Taiwan plans to develop new Cloud Leopard 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with 105mm cannon


According to information released by the "Taiwan News" website on August 1, 2021, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense has announced July 31, 2021, a plan to develop a new fire support vehicle based on the CM-34 Cloud Leopard 8x8 armored vehicle armed with a 105mm cannon.
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Prototype of CM-34 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with a 105mm cannon. (Picture source Taiwan MoD)


A few months ago, the Taiwanese MoD (Ministry of Defense) announced in the budget 2020, the development of a new variant of Cloud Leopard 8x8 armored vehicle armed with one 120mm cannon but after discussions, the 105mm was selected.

For the 105-mm gun, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense stated that the National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) had purchased two M68A2 105 mm tank cannons from the U.S. in order to study their design. The institute had also requested that the manufacturers provide technical documents, including the mechanical blueprints of the gun, to facilitate the development of the vehicle.

The M68A2 105mm M68A1E4 rifled cannon is mounted on the M1128 Mobile Gun System which is based on the 8x8 Stryker armored chassis. The 105 mm cannon can fire four types of ammunition including the M900 kinetic energy penetrator to destroy armored vehicles, the M456A2 high explosive anti-tank round to destroy thin-skinned vehicles and provide anti-personnel fragmentation, the M393A3 high explosive plastic round to destroy bunkers, machine gun and sniper positions, and create openings in walls for infantry to access and the M1040 canister shot for use against dismounted infantry in the open.

In January 2019, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense has announced that Taiwan will begin mass production of its indigenous CM-34 "Clouded Leopard" 8x8 armored vehicles. It is planned to build 284 vehicles. The vehicle is based on the 6×6 CM-31 designed by Timoney Technology Limited of Ireland and is also manufactured locally by the Ordnance Readiness Development Centre.


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