Wed, Jul 16, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Army developed eight-wheeled armored vehicle

FORGING AHEAD The latest prototype has passed all of its off-road tests, prompting the military to announce its progress on the project

By Brian Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The army said yesterday it has developed an eight-wheeled light armored vehicle, which is expected to replace its aging tracked vehicles.

The development of the vehicle took the army five years, with three different types of prototypes having been made.

The most recent prototype has passed a series of on- and off-road tests, prompting the army to announce the progress of the much-speculated program.

The army announced the development of the vehicle at a press conference of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday.

The vehicle, though having passed tests, is still in the prototype stage and has yet to undergo more tests to be able to go into mass production.

Army logistics vice commander Major General Ho Chiang-hai (何江海) said in a briefing at yesterday's press conference that the vehicle is scheduled to be the army's next-generation armored personnel carrier and fighting vehicle.

"The M-113 and V-150 vehicles currently in use are too old. They need to be retired and replaced by new models urgently," Ho said.

"The eight-wheeled armored vehicle will serve our combat needs better than tracked vehicles.

"It has the advantage of higher speed, lower operation and maintenance costs, and greater range," he said.

"We will count on it for mobile deployment of troops around the country in the future. It can meet our demand for strategic mobility."

The development of the vehicle started in 1998 after the army chose a wheeled vehicle, rather than tracked one, as the future of personnel carriers.

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