An upgraded version called the M41D is still serving on the frontline in Kinmen County, and will continue to serve alongside the M60A3, CM-11 and CM-12 as Taiwan’s main battle tanks.
Taiwan has a long history with the M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tank. The first batch of 46 M41 tanks arrived at Keelung in October 1958 and the total number eventually reached more than 700. Most of Taiwan’s M41s have now been retired, although a few are still used for training. An upgraded version called the M41D is still serving on the frontline in Kinmen County, and will continue to serve alongside the M60A3, CM-11 and CM-12 as Taiwan’s main battle tanks.
The fully upgraded M41D tank, based on the original M41 but with a new diesel engine, refitted turret and thermal imaging. The original engine was replaced by a new Detroit Diesel 8V-71T diesel engine, enabling the tank to reach speeds of up to 72 km/h and increasing its range to 450 km.
The turret was altered to carry a Taiwanese-manufactured variant of the M32 known as the M32K1, as well as a co-axial Type 74 general purpose machine gun. The M32K1 has a fume extractor and a different muzzle brake, and has been upgraded with thermal imaging sights. In 1982, the US AAI Corporation announced that it had developed a 76 mm APFSDS shell for the M32A1 and M32/T91E3, which greatly increased the M41 tank’s lethality. Both Denmark and the Republic of China purchased an undisclosed amount of the new ammunition.
The M41 Walker Bulldog tank is a light tank developed by the United States to replace the M24 Chaffee tank after the end of World War II. During the M41’s service career, he participated in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In 1953, the M41 officially replaced the M24 in the US Army. The prototype vehicle appeared for a short time in the Korean War. By 1969, the vehicle began to be gradually retired, and the equipment did not long remain in service.
It was the first US military light tanks for export during the Cold War. Although the US military does not like M41, it does not delay its export. A total of 22 countries and regions were equipped with this type of tank, and there are more than 5,500 vehicles in total. Both Taiwan’s army and the Marine Corps are equipped.
After the performance of M41A3 was upgraded to M41D, the appearance of the side group armor was increased, and the tank was updated. The fire control system has a thermal imager, a computerized ballistic computer, and a 41D aiming and fire control system. Although it is still 76mm guns, but removed Fire cap, increased gun barrel smoke evacuator, can fire fin-stabilized armor-piercing projectile.
The vehicles continued to stay in Kinmen and were equipped with the tank camp of the Ministry of Defense. Although on the small terrain of Kinmen Island, such a weakly armored tank actually has poor survivability in the face of the People’s Liberation Army.