Surface Forces: Little Ship With A Big Punch
May 21, 2010: Taiwan has commissioned the first of 21 Kuang Hua-6 (KH-6) guided missile patrol boats. These 34.2 meter (106 foot) long, seven meter (22 foot) wide, 170 ton ships have a crew of 19. They are armed with four Hsiung Feng-2 anti-ship missiles (range of 150 kilometers), a 20mm autocannon, two 7.62mm machine-guns and two decoy (for incoming missiles) launchers. Top speed is 55 kilometers an hour. At cruising speed of 22 kilometers an hour, the ships can stay at sea for about two days at a time. The other twenty KH-6s are expected to enter service over the next two years.
The KH-6s replace thirty older, and smaller (57 ton) Hai Ou class boats. These patrol boats guard the coast, and especially the 180 kilometers wide Taiwan Straits that separate China and Taiwan.