Taiwan plans to build its first prototype of a stealthy 500-ton catamaran corvette in 2012 under the Hsun Hai (Swift Sea) program, Deputy Defense Minister Lin Yu-pao told legislators in April, according to Wendell Minnick on his weblog.
A Taiwan defense source said there are initial plans to build 10 Swift Seas armed with anti-ship missiles. “We have already finished the research design and the contract design, and the bidding process will begin in 2012 with delivery in 2014,” he said. The vessels will be deployed in the Taiwan Strait to break a Chinese naval blockade or stop an invasion fleet, he said. ..
Local media reports have dubbed the Swift Sea vessel the “carrier-killer” in response to China’s planned deployment of its first aircraft carrier, the Ukrainian Varyag, expected to begin sea trials this summer. Beijing has not officially named the ship yet. Western guesses include Shi Lang, after the admiral who conquered Taiwan in 1681, and Liu Huaqing, after the father of China’s modern navy.
However, the carrier will most likely be based in the South China Sea and not be deployed against Taiwan except off the east of the island during a conflict, said the Taiwan defense source.