Ground Warfare

Taiwan Announces Start of New 8×8 Wheeled Fire Support Vehicle Production

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Taiwan Announces Start of New 8×8 Wheeled Fire Support Vehicle Production

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Clouded Leopard Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle (TIFV)
Clouded Leopard Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle (TIFV)

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has authorized the development of a new 8×8 wheeled fire support vehicle (tank destroyer or assault gun) variant of the Clouded Leopard armored vehicle, marking a significant stride in the nation’s defense capabilities. Following its meticulous five-step development process, the MND’s Armament Bureau has initiated the production of this advanced variant, equipped with a formidable 105-mm cannon along with a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and a supplementary 12.7 mm remote control gun turret. The development of this fire support vehicle, part of the “Cheetah Project,” has been allocated substantial resources, with an investment of TWD768 million (USD23.9 million) earmarked for the creation of two prototypes.

Underlining the significance of this endeavor, the Republic of China Army (RoCA) has conducted rigorous combat readiness testing, validating the effectiveness of the Clouded Leopard’s firepower. Upon successful testing, plans for mass production have swiftly followed suit, signaling the imminent integration of these potent assets into Taiwan’s defense strategy. Moreover, the 202nd Arsenal munition factory has been tasked with producing armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot tracers (APFSDS-T) rounds tailored for the new variant of the 8×8 Clouded Leopard. This strategic move ensures a seamless supply chain for essential munitions, enhancing the operational readiness of the armed forces.

CM-32 Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Clouded Leopard armoured vehicle in fire support vehicle configuration with a 105 mm gun.

Collaboration between the 209th Arsenal and the 202nd Arsenal underscores Taiwan’s commitment to self-reliance in defense manufacturing. With both armament factories operating under the auspices of the Ministry of National Defense, this synergy reinforces Taiwan’s sovereignty and autonomy in bolstering its defense capabilities. Furthermore, the acquisition of overseas 105mm tank guns, boasting 70 percent less recoil, represents a quantum leap in the Clouded Leopard’s firepower and stability during engagements. Scheduled for installation on the prototypes, these advanced tank guns promise enhanced performance, aligning with Taiwan’s pursuit of cutting-edge defense technology.

Named after the indigenous Formosan Clouded Leopard, symbolizing agility and swiftness, this armored vehicle epitomizes Taiwan’s resilience in safeguarding its territorial integrity. With its formidable armor, incorporating NBC protection and fire suppression systems, the CM-32 “Clouded Leopard ensures enhanced survivability on the battlefield. Additionally, its V-shaped hull provides robust protection against landmines, underscoring Taiwan’s commitment to troop safety. As Taiwan continues to explore diverse variants of the Clouded Leopard, including command vehicles, NBC reconnaissance vehicles, mortar carriers, and assault guns, the nation reaffirms its steadfast dedication to fortifying its defense apparatus.

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