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《TAIPEI TIMES》MND outlines arms stockpiling policy

Minister of National Defense Wellington Koo speaks at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Minister of National Defense Wellington Koo speaks at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

2024/07/11 03:00

SCOPES, CALIBERS: The defense minister said the military has plans to develop a 6.8mm rifle, and is issuing optical sights, with all rifle-armed troops to get a scope

By Jonathan Chin / Staff writer, with CNA

Some military ammunition and supply stockpiles would have to be kept in inhabited areas for Taiwan to be defended effectively, Minister of National Defense Wellington Koo (顧立雄) told lawmakers at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee at the legislature in Taipei yesterday.

Top defense officials also briefed legislators on the Ministry of National Defense’s (MND) internal probe into the use of blacklisted Chinese-made dashcams in military vehicles and an effort to develop a new service rifle chambered in 6.8mm.

Asked about reports alleging that the military plans to store shells in temples in wartime, Koo said that the armed forces expect a defensive campaign in conditions that preclude a strict separation of front lines and rear areas.

Dispersion of military supply depots — including ammunition stores — is essential in defensive warfare, he said, adding that the armed forces take pains to ensure their practices comply with international and domestic laws.

Lieutenant General Lu Chien-chung (盧建中), deputy chief of the general staff for communication, electronics and information, told lawmakers that the ministry had initiated a probe into allegations that Chinese-made dashcams were being used in the military.

About 800 devices made by Chinese firms have been removed, while an investigation is ongoing into built-in cameras for vehicles, Lu said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) asked why the ministry had signed a contract with a supplier on April 8, 2021, the same day that the firm was blacklisted.

Ministry officials said that the order was placed before the firm was blacklisted.

Asked if the deal could be canceled, they said that the contract would be reviewed.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) asked if the military plans to develop a new 6.8mm cartridge and service rifle chambered in the caliber, citing the move to larger calibers by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the US Army.

Wang also asked whether optical sights would become standard for rifles used by Taiwanese armed forces, adding that Legislator Lin Yi-chuan (林憶君), who has yet to serve in the army, made a perfect score during a visit to a shooting range at a reservist training facility.

The ministry plans to launch a project to develop a 6.8mm-caliber rifle, and deliver a prototype to the army for assessment and evaluation by the end of this year, Koo said.

The ministry is issuing optical sights in phases with the goal to equip all rifle-armed combat troops with a scope, he said.

Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Chen Chien-yi (陳建義) said that the service considers scopes and not iron sights to be the standard for aiming devices on rifles and that the indigenously developed scope for the T112 combat rifle has performed well.

The ministry expects to soon submit a budget proposal to equip special operations forces and non-mounted infantry units with rifle scopes, Chen said.

Separately, Koo said on the sidelines of the session that reports alleging the nation’s drone programs have stalled due to a lack of foreign orders are false and that the second-generation Teng Yun and Albatross drone programs remain operational.

Asked about reports that Beijing has been using guided tours to China to recruit young Taiwanese to collect intelligence in Taiwan, he said that the ministry is countering Chinese espionage with defense education programs and careful security clearance vetting.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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