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Taiwan Launches First Stealth Boat (27 Sep 2002)

The Taiwanese Navy yesterday launched its first locally built stealth missile boat, which it said would prove a valuable asset in the event of conflict with China.

The 170-tonne vessel is scheduled to be commissioned next year after stringent tests.

It plans to build another 29 missile boats modelled on the stereotype under the Kuang Hwa Six Project.

The ship's sleek design was aimed at reducing the reflection of radar waves, the navy said.

Analysts said the boats would be able to receive "passively" intelligence collected by other Taiwanese warships without opening their radars to the "enemy".

Such stealth actions would enable them to launch missile blitzes against targeted enemy warships without risking their location.
The missile boat, designed to cruise at a maximum speed of 33 knots would be armed with four locally made Hsiung Feng II ship-to-ship missiles.

The ships would replace dozens of ageing 50-tonne Seagull missile boats, each of which carries two Hsiung Feng I missiles.