China Needs to Be Alert, 5 Taiwan Warships Will Be Equipped with Aircraft Carrier Killing Missiles

China Needs to Be Alert, 5 Taiwan Warships Will Be Equipped with Aircraft Carrier Killing Missiles
5 Taiwan Warships Will Be Equipped with Aircraft Carrier Killing Missiles

Taipei - Taiwan's military announced plans to upgrade five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes to be equipped with carrier-killing missiles. Their existence would be a source of danger for China's expensive aircraft carriers.

According to Taiwanese media reports quoted by Sputnik, Tuesday (13/12/2022), the five 685-ton Tuo Chiang-class small warship corvettes remaining on order will each be loaded with eight Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missiles ( Brave Wind).

This carrier-killing missile is one of the most dangerous in Taiwan's arsenal, propelling a 500 pound-class warhead at up to 2.5 times the speed of sound, to strike surface targets at ranges of up to 250 miles.

At that speed and range, the missile would pose an existential threat to much larger warships, even Chinese aircraft carriers which can displace up to 85,000 tons each, because air defenses have difficulty countering them. In addition to the advanced missiles, the Tuo Chiang-class warships that Taiwan will operate will get four older Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles and 16 Ha-Chien II surface-to-air missiles.

The three Tuo Chiang class ships that have been completed have slightly lighter weapons loads, but are still powerful weapons. Arranging agile ships such as corvettes with powerful "shoot-and-scoot" weapons such as missiles is part of a strategy of asymmetric warfare that Taipei is increasingly pursuing as its fears of conflict with China grow.

The United States has encouraged asymmetric thinking in Taiwan, motivated in part by the conflict in Ukraine, where it has supplied Kiev with large quantities of siege and ambush weapons such as anti-tank shoulder-fired missiles and HIMARS rocket artillery.

The US has sold Taipei a variety of anti-ship and anti-air weapons in recent years, and has encouraged Taipei to upgrade its civil defense corps in the event of a Chinese invasion. Beijing regards Taiwan as its wayward province and sees the government of Taiwan as a remnant of the former Republic of China, which is kept alive by the support of foreign powers such as the US.

The US has asserted its support for Taiwan, a capitalist society with a Western-style liberal democratic government, as the main weapon in its "great power competition" with China. Ironically, however, Washington formally recognizes China's position on Taiwan and agrees with Beijing's "one-China" policy.

The announcement from Taiwan's military comes amid reports that Japan is also seeking to buy hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States. The long-range missile, which can strike targets 1,000 miles away, is also being sought by Tokyo in response to rising tensions on Taiwan, as well as with North Korea.

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