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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Nantou, Central Taiwan, Aug. 17 (CNA) Fifty remodeled M41D tanks displayed their firepower and improved capabilities at a base in Nantou County's Chichi on Monday and Tuesday before an audience of some 1,000 local residents, lawmakers and reporters.

A public anti-tank live-fire exhibition was also held at the base with the purpose of promoting the public's understanding of the strength of the Republic of China Armed Forces.

The ROC Army first introduced the American-made M41 tanks in 1958. They have since become obsolete and have been replaced by the domestically produced M48H tank and used American-made M60A3 tank as the mainstay of the army's tank battalions.

Because Taiwan is unable to procure the most advanced tanks from the United States and other industrialized countries, the army decided in 1996 to improve the capabilities of 50 M41s with a cost of NT$1.3 billion.

The remodeling project proved successful, and the tanks have now been converted to run on diesel and equipped with night vision battle devices. Their maximum range has also been extended from 160 kilometers to 470 kilometers.

According to army officials, the 50 remodeled tanks will be used on the offshore islands, while the M48H and M60A3 tanks will continue to form the backbone of the army's mechanized units for the foreseeable future. (By Victor Lai)

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