Taiwan to start mass production of Clouded Leopard IFV variant
Four prototypes of CM-32 "Clouded Leopard" 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle Taiwan is developing have passed qualification tests and are soon to enter mass production, Lieutenant General Fang Mao-hung, head of the Armaments Bureau, told lawmakers.
CM-32 IFV (Picture source: army Recognition)
The vehicles have passed all 62 categories in the primary pre-mass production tests while failing only two categories in the secondary pre-mass production tests, General Fang said.
Thanks to these achievements, the army has initiated mass production of the vehicle — a variant of the CM-32 Clouded Leopard — equipped with a 30mm chain gun, he said. A total of 284 vehicles are expected to be made in the coming years, Fang said, without elaborating. A military official said that Taiwan has ordered Orbital ATK 30mm Mk.44 Bushmaster II cannons to be mounted on the armored vehicle.
Compared with the 378 CM-32s currently in service that are armed with 40mm automatic grenade launchers, the 30mm cannon offers better anti-tank capabilities and precision firing of several rounds in rapid succession, the source said on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to comment on the issue publicly.
Asked if mass production of the CM-32 variant would affect the nation’s plan to buy M1A2 tanks from the US, Army General Yang Hai-ming said it would not, because the new prototype and the M1A2 are complementary. The military in July announced plans to allocate US$969.4 million to procure 108 M1A2 tanks.