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Taipei, June 30 (CNA) Taiwan’s latest Tuo Chiang-class corvette, the Ta Chiang (PGG-619), is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in July, and a commissioning ceremony for the ship will be held in August, a military source said Wednesday.

The warship, designed and built in Taiwan for the Navy, was first commissioned in 2015, a year after the prototype was named Tuo Chiang (PGG-618).

Unlike the prototype, the upgraded Tuo Chiang-class corvette, the Ta Chiang, is an anti-ship version fitted with subsonic Hsiung Feng-II missiles, supersonic Hisung Feng-III anti-ship missiles, a 76 mm cannon, and Tien-Chien II air defense missiles.

Late last year, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said it planned to have three Tuo Chiang-class corvettes delivered by 2025 to counter China’s increasing military threats, which include frequent aerial incursions into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and an increasing number of military drills near Taiwan.

However, the ministry later revised its plans, saying it hoped to have six Tuo Chiang-class vessels built by 2023. Delivery of the Ta Chiang was moved up from later this year to July, after it passed warfare tests.

The Navy is hoping to obtain another five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes before 2023, after negotiating with Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. in Yilan, a military source said.

According to the Navy, the new Tuo Chiang-class ship has a maximum speed of 30 knots, displacement of 685 tonnes and an operational range of 1,800 nautical miles.

The ship’s name, Ta Chiang, is derived from the Tawa River in Taitung County, which runs through the ancestral hunting grounds of the Paiwan indigenous people, and it also alludes to the vessel’s symbolic role as a “tower” on the frontlines of Taiwan’s defense, the Navy said.

(By Matt Yu and Evelyn Kao)