Taiwanese CM-11 tank plunged from a three-metre bridge, killing three soldiers

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A Taiwanese tank  has plunged from a three-metre bridge in heavy rain after a military drill, killing three soldiers, officials say.

The CM11 “Brave Tiger” tank  carrying five soldiers was returning to base when it fell into the Wangsha river in Pingtung county in the south of the country.

The driver and tank captain survived.

The drill was part of preparations for next week’s annual Han Kuang military exercise. President Tsai Ing-wen has sent her condolences.

The CM11 was returning from a firing test at about 10:30 local time (02:30 GMT) when an apparent mechanical failure in one of the tracks left the driver unable to make a required left turn, the army said.

The driver was able to escape with light injuries.

The four others were pulled unresponsive from the vehicle. The captain was revived and later taken to a military hospital in neighbouring Kaohsiung city.

The soldiers reportedly belonged to the Eighth Army Command.

President Tsai demanded a speedy investigation into the cause of the incident.

She is scheduled to preside over the military exercises, which simulate possible attacks by Beijing.

The CM-11 “Brave Tiger” was born in 1990 by upgrading the family line with a modified M48A2 turret and newer M60 Patton main battle tank hulls. The turret fitted a 105mm main gun, an advanced fire control system, stabilized sights, ballistics computer and thermal imaging. In many ways, this modernization of the aged M48 brought the Taiwanese version on par with the newer M60 Patton while incorporating some elements of the advanced American M1 Abrams in the process. Accuracy was improved by way of a joined imaging and target system as well as dual-axis stabilization for target tracking and firing on the move. There is a 7.62mm machine gun on a pintle mount outside of the commander’s cupola hatch. Like the base M48, the CM-11 is crewed by four personnel made up of the driver (seated front, center in the hull), the gunner, loader and commander. The commander sits to the right of the turret, just behind the gunner, while the loader is to his left.

Accuracy was improved by way of a joined imaging and target system as well as dual-axis stabilization for target tracking and firing on the move. There is a 7.62mm machine gun on a pintle mount outside of the commander’s cupola hatch. Like the base M48, the CM-11 is crewed by four personnel made up of the driver (seated front, center in the hull), the gunner, loader and commander. The commander sits to the right of the turret, just behind the gunner, while the loader is to his left.

www.bbc.com

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