Taiwan to spend NT$5.76 billion in weapon systems development

03/09/2016 11:32 AM
The armored CM-32
The armored CM-32 'Clouded Leopard' vehicle (CNA file photo).

Taipei, March 9 (CNA) Taiwan will allocate NT$5.76 billion (US$175 million) this year for research and development into home-grown weapon systems, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Wednesday.

The amount is 211 percent higher than last year's R&D budget, the MND said in a report on its plans for 2016 submitted to the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defense Committee.

The funds will be used to continue implementing projects to develop and build ships, submarines and airplanes, and upgrade locally developed jet fighters and armored CM-32 "Clouded Leopard" vehicles, the report said.

The MND will also work with the Ministry of Science and Technology to carry out an academic cooperation project that will cost NT$124.5 million and inject NT$391.6 million into technology development plans, the report said.

The ministry noted that with tensions over sovereignty disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea heightening amid Chinese belligerence, neighboring countries are increasing their defense budgets to buy weapons and are adjusting their military deployments and conducting joint military drills at sea.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/ls

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