Taiwan's Cloud Leopard II M2 prototype breaks cover

by Kelvin Wong

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) showcased a prototype of the next-generation 8×8 Cloud Leopard II armoured vehicle development in public for the first time at the 2019 Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) exhibition held from 15 to 17 August.

The M2 prototype is the second of two Cloud Leopard II development testbeds built by the 209th Arsenal at the MND Armament Bureau’s Materiel Production Centre (MPC) in partnership with the Hsinchu-based Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Both vehicles have been in trials since 2017, with operational testing expected to conclude at the end of 2019 and serial production to commence thereafter should an order be placed by the MND.

Top-down view of the Cloud Leopard II M2 Mortar Carrier prototype, showing the 81/120 mm Mobile Mortar System in its deployed position and the UAV Forward Observation System on its right roof-hatch. (IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong)

Top-down view of the Cloud Leopard II M2 Mortar Carrier prototype, showing the 81/120 mm Mobile Mortar System in its deployed position and the UAV Forward Observation System on its right roof-hatch. (IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong)

Specifications provided to Jane’s by the 209th Arsenal on 17 August reveal that the Cloud Leopard II M2 prototype vehicle currently has a combat weight of 24 and is approximately 7.6 m long, 3 m wide, and 2.4 m high.

It is also equipped with a comparable powerpack with the in-service CM-32/33 Cloud Leopard armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and the forthcoming CM-34 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for the Republic of China Army (RoCA), comprising a Caterpillar C9 diesel engine coupled to an Allison HD4560P automatic transmission, although engine output has been increased from 410hp to 450hp.

The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense’s Materiel Production Centre unveiled the second prototype of its next-generation Cloud Leopard II 8×8 armoured vehicle development at TADTE 2019. (IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong)

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/taiwans-cloud-leopard-ii-m2-prototype-breaks-cover

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) showcased a prototype of the next-generation 8×8 Cloud L...

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