China has dismissed Taiwan’s first indigenously made ‘aircraft carrier killer’ corvette claiming that the island’s warship will be a target for PLA aircraft even before its weapons can reach Beijing’s large ships.
Taiwan launched the first heavily-armed 700-ton Tuo Chiang-class corvette named Ta Chiang in Yilan county on Tuesday.
“Mobile, lethal, and Made in Taiwan with pride! President Tsai Ing-wen launched Ta-Chiang, the new Tuo-Chiang class corvette & received a new minelayer on behalf of ROC Navy. These vessels demonstrated the capabilities of our defense industry in R&D as well as supplying our defense needs,” Taiwan’s Defense Ministry tweeted.
The corvette has a displacement of 685 tons and is loaded with Sea Sword II anti-aircraft missiles, eight subsonic Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) anti-ship missiles, eight supersonic Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) medium-range missiles, one Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS), two 12.7 mm Browning M2HB machine guns, and two Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, Taiwan News reported.
The island’s navy is slated to receive the ship in July 2021.
It is a small ship with strong firepower, but its planned tactic against the PLA will not work, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Taiwan's military could attempt to use the ship to launch missiles against PLA ships from outside of the PLA's air defense area. “But the PLA may not use warships against the island's corvettes in the first place, but instead use aircraft to destroy them, so the Tuo Chiang-class corvette will not be able to become an aircraft carrier killer,” Song said.
With a large number of vessel-borne fighter jets, the PLA aircraft carriers have effective long-range strike capabilities, and the Tuo Chiang-class corvettes will have zero possibility of survival, he added.
The ship cannot carry radar advanced enough to effectively spot targets and guide the missiles, Chinese analysts said, noting that in comparison, the PLA's Type 022 missile boat has an entire intelligence system as support.
Experts said the corvette is a suitable ‘target candidate’ for PLA Z-9 helicopters that concluded live-fire anti-ship missile attack drills in the South China Sea (SCS) last week.
China has reportedly been conducting tests of Type 075 amphibious assault ship, also known as helicopter carrier, in the hotly disputed sea, very close to Taiwan. “A Type 075 can carry dozens of helicopters, and is expected to play a major role in a potential reunification-by-force operation,” analysts said.