Army Acquire New Cannons (18
The Taiwan Army is slated to receive state-of-the-art
cannons this year. They will receive the first batch of newly
ordered 155mm M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers from the
US. The M109A6 canon was agreed by the US to be sold to Taiwan
two years back and is the most technologically advanced artillery
in service with the US army.
More than 140 M109A6s have been ordered from the
US, with an expenditure of about NT$10 billion. This has so far
been the largest arms purchase that the army has made in recent
The M109A6 is the updated version of the 155mm M109-series
self-propelled howitzers which the US has developed since the
1950s. The Taiwan army had earlier versions of the M109, but they
do not have the advanced technologies of the A6 model. This is
due to the improvement in the A6 model's electronic systems.
The earlier models include the A1B, A2, and A5 types
used mainly by the armored brigades and most of these howitzers
have been in use for more then two decades.
The M109A6 not only functions as a cannon but also
as a command vehicle as it can provide fire command and control
to several A5 models simultaneously. It is able to operate on
its own without the assistance of forward observers. The system
is also said to have greater survivability in battlefield than
previous models due to its high mobility such as the ability to
shoot on the move.
The Taiwan Army has future plans in acquiring more
technologically advanced weapon systems, which boasts of higher
automation but requires less manpower to operate.
This latest howitzer requires only four soldiers
to operate while previous models required six soldiers.
The US has agreed to sell to the Taiwan Army the
M1A2 main battle tank but the deal is being delayed due to lack
of funds on the Taiwan side.