According to Reuters quoted the news, the United States has prepared a new round of arms sales to Taiwan, involving 108 M1A2X main combat vehicles, as well as a large number of other anti-tank weapons and air defense missiles, with a total value of about 2.651 billion US dollars. The US administrative department has already The case was officially informed by the Congress.
In all previous military exercises, the Taiwan military wanted to use its armored units to carry out anti-landing and anti-airborne operations. However, the PLA’s modernization continued to advance and new equipment continued to serve. On the other hand, the current tanks of the Taiwan military mostly served for more than 30 years. Old, need to be updated, the new equipment such as the Clouded Leopard 30mm turret-mounted combat vehicle also has problems such as insufficient capacity. Therefore, it is doubtful whether the Taiwanese armored troops can actually complete the task.
The arms sales are believed to significantly enhance the Taiwan Army’s combat capabilities and enhance its anti-landing capabilities. However, in the long run, the expansion of the cross-strait military power gap is still difficult to change.
Reuters reported that the largest number of arms sales to Taiwan this time is the 108 M1A2X Abrams main tanks manufactured by General Dynamics, worth about $2 billion. As for anti-tank weapons, there are 409 FGM-148 Javelin missiles, 1,240 BGM-71 Tow anti-tank missiles, and 250 FIM-92 portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
According to the report, the United States is Taiwan’s main supplier of arms. The latter has also been interested in updating existing American tanks for many years, such as the M60 Patton tank, which has a history of nearly 60 years. The US-made M1A2X tank to be sold this time weighs about 70 tons and is equipped with a 120mm caliber gun and composite armor. The M1A2 early models M1A1 and M1 were used during the 1991 Gulf War to destroy a large number of Soviet-made Soviet tanks.
Taiwan has both the main chariot: long service performance behind
With the implementation of a series of disarmament plans, the size of the Taiwan Army has dropped from about 230,000 in the mid-1990s to about 100,000 today, but the level of mechanization has made considerable progress during the same period. Taiwan has established a mechanized army with 460 M60A3, 450 CM-11 main battle tanks, a large number of M-113 and CM-21 armored personnel carriers, and CM-32 “Cloud Leopard” wheeled armored vehicles.
However, behind the fully mechanized army, it is the main battle equipment that is rapidly aging. Taking tanks as an example, the M60A3 Barton’s current service of the Taiwan military is generally more than 30 years old. The younger CM-11 and CM-12 vehicles will also serve for 30 years, which makes the tanks and equipment difficult to maintain. The accidents are endless and so on.
This year’s Hanguang exercise once wanted to set up an anti-landing force for armored units.
The use of the armored units by the Taiwan military focused more on defensive counterattacks after the PLA launched its landing operations. For example, in the Hanguang exercise held in Taiwan this year, the Taiwan military’s Golden Gate Defence Command conducted a “South Coast Anti-landing Operation” exercise in the Luobo Beach. After the PLA’s landing, it was dispatched by the Taiwanese army’s tank group to annihilate it. At the beach.
However, the performance of the main battle tanks of the Taiwanese equipment such as the M60A3 and the CM-11 is long behind. This type of post-war second-generation tank or second-generation semi-main battle tank, if it was in the 1990s, the 63-type amphibious tank facing the amphibious force of the People’s Liberation Army Can get the upper hand, but now these fire control system technology level stays 30 years ago, in the tank against the 30-meter cannon, anti-tank missile launcher, and even 105 mm line guns, the liberation of the new sharp 05-type amphibious vehicle, When the 08-wheeled armored car family, it is difficult to have an advantage, and if faced with the PLA armored forces equipped with new tanks such as the Type 99, I am afraid the situation will be even more severe.
Taiwan’s new cloud leopard armored vehicles: insufficient capacity or early abandonment
Since the Taiwan Army has not launched a new type of land assault vehicle for a long time, the CM-34 “Cloud Leopard” 30mm rifle-loaded combat vehicle unveiled in the 2019 Hanguang exercise has an American 30mm Bushmaster chain gun, which is the Taiwan Army. The refreshing new equipment has made the Taiwanese people feel excited.
However, the number of clouded Leopard 30mm rifle-mounted combat vehicles is only about 250. The lack of production capacity, the procurement of malpractices and the design of the vehicle itself may cause the Taiwan military to be forced to abandon this type of armored vehicles early, or to purchase cheaper ones. The US-based Stryker armored vehicles are in service (both use the same diesel engine), achieving the goal of replacing thousands of armored transport vehicles.
M1A2X effectively enhances the Taiwan Army’s combat power
The United States announced that it intends to sell Taiwan’s M1A2X tanks and other military equipment, to a certain extent, it can help Taiwan’s armored forces to get rid of the dilemma. Whether it is from the army morale or the wartime power comparison, it plays a decisive role. It is understood that the arms sales case accounts for about a quarter of Taiwan’s annual military spending. It will be the largest arms sales sold by Taiwan since the Trump administration took office, and its symbolic significance is extraordinary.
The most watched 108 M1A2X main battle tanks will be used to replace the old M60A3 TTS main combat vehicles, which are the highest-end models used in parallel with the US military. The Taiwan military is expected to use this main battle tank and deploy it near the center of the political and economic center in the north. During the battle of the dagger and the assault on the shore, the powerful firepower of this type of tank can be used as a weapon for emergency assistance. Some Taiwanese informed military officials also revealed that the M1A2X chariot purchased this time should belong to a new chariot that has been manufactured and not used. It is not a second-hand product that is worried about all walks of life.
In addition, the arms sales include a large number of anti-tank missiles, including Javelin missiles and Tow II, with a number of more than 1,600. According to the data, the Taiwan Army has the highest density of anti-tank missiles in the world, in order to destroy the enemy main battle tanks that have landed. In addition, there are 250 shoulder-type Stinger missiles, which are used by the gendarmerie and the Marine Corps of the defending Taipei Military and Political Center. A small number of them are used by the Taiwanese navy on new patrol ships without air defense capabilities.
However, the PLA Army still has a relatively strong amphibious combat force. According to the 2018 Global Military RankingsThe People’s Liberation Army has more than 7,700 tanks, which is higher than the US’s 5,800 units, second only to Russia with more than 20,000 tanks (Russia’s active tanks only 2,000); the Taiwan Army has about 2,000 tanks.
At present, the main force of the People’s Liberation Army is mainly the third generation, including the latest 99-type main tanks, equipped with a unique laser sighting suppression interference device and active defense device to improve the survival rate of the vehicle on the battlefield. In recent years, the PLA has demanded a significant reduction in equipment varieties, retaining equipment with many functions and upgrade potential. The old 63A amphibious tanks and various old-style amphibious armored vehicles have already been replaced, and the proportion of equipment for new and latest weapons systems is estimated to be over 70%.
The liberation of the PLA has continuously produced new tanks including models such as 99A and 96A at a rate of 100 vehicles per year. It is expected that by 2025, the number of tanks equipped by the PLA armored forces will be reduced to less than 3,000, but the performance of active tanks will have an overall The new generation of main battle armor weapons, represented by 96B tanks, 99A tanks, light tanks and wheeled assault vehicles, will become the protagonists of future ground warfare.
The Taiwanese side can purchase the M1A2X new tank, which is really helpful for improving combat power. However, in the long run, because the cross-strait economic and population levels are too far apart, the military power gap will still only widen and the defense problems facing the Taiwan military are still difficult to understand.