TAIPEI, ($1=28.49 Taiwan New Dollars) — Taiwan is starting preparations for the acquisition of the M1A2T Abrams tanks ordered by the United States, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing the Taiwanese online portal Taiwan News. The first two tanks were manufactured and located in the United States. Taiwanese army officers are expected to travel to the United States and begin training.
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Upon completion of the training, these officers will be the instructors of the Taiwanese army. Taipei expects to receive the remaining quantities in the coming years as follows: 38 tanks will be delivered by 2024, 42 tanks will be delivered in 2025, and 28 tanks by the end of 2026.
The acquisition of M1A2T Abrams from Taiwan is part of China’s national defense program. In this regard, Taipei announced that it is working in all directions to protect not only the population and the territorial integrity of the island nation but also the military equipment it buys. For example, the military has announced that in 2022 it will begin construction of bunkers to increase the viability of armored vehicles during a conflict.
In addition, some large training grounds, such as those in Changan and Kengziku, will be expanded. Work on this activity even began this week, on Thursday, March 17, with the first landfill being Kengzikou.
The M1A2T Abrams is a specially designed US tank for Taiwan. According to preliminary public information, but not yet confirmed, it is assumed that the M1A2T will be much more maneuverable on the battlefield.
M1A2T is actually a client development based on M1A2 SEPv2 [System Enhancement Package]. The main difference, according to experts, will be the Taiwanese army’s requirements for the turret, its armaments, and a series of improvements [without specifying which ones] to ensure better survival. In plain language, this means that in addition to the turret and maneuverability, the M1A2T will receive perhaps a different armor or better missile countermeasures.
In 2019, an interview with the Chief of Staff of the Army Yang Hai-Ming revealed additional information related to the fuel that will be used. According to the chief of staff, the M1A2T will be able to run on aviation fuel or diesel, but Taiwan will most likely choose diesel.
Yang Hai-Ming is also convinced of M1A2T’s ability to counter potential threats. He says Taiwan’s Abrams will be much more capable than South Korea’s K2 Black Panther, Japan’s Type 10, and China’s Type 99. Moreover, Taiwanese intelligence says Beijing will use the Type 63A light tank in the event of a Chinese landing. Yang Hai-Ming compared the M1A2T to the Type 63A and concluded that this Chinese tank used even less firepower than even the other Chinese tank, the Type 99, giving Taiwan hope that the M1A2T was the right choice for defense.
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