TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The delivery date for Taiwan’s purchased M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers has been delayed to 2026 at the earliest, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed on Monday (May 2).
The military had planned to receive eight Paladins next year, and 16 each in 2024 and 2025. The total price of the sale cost US$750 million (NT$ 22.15 billion) and completion of the sale was scheduled for 2026.
However, less than a year later, delivery of the howitzers has been postponed to 2026 at the earliest. The MND said this is due to insufficient production capacity. “We will also continue to communicate and coordinate with the U.S.,” the MND said.
“Considering the need for precise firepower to defend Taiwan and Penghu, we have cooperated with the U.S. to research and develop sophisticated alternatives to meet actual operational needs,” the ministry added.
The current self-propelled howitzers in Taiwan’s arsenal have been in use for more than 40 years and lack digital systems and automatic fire control functions, the MND said. Therefore, it has ordered 40 Paladin howitzers from the U.S. to beef up its long-range precision fire capabilities, according to the Liberty Times.
The Paladin is capable of hitting targets 30 kilometers away and can fire eight projectiles per minute. It can also be quickly repositioned after each shot.