourists.