Taiwan Navy proposes NT$31.6 billion for fast attack missile boats

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A Chinese Navy vessel firing off a missile during maneuvers.

A Chinese Navy vessel firing off a missile during maneuvers. (By Associated Press)

The Navy has submitted a request for NT$31.6 billion (US$1.02 billion) to build 50-ton fast attack missile boats, as part of the national annual defense budget which was submitted for legislative review on Friday.

According to a high-ranking defense official who asked not to be identified, the missile 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.

The nation cannot rely on conventional warfare as a solution, and must adjust its defense approach and resources, the official said.
As such, it is important to focus on quality, efficiency and precision over quantity, with the acquisition and construction of fast attack missile boats, mobile air defense systems, and anti-armor weaponry a priority.

For example, assault boats are small, fast, agile and offensive warships that can be armed with anti-ship missiles, guns or torpedoes, they are stealthy and can be rapidly deployed, the official said.

The planned attack boats will be equipped with two Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles, according to the official.

As part of the Navy's defense proposal, it is also seeking NT$917.77 million for the construction of four naval minelayers to deter enemy ships, the official said. (By Matt Yu and Ko Lin)