Taipei, Sept. 8 (CNA) The navy is planning to build 30 missile speed boats that can evade detection by radar to beef up its defensive capability in the Taiwan Strait.
The navy said the planned 150-ton speed boats are 40 meters long, seven meters wide, and have a maximum speed of 30 knots.
The speed boats have reconnaissance systems and interference equipment for electronic warfare. They could also work with the air force to conduct combat missions.
The missile speed boats will be equipped with Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles and anti-aircraft missiles which can block the operation of mainland China vessels in the Taiwan Strait, and will have an intimidating effect on mainland ships.
The Navy said that the electronic warfare system of the proposed missile speed boats will be built by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CIST).
CIST has also successfully developed a detection-evading vessel coating for mass production by the General Headquarters of Combined Services Force.
By the end of the year, the Navy will invite bidders to build the proposed boats. A prototype will be built first, and after tests, another 29 boats will be built. It is estimated that when they are completed in 2003, they will be commissioned to replace the present Hai-Ou missile speed boats and greatly beef up the defensive capability of the navy in the Taiwan Strait. (By Lilian Wu)