An official model of the initial concept for Taiwan’s Project Kuang Hua-VI guided-missile patrol craft project. Construction of 30 of these “stealth” craft was approved in July 1996, all to be completed by 2003 at a cost of some $3 billion. The 150-ton, 113-foot design shown here has been superseded by a 180-ton, 131-foot version to be capable of sustaining in excess of 30 knots. At present, the planned armament is four 76-nautical-mile-ranged, dual-seeker Hsuing Feng-II antiship missiles and a 20-mm Mk 75 anti-aircraft gun, but space and weight have been reserved for a 40-mm gun on the forecastle and shoulder-launched heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles. The craft will replace the remaining 49 Hai Ou-series 47-ton missile boats built in Israel and Taiwan in the late 1970s through 1984. A Taiwanese-developed combat data system will be fitted.
Seen here at Wilhelmshaven just prior to departing German waters bound for Turkey on 28 March is the 190-foot Turkish Navy FPB 57-series guided missile patrol craft Kilic , the first unit in the third series of the class. Two sisters are building at the Taskizak Naval Dockyard, near Istanbul. The original Turkish Navy FPB 57 (of 11 delivered to date), the Dogan , also was built by Freidrich Lurssen Werft, Bremen-Vegesack, and was commissioned 21 years ago. The Kilic and others of the current 432-ton, 36.5-knot variant are distinguished by a sharp spray chine line to the hull to reduce wetness forward; they also have a considerably enlarged superstructure and a pylon mast to support their search radar arrays. Armament, similar to that of earlier units, consists of eight Harpoon antiship missiles, an OTOBreda 76-mm gun, and a twin 40-mm anti-aircraft gun mounting, but the sensor, combat, and damage-control systems have been considerably updated. Two more are to be ordered in 1999.
Recently deployed to assist U.S. Navy and other United Nations naval forces in the Persian Gulf is the Belgian Navy’s frigate Westdiep , seen here in January prior to her departure for the Mideast. Completed in 1978 as one of four 349-foot-long sisters—one of which, the Westhinder , was decommissioned in 1993 for economic reasons—the 2,430-ton, 25-knot Westdiep is armed with four MM 38 Exocet antiship missiles, an 8-cell Mk 29 launcher for NATO Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles, a 100-mm dual-purpose gun, a 4-barrel 375-mm antisubmarine rocket launcher, and two antisubmarine torpedo launchers. Powered by one Rolls Royce Olympus gas turbine and two diesels, the twin-screw ship has a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 16 knots and carriers a crew of 157. The surviving trio are to be retained until 2010-2012 but are not likely to be replaced.