Taiwan plans to build six minesweepers as part of efforts to boost its defence capabilities, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Lin Yu-fang has said.

The six minesweepers, along with two US-built Osprey Class minesweepers will replace the nation’s aging minesweeping fleet, he said.

“The design of the six planned vessels has been completed. The deal will cost more than NT$30bn ($938m) and production is scheduled to start in 2012,” he added.

Taiwan needs to increase its capabilities against Chinese mining operations in the Taiwan Strait, according to Agence France Presse.