07 Juli 2011
Sea Gull class missile boat (photo : freerepublic)
TAIPEI - Taiwan has developed a radar-absorbent material in a breakthrough in the island's development of stealth technology, local media reported Monday.
Tests showed that a navy 50-tonne Seagull-class missile boat painted with the material was not spotted on a radar screen until it could be seen with the naked eye, the United Daily News said. It is the first time Taiwan has developed such material.
The navy declined to comment on the report.
It was not immediately clear if the material would be used in the navy's fleet of 10 locally manufactured 171-tonne missile boats, whose design is already intended to reduce radar detection.
The ships, which are armed with four Taiwan-made Hsiungfeng II (Brave Wind) ship-to-ship missiles, are intended to replace the aging Seagull-class missile boats, the navy said.
Tensions between Taiwan and its former rival China have reduced markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008 on promises of beefing up trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists.
But Beijing still considers the island part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary even though Taiwan has governed itself since China's civil war ended in 1949, prompting Taiwan to continue modernising its armed forces.