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Taiwan confirms US military package request

06 June 2019
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Taiwan’s MND has confirmed plans to procure 108 M1A2 Abrams MBTs (pictured) from the United States. Source: US Army

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has confirmed plans to procure from the US a package of military equipment including more than 100 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) and an assortment of missile systems.

In a statement on 6 June, the MND said that the US planned to sell to Taiwan 108 General Dynamics M1A2 tanks, 1,240 Raytheon BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, 409 Raytheon-Lockheed Martin FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, and 250 FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles made by Raytheon.

The package is reported to be worth about USD2 billion, with the Abrams tanks expected to replace some of the Taiwanese Army's ageing M60A3 MBTs from the US and locally produced M48H CM11 MBTs. Jane's has previously reported that Taiwan had first requested to acquire M1A2 MBTs about 18 years ago. The request was approved in 2001 but the sale did not materialise.

In support of the new acquisitions, the MND said in its statement that it has submitted letters of request (LORs) to the US government and is currently awaiting responses. It added that the sales process is progressing as "normal" and is going according to schedule.

This sales process will include necessary LOR approval from the US before it issues the Taiwanese government with letters of offer and acceptance (LOAs), which detail the terms of the acquisitions. Taiwan would then be expected to review the offers before sending the LOAs back to the US.

The potential sales would then be subject to approval to several branches of the US government before US Congress is notified of the deals.

The MND said in its statement that the procurement package is in line with the US government's Taiwan Relation Act, through which Washington is legally committed to helping to improve the combat effectiveness of the Taiwanese military.

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