Taiwan to retire M41A3 'Walker Bulldog' tanks after over six decades
Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) Taiwan's military will officially decommission its M41A3 "Walker Bulldog" tanks this Friday after more than six decades of service, a military officer told CNA Tuesday.
The decommission ceremony will be held at the northern Hsinchu County's Army Infantry Training Command, with retired Army generals and military personnel who used to operate the armored vehicles having been invited to attend, according to the unnamed officer.
A parade featuring M41A3s is also set to be held during the event to properly send off the veteran tanks, it added. Taiwan currently has less than 20 M41A3s.
Military records show that the first batch of 46 M41A3s Taiwan bought from the United States arrived in the country on October 1958.
These tanks have served as the backbone of Taiwan's Army for decades, with more than 700 M41A3s in service at one point.
The Army has gradually replaced these tanks with more advanced M60A3, CM11, and CM12 tanks.
The M41D tank, an upgraded version of the M41A3, still serves on the "frontlines" on offshore Kinmen County's Lieyu Islet close to China.
The M41A3, which is part of the M41 line of light tanks named after U.S. Army General Walton Walker, was developed by the U.S. military immediately following World War II. Mounted with a 76mm main gun, the light tank was designed for close infantry support and rapid airborne deployment.
With 5,000 units having been manufactured, the M41A3 played important roles in the Vietnam War.
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