The island nation of Taiwan has requested a possible sale of more than 100 main battle tank designated as M1A2X.
U.S. military sales to self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, is an irritant in the relations between the world’s two largest economies.
According to media reports in recent weeks, Taiwan ramped up its requests for U.S.-built defense instruments this year, including fighter jets and tanks. A military official has said the U.S. will announce the sale of M1A2X battle tanks to Taiwan within the next three months, reported by LTN.
Washington said it will make a decision on the tanks within 120 days of the application date.
The M1A2X is a special configuration of the M1A2C, the latest variant of Abrams tanks in production. This version rectifies many of the space, weight and power issues identified during Operation Iraqi Freedom and will be the foundational variant for all future incremental upgrades. In addition to having improved survivability, the Abrams M1A2C can host any mature technology the Army deems operationally relevant. Improvements focus on increasing the electrical power margin, Vehicle Health Management Systems, integrated counter-improvised explosive device protection, a new Auxiliary Power Unit, embedded training and an ammunition data link.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense plans to acquire US-made Abrams tanks to replace some M60A3 Patton and CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks in service.
The Taipei Times cited an anonymous source reported that Taiwan’s government will buy tanks to equip two armored battalions, with the training of a seed cadre and a five-year supply of spare parts included in the package.
At the moment, the Armed Forces of Taiwan are in desperate need to update the fleet of their battle tanks, which primarily consist of obsolete tanks of the M60A3 Patton and CM-11 Brave Tiger type. Under expert assessment, Taiwan needs to purchase more than 500 new tanks for parity with the armed forces of continental China.