Taipei, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Tuesday said it is placing an additional order of 21 CM-34 “Clouded Leopard” eight-wheeled armored vehicles, to be deployed to the country’s Military Police Command.
The new order comes on top of 284 units already ordered for the nation’s military, said Yu Yu-tang (游玉堂) of the Armaments Bureau, which developed the Clouded Leopard and is an affiliated authority of the MND.
Considering the firepower of the CM-34, officially called the Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle (TIFV), the indigenous armored vehicles will help reinforce the capability of the military police, Yu said.
Mass production of the 284 vehicles, which began in 2019, is expected to be completed by 2023, he said, adding that 32 were delivered last year, of which six have so far entered service.
The CM-34 is armored with the Orbital ATK 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster II cannon, which has an effective firing range of over 2,000 meters. It also comes with a forward looking infrared sensor, a low-light television camera and a laser rangefinder, according to the ministry.
Roughly 88 percent of the vehicle parts are sourced and produced locally, except for the engine, the MK44 cannon, transmission and toxic gas detection system, which need to be procured from overseas, Yu added.
In a separate report Tuesday, the MND declined to confirm reports that the ministry has plans to station some of its F-16 fighter jets in Penghu as part of the government’s response to China’s aggressive behavior toward Taiwan in recent months.
The ministry neither comments on details nor discloses information regarding the use and allocation of troops or operational planning, MND spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文) told reporters in Taipei.
Concerning reports suggesting that Taiwan’s air defenses could easily destroy any Chinese jets crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, Shih said its military strives not to take any provocative actions and that appropriate measures will always be taken to warn away Chinese military planes that violate Taiwan’s airspace.
Only in cases of obvious threat or attack would the military consider using force in self-defense, the spokesman said.
Also that day, Shih told the media that the recent deployment of drones to Taiwan’s Dongsha Islands and Taiping Island in the South China Sea was simply to reinforce the defense capability of the coastguard stationed there, and not for the purpose of reconnaissance or on-site monitoring over the airspace, as had been suggested by the local media.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel