Home' Defence Review Asia : DRA Sept-Oct 2013 Contents to gain sufficient volunteers to man its force.
A dwindling defence budget (in terms of GDP
percentage) also means the military cannot offer
competitive salaries to lure new recruits.
The MND, typically under the auspices of the
government-owned Chung-Shan Institute of
Science and Technology (CSIST), is developing a
wide variety of equipment. Two years ago, Taiwan
courted controversy by displaying its Hsiung
Feng III (HF-III) anti-ship missile (AShM) against a
backdrop showing the 'carrier-killer' weapon striking
a Soviet-style aircraft carrier. The message to China
was obvious! This year, the missile was displayed
inside its new road-mobile launcher, marking the
system's public debut. This truck-and-trailer unit
with four launch canisters gives the shore-based
system the ability to move around to evade Chinese
detection in any potential conflict. The supersonic
HF-III with estimated 130km range has already
been fitted aboard Kuang Hua VI missile boats
and Perry-class frigates. The MND also exhibited a
Patriot Launching Station and a Tien Kung III anti-
missile system on its trailer launcher.
The CM32 "Cloud Leopard" 8x8 vehicle has
had a very long gestation. Armoured Personnel
Carrier (APC) and Command variants are already
in service, and DRA intuits that the next variant will
be a Mortar Carrier, based on the TADTE display of
a Mobile Mortar System developed by the 202nd
Arsenal. This mortar platform with electric drive,
360º rotation and digitised fire control unit can
accommodate either an 81mm or 120mm mortar.
An MND spokesman revealed the mortar system
was about to commence firing trials. The CM32 is
also receiving a Closed-Hatch Driving and Around-
View Monitoring System. This is essentially a
camera network giving occupants a seamless view
of the vehicle's perimeter, as well as providing the
driver with display screens for under-armour driving.
A representative revealed the vehicle's remote
weapon station (RWS) will eventually be coupled to
the monitoring system.
Speaking of RWSs, two Short-Range Automated
Defence Weapon System prototypes were on
show, both mounting 20mm T75 cannons. The
XTR-101 naval system has a single 20mm cannon
and 40x zoom lens, while the ground-based
XTR-102 has dual-mounted T75 cannons and an
electro-optical sight system. Taiwan again showed
its RT-2000 multiple-rocket launcher (MRL) on
an 8x8 MAN truck chassis, which fires Mk.15
(117mm), Mk.30 (182mm) or Mk.45 (230mm)
rockets. The locally developed MRL is designed for
use against invasion fleets off Taiwan's coast.
The Kestrel rocket launcher is set to enter ROC
Marine Corps (ROCMC) service later this year. The
HEAT warhead was displayed two years ago, but
in 2013 a new HESH round capable of penetrating
200mm of concrete was unveiled. Additionally, the
205th Arsenal has created a potential replacement
for the standard 5.56mm T91 assault rifle. Named
the 5.56mm Multi-Utilization Special Rifle, firing
tests are ongoing, according to a spokesman.
The weapon with folding buttstock is designed for
ambidextrous use, and long- and short-barrelled
versions are available. The developmental 7.62mm
XT98 semi-automatic sniper rifle was also new.
A system reflecting the real threat posed by
China was the truck-mounted Bistatic Radar -
Passive Receiver System. It is designed for forward
deployment on the Taiwanese coast to give wide-
area coverage of approaching enemy aircraft and
helicopters. The radar truck can then transmit data
to relevant surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries.
Because its phased-array radar operates passively,
it is invisible to Chinese radar-seeking missiles and
electronic countermeasures. A CSIST spokesman
revealed it had completed evaluation tests.
IN THE AIR
As well as ground systems, CSIST continues to
develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for the
No country other than the USA is willing to take the political risk and run
the gamut of Chinese criticism by selling arms to Taiwan.
'The Jet' will never win a beauty competition! It was developed by Champion Auto
in Taiwan as a prospective replacement for the V-150 fleet. (Gordon Arthur)
DefenceReviewAsia | SEPT-OCT 2013 25
The trailer-mounted launcher of the Hsiung Feng III
anti-ship missile took centre stage at TADTE 2013.
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