Sunday, October 24, 2010

Taiwan Plans to Build Six Minehunters

The Taiwanese Navy plans to build six minesweepers at a cost of more than TWD30 billion ($938 million). Design of the new ships is complete and construction is due to start in 2012.

The six minesweepers, along with two U.S.-built Osprey-class minesweepers, will replace Taiwan’s aging minesweeping fleet. Taiwan seeks to augment its capabilities against Chinese mining operations in the event of war in the Formosa Strait. The Chinese military could use mines to hamper commercial traffic in the strait and thereby enforce an economic embargo against Taiwan.

The announcement follows news that the Taiwanese Air Force will be acquiring indigenously produced unmanned aerial vehicles rather than U.S.-built platforms. The UAVs, which are being developed by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, would be utilized for surveillance purposes and would be unarmed.

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