Army to replace aging M41A3 tanks in Lieyu garrison

10/26/2020 10:21 PM
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The toppled M41A3 tank in an accident that took place on Oct. 8 / CNA file photo
The toppled M41A3 tank in an accident that took place on Oct. 8 / CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) The Army Command Headquarters on Monday confirmed that it has plans to replace the existing aging fleet of M41A3 tanks stationed at the Kinmen Defense Command's Lieyu Garrison Battalion by June 2021.

The M41A3 is a variant of the M41 Walker Bulldog, a light infantry tank first developed by the United States after World War II.

The Army did not say what kind of tank will replace the M41A3 tanks, but local media said it will be the military's existing M41D, a modified and more modern version of the Walker Bulldog that is equipped with a new Detroit Diesel 8V-71T diesel engine and thermal imaging sights.

Taiwan began using the M41 tank in 1958, with its inventory currently consisting of the A1 and A3 variants. In 1996, the Army began upgrading them to M41Ds.

The announcement on Monday came in the wake of a tank accident that took place in Kinmen County on Oct. 8 left one person dead.

The tank, part of the Kinmen Defense Command's Lieyu Garrison Battalion, was heading back to its base at the conclusion of a drill when it crashed into an embankment as it was driving along a road near Lieyu Township.

Following the incident, Defense Ministry spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文) said the ministry and the Army Command had set up a task force to investigate the accident.

(By Matt Yu and Ko Lin)

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