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Surface Forces: Little Ship With A Big Punch
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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.


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Skylark       5/22/2010 4:32:48 PM
     The Kuang-Hua VI fills an important niche in the defense of Taiwan as the larger units (Perrys and Kidds) are more vulnerable in the Straits of Taiwan, and consequently of no use in that defense zone.  The only thing i might add to the design is some sort of anti-aircraft missile system variant for self-defense and to help knock down over-flying fighter-bombers from the mainland, even though it would probably require the loss of two of the four anti-ship missiles.  As it stands right now, even with the auto-cannon, the KH-6's biggest threat will be from the air.
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