on April 26, 2020, Taiwan has performed trials and firing tests with the CM-32 8×8 armored vehicle fitted with a 120mm mortar system mounted at the rear of the vehicle.
The 120mm self-propelled mortar carrier variant in the CM-32 family of 8×8 armored vehicles was unveiled by the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense’s Material Production Center during the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) in August 2019.
The CM-32 Yunpao (Cloud Leopard in English) is an 8×8 armored personnel carrier manufactured by the Ordnance Readiness Development Centre in Nantou for the Taiwanese Army. The vehicle was originally designed by Timoney Technology of Ireland. The development of the CM-32 started in 2002 and three prototypes were delivered in January 2005. In 2007, serial production has been launched.
The layout of the CM-32 is divided into three main parts with the driver at the front left of the hull and the power pack to his right. A remote weapon station is mounted at the rear of the driver position armed with a 7.62mm machine gun. The 120mm mortar weapon station is mounted inside of the hull at the rear of the vehicle.
The CM-32 has ballistic protection able to withstand firing of 12.7mm machine guns at the front while the hull provides all-round protection for crew and troops against the firing of small arms 7.62mm ammunition. The vehicle is based on a V-shaped hull design providing protection against mine blast and explosion of up to 12 kg TNT under any wheel.
The CM-32 mortar carrier is fitted with the Israeli-made Soltam M120 mortar which has a range of 7.2 km and can fire different types of ammunition including high explosive, smoke, illumination and precision-guided munitions. The 120mm mortar is mounted on a turntable in the rear of the hull that fires to the rear through an opening in the roof covered by a two-part hatch. All the firing operations can be performed from inside of the vehicle.
The SOLTAM mortar system is a 120mm light vehicle-mounted Recoil Mortar System that provides ground forces with improved mobility, lethality and accuracy across a wide range of operational scenarios. The mortar is a derivative of the combat-proven soft recoil mortar which is muzzle-loaded and turntable-mounted and is being used extensively by the US Army, NATO, Israel Defense Force and other countries.
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