Home' Defence Review Asia : DRA Nov - 2011 Contents ww w.defencere viewasia.com < 37
and a contract has been signed although the
Cardinal is not yet in production. The research
organisation remained tight-lipped about a
micro-UAV it is also developing.
These UAVs are in addition to the Chung
Shyang already in production for the ROCA.
The spokesman was cagey about revealing
precise production figures, but he conceded “at
least ten” airframes were in service, and that
the design had recently completed 1,000 flight
hours. CSIST showed the low-cost Soaring-
Kite Trainer UAV with 2.8m wingspan, which
will serve as a training platform for pilots
before they step up to the Chung Shyang.
CSIST claimed Taiwan has no interest in
acquiring overseas off-the-shelf systems as it
was “cheaper” to develop and produce UAVs
BACK TO EARTH
The locally produced CM-32 Cloud
Leopard 8x8 vehicle has been a long time in
development, but its maker claims a major
obstacle involving cracks in hull armour
plates has been overcome. w So far, 23 CM-
32 armoured personnel carriers (APC) have
been built after limited production commenced
in early 2011. These versions mount 40mm
remote-controlled grenade launchers, and one
example was exhibited at TADTE. The infantry
fighting vehicle (IFV) variant will have a 30mm
cannon. A three-man turret mounting a low-
recoil 105mm M68A1 gun was also shown,
though this is still at the prototype stage.
Taiwan finally showed off its Ray Ting
2000 multiple-launch rocket launcher (MLRS)
that fires Mk.15 (117mm), Mk.30 (182mm)
or Mk.45 (230mm) rockets from its twelve
tubes. The locally developed MLRS has been
in existence for a decade but it has taken this
long to find a suitable truck on which to mount
it. An Oshkosh HEMTT chassis was originally
envisioned but American pricing proved
prohibitive. Instead the RT 2000 has been
mounted on a commercial 8x8 truck chassis
from MAN. The system is designed to counter
amphibious invasion forces, with the kill area
for a full load of rockets said to be “six football
fields” in size. The army wanted 54 systems but
this requirement has since been downgraded
to 43 because of the army’s reduction in size.
There is also a German connection on the part
of the NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV)
that was exhibited. NBC detection equipment
is mounted on a commercial Unimog chassis
because Germany refuses to sell military-grade
equipment directly to Taiwan.
Other MND items of interest included a new
digital camouflage combat uniform. Issuing has
already begun but it will take some ten years
before it is fielded to all units. Also shown was
the Kestrel anti-armour rocket launcher soon to
be inducted into the ROCA. The man-portable
Kestrel from CSIST has an effective range of
One of Taiwan’s greatest problems is the
ability to procure armaments from foreign
countries. The USA is one of the few nations
daring enough to run the gauntlet of Chinese
ire by selling advanced weaponry to the island.
For this reason, international exhibitors at
TADTE were predominantly from the USA.
However, the author noticed a distinct change
in tone on the part of major American defence
corporations compared to two years ago.
Perhaps reflecting Barack Obama’s desire to
improve relations with Beijing, there was a
considerable degree of sensitivity about the
issue of selling arms to Taiwan. A number of
American companies were extremely tight-
lipped and declined to speak to media. Some
companies failed to even bring a spokesperson!
Incidentally, Boeing is one company that never
attends TADTE, perhaps because it is sensitive
to the danger of adversely affecting commercial
airline sales to China.
One of the few US manufacturers to field
questions from the media was Raytheon. It
was promoting its Raytheon Advanced Combat
Radar (RACR), a scalable radar system that
employs active electronically scanned array
(AESA) technology. Designed to fit inside
an F-16 or F/A-18 Hornet, the low-cost
radar is derived from the AN/APG-79 used
in the F/A-18E/F. Drew Robbins, Manager
of Raytheon’s F-16 Radar Programmes, said
several Asian countries were interested in
the radar. He noted its main advantages lay
in the areas of operational capability and
maintenance. RACR’s air-to-air detection range
is approximately double that of mechanically
scanned arrays, while software manages the
system and frees the pilot to fly the aircraft.
In terms of reliability, the mean time between
failure is 1,000 hours, which is some 8-10 times
better than a mechanical system.
ww w.defencere viewasia.com < 37
The Cardinal mini-UAV from CSIST weighs just 2.1kg, and it appears
set to enter ROC military service in due course. (Gordon Arthur)
One of Taiwan’s greatest problems is the ability to procure armaments
from foreign countries.
DRA Sept 2011.indd 37
20/10/11 6:03 PM
Links Archive DRA September October 2011 DRA Dec 2011.Jan 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page