The military unveiled a new, locally developed mobile mortar system, along with other locally developed weapons systems and equipment, during a media tour yesterday to demonstrate its efforts to create self-reliant defense capabilities.
The mobile mortar system comes in two versions: One is mounted to a vehicle and the other is designed to be set up on the ground, said Lieutenant Colonel Chen Chien-chung (陳健中) of the 202nd Arsenal at the Ministry of National Defense’s Armaments Bureau, which was responsible for developing the system.
Unlike traditional, manual methods of launching mortars, the system allows personnel to launch mortars through a computerized system “which is completely developed locally,” Chen told reporters during a tour of the 202nd Arsenal’s Taipei unit.
The system is very easy to operate; as long as you can play video games, you will know how to operate it,” he said.
The system can fire the 81mm and 120mm mortar shells used by the military, he said.
Advantages of the system include better aim stability and faster deployment, he said.
“I feel proud that we developed the system on our own,” Chen said, adding that nations such as Israel, South Africa and the US have similar systems.
The system includes a function to simulate the firing of a mortar. During the tour, a five-member group from the 202nd Arsenal demonstrated a simulated firing of mortars through the system, which targeted Taipei 101, about 3.8km away.
It took about five years to develop the system, Chen said, adding that the project started in 2010 in line with the ministry’s policy of building a self-reliant defense force.
“Locally developed systems are less expensive” than those acquired from foreign countries, he said.
The system has passed initial tests and has participated in a live-fire drill, Chen said, adding that further tests are to be held early next year.
Also showcased in Friday’s tour was a weapons platform that includes an electric server and fire control system. The main feature of the system, developed by the 202nd Arsenal and seen in previous air shows, is a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
Among the other items on display was a gas mask designed by the arsenal that it said better fits the faces of Taiwanese.
Under the Armaments Bureau’s Materiel Production Center, the 202nd Arsenal is responsible for producing artillery and ammunition; anti-nuclear, biological and chemical equipment; and batteries for the military.
It has three units, one in Taipei and two in Yilan County.
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