PARIS --- Taiwan's defense ministry has obtained approval to buy 108 M-1A2 Abrams main battle tanks from the United States at a cost of NT$30 billion (US$990 million) to replace its aging M60A3 and CM-11 tanks.
Taiwan media reported earlier this week that the funds will be allocated in next year’s budget, and an official request for the sale will be made to the United States. The request will also include training, five years’ worth of spare parts as well as an undisclosed quantity of advanced 120mm ammunition, but it is uncertain whether the US government will approve the sale.
In addition to the new tanks, the Taiwanese army is also circulating a wish list of equipment it requires, and which includes anti-tank guided missiles, self-propelled artillery (120mm mortars and 155mm gun/howitzers) and air-defense systems, infantry fighting vehicles, armored recovery vehicles, and ancillary equipment.
If the sale is approved, the Taiwanese Army plans to assign the new M-1A2 tanks to two battalions of the Sixth Army Corps, which is deployed in Northern Taiwan to protect the central government and subordinate agencies.