TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The military will build its own vehicles to succeed its aging Humvees because buying a replacement from the United States will be too expensive, the Apple Daily reported Saturday.
The new vehicle will roll off the production line in 2024, following a decision by the government abandoning a plan to procure 344 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) from the U.S.
The Ministry of National Defense’s own Armaments Bureau will manufacture the trucks at its No.209 factory in Nantou, while the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) will design the accompanying weapon systems with the M230LF gun, which can be used by remote control from within the vehicle.
The gun can fire 300 rounds of 30-millimeter projectiles per minute and is also mounted on Apache attack helicopters, the Apple Daily reported.
While some in the U.S. were expected to be displeased at Taiwan only buying elements and then fitting them together domestically, in the end the project would benefit the island because the vehicles would not have to be shipped overseas for repairs and alterations, according to the report.
The Army did not want to comment directly, but it said it was willing to consider any choice improving its defensive capabilities.