Taiwan Gets Special Combat Vehicle
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s Special Forces Command (SFC) has incorporated a new four-wheeldrive Special Combat and Assault Vehicle (SC-09A) into its inventory for use in mountainous terrains, a Ministry of National Defense (MND) source said. The vehicle was first displayed to the media on March 9.
The SC-09A is a light unarmored vehicle for off-road combat. The vehicle is 4.1 meters
long, 2.2 meters wide and weighs 1,225 kilograms. The tires are puncture-proof and the
vehicle is outfitted with an anti-blast fuel tank, radio, night-vision equipment and a search light, and the front bumper has a winch.
The 871 Airborne Group, under the SFC, was the first to be outfitted with the new vehicle. Taiwan split the Army’s 861 Airborne Brigade into two groups (862/871), each with three battalions, in 2007, the MND source said. The SFC is under the command of the new Aviation and Special Forces Command (ASFC), which consists of 9,000 personnel.
The three-seat, left-hand drive SC-09A provides a gun mount for the right-seat passenger and a rear gun mount on the roll bar above with the gunner seated in an elevated rear-central seat. The two gun mounts can be fitted with the MK-19 40mm grenade launcher and the locally built T-74 7.62 medium machine gun (based on the FN Minimi).
The rear compartment also has a gun rack that can store three locally built T-91 5.56mm assault rifles. The Kaohsiung-based 205th Arsenal manufactures both the T-74 and T-91.
The MND source would not confirm who built the SC-09A, only that the contract was for 56 vehicles and locally manufactured. The SC-09A is similar in appearance to Singapore’s ST Engineering-built Spider Light Strike Vehicle and can be airlifted internally by Taiwan’s CH-47SD Chinook transport helicopter and C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft.
There has been some criticism by the local media over the price per vehicle, which
cited the $60,000 price tag, and complaints about the vehicle’s handling from those in
the military who have driven it.
The ASFC’s order of battle consists of the 601 and 602 Aviation Brigades; 603 Aviation
Training Command; the Air Transport Battalion; 101 Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion (Army Frogmen), Airborne Special Service Company (anti-terrorist); and the SFC.