CM-32 Yunpao APC, Taiwan’s Cloud Leopard

Taiwan began fielding a replacement for its M-113 and V-150 armored personnel carriers in 2007, with the introduction of the CM-32 Yunpao, or “Cloud Leopard,” armored personnel carrier (APC). The vehicle, designed by Timoney Technology of Ireland, is similar in many respects to the U.S. Stryker. It is based on an eight-wheeled chassis with numerous available variants.

The basic model APC version has a crew of three (driver, commander, and gunner) and can carry six infantry soldiers, who can enter and exit via a rear ramp or roof hatches. It has a welded steel hull and a two-person turret mounting a 12.7mm heavy machine gun and a 40mm grenade launcher. The driver sits at the front left of the hull with the engine and transmission to his right.

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The infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) variant is very similar, but replaces the 40mm grenade launcher with a 20mm cannon. Also available are a mortar carrier, mounting a 120mm mortar, and a fire support variant, mounting either a 105mm or 120mm low-recoil gun. The APC version can be converted to serve as an ambulance or command and control vehicle as well.

The CM-32’s frontal armor can withstand 12.7mm (.50-caliber) rounds, and the remainder of the vehicle is resistant to rounds up to 7.62mm. Like the U.S. MRAP family, it has a V-shaped hull designed to mitigate the blast of land mines and similar explosives. It is also capable of surviving a detonation up to the equivalent of 12 kg of TNT under any wheel. The Yunpao has full chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection and an automatic fire suppression system.

It is capable of road speeds up to 120 kph (60 mph) and has a range of 800 km. It is also amphibious, propelled by two water jets at a maximum speed of 8 kph.

As might be expected from a vehicle of this design, the CM-32 has full cross-country mobility and can operate in concert with mechanized forces on a variety of terrain types.