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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Army goes shopping for new tank fleet

from CHINA NEWS, 17 August 1999

Taiwan's military has attracted the attention of several foreign tank manufacturers since announcing plans to procure up to 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles over the next five to 10 years.
At least six tank makers from Austria, Canada, France, Ireland and the United States have offered to sell their tanks and armored vehicles to Taiwan, military sources said. Among the offers are Austria's "Pandure," Canada's "Piranha III," the French-made "VAB-NG" and the U.S.-Irish-made LAV-300.
The foreign manufacturers have demonstrated their tanks and armored vehicles in Taiwan several times before, and recently have been holding field testings of their vehicles at a military base in Nantou County, the source said.
But he did not disclose when the procurement-which will be part of the Army's "Speed Leopard" plan to replace its present armored vehicles-will commence.
The tanks and armored vehicles currently serving with Taiwan's Army include the U.S.-made M113 and Taiwan-made CM21. They should be retired within five to 10 years.
As it will take at least five years to procure new armored vehicles and replace the old ones, the Army has already begun to evaluate the different types of tank and armored vehicle on offer.
The new generation of armored vehicles will be wheeled, rather than the tracked ones currently used by the army. The new armored vehicles will be used both by Taiwan's Army and the Marine Corps, a military source said.

Copyright 1999 China News

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