The Ministry of National Defense has begun delivering a new indigenous light combat vehicle to be used by special forces for off-road combat operations.
The unarmored, 1,225kg four-wheel-drive Special Combat and Assault Vehicle (SC-09A) was locally manufactured, with an initial contract for 56 vehicles, Defense News reported yesterday, adding that a ministry source would not reveal the identity of the manufacturer.
The 871 Airborne Group under Special Forces Command is the first unit to receive the three-seat vehicle, which comes with puncture-proof wheels, an anti-blast fuel tank, night-vision equipment and a searchlight, the article said. The vehicle has right passenger and rear gun mounts that can be fitted with MK-19 40mm grenade launchers and T-74 machine guns, Defense News said, adding that a third gun rack, which can accommodate three T-91 assault rifles, was located in the rear compartment.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
The 4.1m-long and 2.2m-wide SC-09A can be carried on C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and CH-47SD Chinook transport helicopters.
Some media reports have criticized the vehicle, which comes at a price tag of US$60,000 per unit, as too expensive. Concerns about its maneuverability have also been raised, the report said.
The ministry first unveiled the vehicle to some local reporters on March 9.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
The nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert, which is set to expire on Monday next week, is to be extended, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told reporters before heading to a meeting at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei that the COVID-19 alert level “will not be lowered on November 2,” but he did not say how long the extension would be. Taiwan has been under level 2 alert, the third-highest on the nation’s four-tier scale, since July 27. The CECC yesterday reported eight new COVID-19 infections — six imported