The Taiwanese government has procured 14 Volcano mine-dispensing systems from American manufacturer Northrop Grumman.
Valued at 4.5-billion New Taiwan dollars ($146 million), the deal also covers the supply of an unspecified number of M977A4 cargo trucks on which the systems would be mounted.
According to the island nation’s Army Command Headquarters, the equipment will be used to rapidly deploy anti-tank mines over a large area to repel an amphibious landing.
“If the [Taiwanese military] knows where hostiles will be landing, it can use the system to lay landmines swiftly on certain parts of a beach rather than on the entire beach,” Taiwan Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Chang Yuan-hsun said.
The acquisition comes as Taipei continues to prepare for a potential Chinese invasion.
It was approved by the US State Department last year, noting that the system can support army modernization and maintain a credible defensive capability.
About the Volcano
Northrop’s Volcano mine-dispensing system is designed to protect the perimeters of friendly forces from potential attacks.
The mines are defensive in nature, as they would delay rather than defeat an enemy advance.
The US State Department said the system would help the self-governing nation “meet current and future threats by providing a credible force capable of deterring adversaries.”
Once delivered, the Volcano is expected to serve as one level of Taipei’s layered defense against Beijing’s forces.