TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Army will receive the first of the 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks it ordered from the United States in 2022, with their arrival in Taiwan scheduled for the following year, the Army chief said Wednesday (September 25).
The price tag for the vehicles should not exceed NT$40.5 billion (US$1.3 billion) but will not be known until early next month, Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) told a legislative committee meeting.
The U.S. will first hand over about a dozen of the tanks to the Taiwanese Army in 2022, but they will remain in the country to train Taiwanese instructors before they are shipped to the island in 2023, the Central News Agency reported.
Army Chief of Staff Yang Hai-ming (楊海明) told the legislators that the new tanks were better than their counterparts used by neighboring countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.
One of the advantages of the M1A2T was that it could use different types of fuel, with the U.S. using military grade jet fuel, though Taiwan might follow the example of Saudi Arabia and use diesel instead, Yang said.
He also assuaged fears by lawmakers that the island’s roads would not be strong enough to suffer many 6-ton tanks rolling over them, according to CNA.