Sun, Jun 03, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Government orders 284 new chain-gun Clouded Leopards

By Lo Tien-pin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

CM-32 Clouded Leopard armored vehicles are pictured in Taipei on June 5 last year.

Photo: Lo Tien-pin, Taipei Times

With the last of the CM-32 Clouded Leopard armored vehicles equipped with 40mm automatic grenade launchers having rolled off the production line, the Ministry of National Defense has approved the manufacturing of variants mounted with 30mm chain guns, a military source said yesterday.

The ministry is ordering 284 of the chain-gun variant, while production of the 378 grenade launcher-equipped vehicles ordered by the ministry has been completed, a high-ranking official said on condition of anonymity.

There would be a slight discrepancy in the number of purchased units, due to the reassignment of 10 vehicles to the Military Police Command during military exercises last year, the ministry said, adding that replacements have been ordered.

The CM-32 is to replace the army’s outdated and aging fleet of armored vehicles, the official said, adding that the order that was placed in 2006 is now expected to be finished in 2023, rather than 2021.

The total budget for the project after some adjustments is NT$58.9 billion (US$1.97 billion), the official said, adding that the CM-32 would improve the army’s offensive and defensive capabilities, as well as its mobility.

The command would next year be given priority for the chain-gun variant, the official said.

The decision came after the National Security Council’s assessment deemed the number of vehicles at the command to be unsatisfactory, the official said, adding that providing the command with both variants would give it more flexibility.

The command’s ability to safely evacuate the president, vice president and Cabinet members to an emergency command center in the event of a decapitation strike is critical, the official said.

The vehicles would also allow the command to provide a strong escort and to adequately defend key infrastructure and command centers, the official added.

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