|A CM-32 during a drill in Taichung last year|
Taiwan’s problem-plagued CM-32 “Clouded Leopard” armored infantry fighting vehicle ran into more difficulties this week with the announcement that delivery would be delayed by another five years, but the military denied that this was linked to steel-plate cracking and other design issues.
First unveiled in January 2005, the domestically produced eight-wheel-drive vehicle has encountered various problems from its inception and came close to being abandoned altogether in 2009 over design flaws and budgetary irregularities at the Ministry of National Defense, which resulted in the legislature’s decision to freeze two-thirds of the production budget.
Earlier this week, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported that cracking in the vehicle’s steel plating — which first surfaced three years ago — as well as disagreements over what type of cannon to use on the mounted turret, had prompted a decision to delay delivery of the vehicle by five years to 2019.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.