Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chinese Type 056 missile boat to launch within days

A Type 056 under construction
Defense analysts believe that the new missile boats will be perfectly suited to meet the challenges that China is facing in its South China Sea disputes 

A new type of Chinese missile corvette, the principal role for which might be to project power in the South China Sea, could be launched “within days,” military watchers said on the weekend. 

Talk of a Type 056 class first emerged in late 2010. So far, little technical information has been released about the corvettes, which are believed to lie in the 1,400-to-1,700-tonne category. 

Two shipyards, Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai and Huangpu Shipyard in Guangzhou, are engaged in what appears to be a race to complete the vessels. Officials at Hudong reportedly announced late last week that the first Type 056 corvette could be launched “within days,” with possible commissioning at the end of this year. A total of four hulls are known to be under construction, with completion expected to follow soon after the delivery of the lead ship. 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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