TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first of 40 M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers the United States agreed to sell to Taiwan will arrive in 2023, reports said Friday (Sept. 3).
According to budget documents the Ministry of National Defense submitted to the Legislative Yuan this week, the first eight howitzers are scheduled for delivery in 2023, with 16 in 2024 and the last 16 in 2025, CNA reported. The weapons form part of the first arms package for Taiwan to be approved by the Biden administration since it assumed power in January.
The Paladins can hit targets 30 kilometers away, and they can fire eight projectiles a minute. The A6 version improves on the 200 A2/A5 howitzers the Taiwan military has been using, according to experts.
A key advantage of the new howitzers is that it only takes one minute to prepare to fire. This means the weapons can be quickly repositioned after each use to hit a different target.