Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has decided to acquire a new fleet of 108 US-made M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks to replace some M60A3 Patton and CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks in service, according to a news report published on the Taipei Times website on 10 July.
The potential deal, said the newspaper, is valued at NT30 billion (USD9.87 billion) and will call for the tanks to be delivered for two armored battalions under the 6th Army Corps stationed in northern Taiwan.
The Taipei Times cited an anonymous source reported that Taiwan’s government is to buy “about 100” 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.
The CM-11 Brave Tiger is one of the modern tanks in army service, that was developed by the American General Dynamics and the Republic of China Army (ROCA) Armored Vehicle Development Center. It is an advanced version of the of the M48 Patton, it is also known as the M48H Main Battle Tank. Some CM-11 tanks also equipped with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) developed by CSIST.
In turn, the M1A2 Abrams is a tank of the next generation, compared with M60A3 Patton and CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks. Acquisition of more than a hundred new M1A2 Abrams tanks will truly increase the capabilities of theArmed Forces of Taiwan.
The newspaper also noted that tank purchase is only a part of the army’s plan to replace the vehicles, weapons and other equipment that have been in service for more than 25 years.