Taiwan to finish mass production of armored vehicles by 2023

Production of the CM-34 'Clouded Leopard' 8-wheeled armored vehicles to begin in 2019, with 284 vehicles scheduled for completion by 2023

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File Photo

File Photo (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (CNA) -- Taiwan will begin mass production of its indigenous CM-34 "Clouded Leopard" eight-wheeled armored vehicles next year and is scheduled to complete the production of 284 of the vehicles by 2023, a Ministry of National Defense (MND) official said Monday.

Four prototypes of the armored vehicle, officially called the Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle (TIFV), passed pre-mass production tests Oct. 19, allowing it to enter mass production.

The prototypes have passed all 62 categories in the primary pre-mass production tests, but failed two categories in secondary tests.

Improvements have since been made, so the MND has decided to proceed with mass production of the vehicle model equipped with a 30mm chain gun, the official said under condition of anonymity.

The official said Taiwan has ordered Orbital ATK 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster II cannons to be mounted on the vehicle.

Compared with the CM-32 models that are armed with 40 mm automatic grenade launchers, the 30mm cannon has better anti-tank capabilities and can fire several accurate rounds in rapid succession, the official said.