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DEFENSE/6.8 mm-caliber rifles set to be ready by year-end: Defense minister

07/10/2024 08:14 PM
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A 5.56 mm-caliber T112 assault rifle. CNA file photo
A 5.56 mm-caliber T112 assault rifle. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 10 (CNA) The development and testing of larger-caliber rifles are set to be completed by the end of this year, Defense Minister Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said Wednesday.

Koo was responding to a question from ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), who asked the minister to comment on information that the Armaments Bureau is developing 6.8 mm-caliber rifles to be issued to members of the armed forces.

Development of 6.8 rifles will begin this year, and it is set to complete operational test and evaluation before year-end, Koo said.

According to Wang, the adoption of 6.8 rifles would align Taiwan's armed forces with international standards, noting that U.S. and China both use rifles of this caliber.

Although the larger-caliber bullets used in 6.8 rifles would mean each rifle is loaded with fewer rounds, the new rifles will be more lethal and adept at immobilizing enemies than the 5.56 mm-caliber ones currently used by Taiwan's military, Wang said.

Wang also asked whether XTS112 optical gun sights will become a standard issue for all services of Taiwan's armed forces, to which Army Chief of Staff Chen Chien-yi (陳建義) said that according to current planning, the sights will first be issued to special forces and ground combatants.

The XTS112 is designed to be used on Taiwan's upgraded T112 assault rifles, which the Army expects to receive in a first batch of 25,000 units next year.

Wang said that the optical sights, with a 4x magnification and a field of view of seven degrees, are a vast improvement over previous models and should be issued to members of all services.

Koo said that the Defense Ministry will allocate funding in several stages to supply the sights to combatants across all services gradually.

(By Sean Lin)


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