A high-ranking military officer told legislators on Monday that the Ministry of National Defense is “negotiating” with the U.S. over the arms sales of M1A1, an American third-generation main battle tank.
In a Foreign and National Defense Committee meeting, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Shih-ying asked Deputy Defense Minister Po Hung-hui whether the next U.S. administration will sell more arms to Taiwan, and then asked him to “identify” from a list of American weaponry which are the most likely arms sales items to Taiwan.
Po said the M1A1 tank is the only item in the list that is currently under negotiation.
The Control Yuan said that it is giving priority to the military’s “new generation tanks” building plan. Even though Taiwan owns a great many tanks, but they lag behind advanced tanks by at least a generation, the Control Yuan said.
There are two kinds of main battle tanks in Taiwan, with one being the M60A3, which were purchased from the U.S. in batches after 1995 and are more than 30 years old. The U.S. began to replace the M60A3 with new tanks in 1991 after the first U.S.-Iraq war ended.
The other type is the home-made CM-11, which adopts the M60A3 chassis, M48A3 turret, and M1A1 gun firing system, but they are more than 25 years old, the Control Yuan added.