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10:03 AM, March 20, 2019
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M1A2 tank (image: US Army)

Taiwan is eyeing to purchase 108 United States (US)-made main battle tanks (MBTs) designated as M1A2X in this year.

“The US will announce the sale of M1A2X battle tanks to Taiwan within the next three months,” Taiwan News reported quoting a military official as saying Tuesday.

The M1A2X is believed to be a special configuration variant of the M1A2C being offered for sale to Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense plans to acquire US-made Abrams tanks to replace some M60A3 Patton and CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks currently in service.

After Taiwan’s previous attempt to buy US’ M1 Abrams tank in 2017 failed, the country had planned to upgrade their fleet of 400 M60A3 tanks. Other than the M60A3 TTS, Taiwan also has approximately 400 CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks which has a hybrid M60 chassis fitted with the turret from the older M48 Patton, and has the fire control system of the M1 Abrams, according to an October report published by DefenceNews.

According to media reports in recent weeks, Taiwan ramped up its requests for US-built defense instruments this year. The country also submitted a request for the sale of 66 F-16V Block 70/72 fighter jets from the US for an approximate $13 billion costing an approximate $70 million to $90 million a piece in late February.

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