Taiwan will purchase 108 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks from U.S.

According to a statement released on July 8, 2019, to the website of the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for the M1A2T Abrams Main Battle Tanks and related equipment and support for an estimated cost of $2 billion.

Taiwan will purchase 108 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks from US 925 001
M1A2 Abrams Tanks from A Company, 2-116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (CBCT), Idaho Army National Guard run through field exercises on Orchard Combat Training Center (OCTC). (Picture source U.S. MoD)

Taiwan has requested to buy one hundred eight (108) M1A2T Abrams Tanks. The Taiwanese armed forces use a lot of military equipment provided by the U.S. government as M60A3 Patton tanks, M109A6 "Paladin" howitzers and AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters, as well as updating existing equipment.

In June 7, 2019, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed that Taiwan has signed a $2 billion dollar weapons deal with the Trump administration, which includes a purchase of 108 M1A2T (M1A2C export variant for Taiwan) Abrams battle tanks. Taiwanese Defense officials intend to use the M1A2T Abrams battle tank to "replace Taiwan’s aging American-made M60A3 battle tanks and the Taiwanese-manufactured M48H CM11 tanks.

The M1A2 Abrams is a further improvement of the Abrams M1A1 main battle tank with a commander's independent thermal viewer, weapon station, position navigation equipment, and a full set of controls and displays linked by a digital data bus. The improvements of the M1A2 include Improved Commander's Weapon Station (ICWS), Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV), an Inter-Vehicular Information System (IVIS), Position/Navigation System (POS/NAV) and several survivability initiatives.

The main armament of M1A2 Abrams consists of one 120 mm smoothbore M256 cannon which can fire a wide range of ammunition as the M829 APFSDS-T (Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized, Discarding Sabot), M830 HEAT-MP-T (High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi Purpose - Tracer), M831 TP-T training round and M865 TPCSDS-T training round. Mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament is a 7.62 mm M240 machine gun, and a similar weapon skate-mounted on the left side of the turret for the loader can be elevated from -30 to +65º, total traverse being 265º.

The hull and the turret of the M1A2 Abrams is made with an advanced armor similar to the Chobham armor developed in the UK that gives protection against ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guide Missile) and RPG (Rocket-propelled grenade). The amour of the M1A2 also includes 2nd generation depleted uranium armor components.