Taiwan plans to buy 120 M1A1 Abrams

taiwan.soldier.tank_picTaipei Times is reporting that the Republic of China Ministry of National Defense has stated that they are sticking with a plan to purchase 120 M1A1 Abrams tanks.  The deal is set to be finalized in 2017 with delivery starting in 2020 and is valued at $1.08 billion.  The 120 tanks would come from existing US inventory and would replace Taiwan’s M60A3 and CM-11 Brave Tiger main battle tanks.  The article notes that the original plan was to purchase M1A2 tanks, but the less expensive M1A1 was selected instead.  Upon delivery, the 120 tanks are to constitute two battalions for deployment at the main ROC infantry base in Hsinchu County’s Hukou Township, which is tasked with the defense of the capital, Taipei, and northern Taiwan.