Update: US confirms Abrams MBT deal with Taiwan

10 July 2019

The US State Department has made a determination to approve a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Taiwan of equipment including General Dynamics M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) and Raytheon Stinger missiles.

The proposed deal was announced on 8 July by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) and is worth an estimated USD2.22 billion. It comes as the US government ‘normalises’ the way it processes military contracts with Taiwan.

The DSCA said it had notified Congress of the deal, which features a range of land systems and weapons including 108 Abrams M1A2T MBTs, 250 Block I-92F Stinger missiles, BAE Systems M88A2 armoured recovery vehicles, Oshkosh M1070A1 heavy equipment transporters, and an assortment of machine guns, munitions, smoke grenade launchers, tank engines and transmissions, and communications equipment.

The US government has announced the possible sale of 108 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks to Taiwan. (US Army)The US government has announced the possible sale of 108 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks to Taiwan. (US Army)

The DSCA said the sale is in response to a request to procure the materiel from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, Taiwan’s principal representative office in Washington. The deal is separated into two projects, with the Abrams tanks and related equipment costed at an estimated USD2 billion and the Stinger missiles valued at USD223.5 million.

The DSCA added that the sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting Taiwan’s efforts to modernise its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.

The sale of the Abrams MBTs will “contribute to the modernisation of [Taiwan’s] main battle tank fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence”, said the DSCA. Taiwan-US interoperability will also be enhanced through the Abrams acquisition, it said.

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