Taiwan is considering the purchase of 200 American main battle tanks 2307124

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Defense News - Taiwan

 
 
Monday, July 23, 2012, 03:26 PM
 
Taiwan is considering the purchase of 200 American main battle tanks.
Taiwan is considering purchasing tanks used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan to update its aging fleet, the defense ministry and media said July 23. Taiwan remains wary of China despite a recent improvement in relations, and military experts say the self-ruled island would deploy tanks in the event of a land invasion by its powerful neighbor.
     
Taiwan is considering purchasing tanks used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan to update its aging fleet, the defense ministry and media said July 23. Taiwan remains wary of China despite a recent improvement in relations, and military experts say the self-ruled island would deploy tanks in the event of a land invasion by its powerful neighbor.
Taiwanese army M48 main battle tank
     

The M1 Abrams, which entered U.S. service in 1980 and replaced M60s, are a third-generation main battle tank and would bolster Taiwan’s fleet of about 1,200 tanks, mostly M60s and M48s.

"The case is under the army’s evaluation. After all, the tanks have been used for a while,” David Lo, spokesman for the defence ministry, told AFP. “A lot of issues need to be considered. To name just a few, it’s logistic support, if they could work under the current maintenance system for M60s.”

The Taipei-based United Daily News said some U.S. military equipment may be left to Iraqi and Afghan troops; others may be sold to U.S. allies.

In reaction to queries raised at parliament, Taiwan’s deputy defense minister, Chao Shih-chang, has said the army needs to procure 200 tanks, the News said.

Washington remains the leading arms supplier to Taiwan despite its switching of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

 

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