Thu, Aug 16, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Military to seek weapons from civilian contractors

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The military officer tasked with acquiring the nation's armaments yesterday announced that the military is planning to allow more civilian contractors to get involved in weapons development and production in the future.

Vice Admiral Wu Wei-rong (吳偉榮), director-general of the Ministry of National Defense's Armaments Bureau, made the announcement yesterday during a press conference at the Taipei World Trade Center, where the military will display some of its latest weapons at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition.

Wu said it was a long-term military policy to "get as many people as possible involved in national defense."

"By allowing more civil contractors to get involved we will be nearer to achieving that goal," Wu said.

Wu added that the policy would help related industries grow through the production and maintenance of weapons systems and logistical equipment.

More civilians would also get the chance to understand what the military is doing, he said.

The exhibition, which is free, opens today and runs through Sunday.

The first two days will be open exclusively to weapons industry professionals and military personnel.

The doors will be open to the public from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Air Force, Army, and Navy will display models of their latest weapons.

Among the displayed items, the Taiwan-made 40mm grenade launching personnel carrier and the 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer are the highlights of the show.

Wu confirmed that the items will also be on display during the National Day military performance, but the military has yet to decide which items to use for the procession past the Presidential Office.

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