Taiwan unveils plant that manufactures locally developed armored vehicle

Taiwan's defense ministry has unveiled a production facility that manufactures a locally developed armored vehicle.

On Thursday, ministry officials invited the media to a manufacturing plant located in Central Taiwan's Nantou County. It is the first time journalists have been allowed inside the facility.

The plant produces the model known as the CM-34 Clouded Leopard. The eight-wheeled vehicle is equipped with a 30-milimeter chain gun that has an effective firing range of 3 kilometers. It can travel up to 100 kilometers per hour.

The plant began mass producing the model in 2018. Some of the vehicles have already entered service. A total of 305 units are scheduled to be produced by 2023.

Journalists watched the homegrown CM-34 run on a test course. The demonstration showcased the vehicle's stability as well as its ability to accelerate on slopes and uneven surfaces.

The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen wants Taiwan to develop and produce necessary military equipment on its own, instead of relying entirely on the United States for weapons.

Colonel Su Jen-Pao, who was in charge of developing the CM-34, said independent defense capabilities can help Taiwan defend itself. The colonel added that Taiwan will only be able to count on itself. He said the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made that clear.