Oct. 30 (UPI) — Taiwan is prepared to purchase 108 Abrams M1A2T tanks from the United States under a $ 2.2 billion deal, the Taiwanese army chief of staff said.
At a question-and-answer session this week before the national legislature’s foreign affairs and defense committee, Lt. Gen. Yang Hai-ming confirmed that Taiwan will sign a letter of offer and acceptance in November.
Committee member Johnny Chaing said at the meeting that the letter from the United States is expected soon.
In July, the U.S. Department of State gave its approval of the sale of 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 1,240 BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, 409 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 250 FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles through the Foreign Military Sales program.
The sale of the tanks, built in several variants in the United States since 1979, replace its aging CM-11 Brave Tiger and M60A3 TTS battle tanks. The CM-11 was developed by American General Dynamics and the Taiwanese Army Armored Vehicle Development Center.
The Taiwanese Army and Lockheed Martin, maker of the Abrams’ 120mm gun, are also in talks over a request to transfer 12 pieces of defense technology to Taiwan, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa said at the meeting.
Lockheed Martin seeks to transfer production technology to Taiwan so local contractors can build the gun.