The Republic of China (Taiwan) Ministry of National Defence (MND) 2021 budget initiates development of a new variant of the current Yunpao (Clouded Leopard) 8 X 8 Wheeled Armoured Combat Vehicle.
It allocates NT$768 million (US$74 million) toward prototypes which will mount a 105mm high velocity tank cannon with a system that will reduce recoil forces by 70%. The project further suggests moving to remote weapon station. Each will also have a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7mm heavy machine gun.
The Armament Bureau and National Chung Shang Institute of Science and Technology are understood to be collaborating on vehicle design.
An early design of a 105mm Yanpao with a manned turret had been displayed at earlier Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) but is not yet clear how closely the latest effort will reflect that design. Initial prototypes are projected for 2023 delivery.
The 105mm support vehicle is intended to join the recently established joint arms battalions which for rapid maneuver and strike. The forces already field the CM-32 and CM-33 Yunpao models equipped with 40mm grenade launchers in a remote weapon station, and the CM-34 mounting a 30-mm MK44 chain gun. Delivery of the later with a two man turret and an upgraded 450 hp power-pak began in late 2019. The MND has also unveiled a new 0.8 meter tall lower profile remote weapon station for the CM-33.