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Military


Army Equipment - Modernization

The Taiwan Army's equipment modernization effort has focused on improving mobility and fire power, primarily through the acquisition of tanks, helicopters, and short-range air defense missiles. The Taiwan Army's equipment modernization effort was focused in the 1990s on improving mobility and fire power, primarily through the acquisition of tanks, helicopters, and short-range air defense missiles. Taiwan also acquired 42 AH-1W Cobra attack and 26 OH-58D Kiowa scout helicopters.

The primary weapon systems of the ROC ground forces include M48H and M60A3 tanks, and by 2005 Taiwan would an armor force of about 1,500 tanks. In June 1996 the US annunced an agreement for selling Taiwan 300 M60A3 main battle tanks with thermal sights and 105mm gun for $223 million. In August 1997 it was announced that the United States would transfer 180 surplus M60A3 tanks to Taiwan over the following 12 months in a deal worth about $1 million per vehicle. Taiwan acquired a total of 480 M-60A3 tanks; they would join an already large tank force consisting of some 450 M-48H and 300 M-48A5 medium tanks and over 1,000 much older M-41 and M-24 light tanks (most of which are said to be in storage). In late 1998 there was some informal discussion of an American sale of a number of surplus M-1 Abrams tanks (armed with the 105mm gun) at a unit price of around US$1.4 million, but this scheme remained speculative.

Other major equipment items include M109 and M110 self-propelled artillery; M113, V-150, and CM-21 armored personnel carriers; UH-1H helicopters; Kung-feng 6A rocket systems; TOW-type anti-tank guided weapons; Chaparral SP, Hawk, Tien-kung (Sky Bow), and Tien-chien (Sky Sword) air defense missile systems; as well as Hsiung-feng I and Hsiung-feng II anti-ship missile systems. Taiwan also has acquired 42 AH-1W Cobra attack and 26 OH-58D Kiowa scout helicopters.

The ROC Army would spend over US$385 million to deploy 200 fourth-generation Patriot missiles-the most improved version. The only surface-to-air radar-guided anti-missile system ever tested in combat, Patriot missiles were used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War to defend against Scud missile attacks. The 200 Patriot missiles would be installed in three missile batteries in northern Taiwan.

After deferring a decision on Taiwan’s request for attack helicopters, the Bush Administration, in May 2002, approved the request, and Taiwan began negotiations on 30 AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters by Boeing. Afterwards, Taiwan also considered the AH-1Z Cobra helicopters by Bell.

In mid-2005 Taiwan began negotiations with US companies to purchase attack and transport helicopters and upgrade the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters. Taiwan had a requirement for 35 transport helicopters and 30 attack and transport helicopters. Taiwan and Bell Helicopter-Textron discussed co-manufacturing UH-1Y Huey light utility and AH-1Z King Cobra attack helicopters. The UH-1Y would replace some of the Army's Bell UH-1Hs, which have been in service since the 1970s. Bell also proposed upgrading the Army's 62 Bell AH-1W Super Cobras, acquired in the 1990s, to AH-1Z configuration. Sikorsky proposed the UH-60 Black Hawk to replace Taiwan's UH-1H fleet. Boeing proposed the AH-64D Apache Longbow to fulfil the attack helicopter requirement.

In April 2007, Taiwan’s military decided to procure 30 Apaches. The first six of 30 Boeing AH-64E Apache “Guardian” attack helicopters ordered from the US were delivered in December 2013 under the Tian Ying, or “Sky Eagle” program. Taiwan was the first international customer for the Guardian model, which attained initial operating capability (IOC) in the US Army in November 2013.

On 21 October 2020 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of eleven (11) High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) M142 Launchers and related equipment for an estimated cost of $436.1 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

TECRO has requested to buy eleven (11) High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) M142 Launchers; sixty-four (64) Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) M57 Unitary Missiles; seven (7) M1152Al High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs); eleven (11) M240B Machine Guns, 7.62MM; and seventeen (17) International Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (IFATDS). Also included are fifty-four (54) M28A2 Low Cost Reduced Range Practice Rocket Pods (LCRRPR); eleven (11) M2Al machine guns, .50 caliber; twenty-two (22) AN/NRC-92E dual radio systems; seven (7) AN/NRC-92E dual radio ground stations; fifteen (15) AN/VRC-90E single radio systems; eleven (11) M1084A2 cargo Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) Resupply Vehicles (RSV); two (2) M1089A2 cargo wrecker FMTV RSV; eleven (11) M1095 trailer cargo FMTV, 5-ton; support equipment; communications equipment; spare and repair parts; test sets; laptop computers; training and training equipment; publication; systems integration support; technical data; Stockpile Reliability Program (SRP): Quality Assurance and Technical Assistance Teams; U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

This proposed sale is consistent with U.S. law and policy as expressed in Public Law 96-8. This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.

The recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense. Acquisition of HIMARS will contribute to the recipient's goal of updating its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing these systems into its armed forces.

On 04 August 2021 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System and related equipment for an estimated cost of $750 million. TECRO has requested to buy forty (40) 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems; twenty (20) M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles (FAASV); one (1) Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS); five (5) M88A2 Hercules vehicles; five (5) M2 Chrysler Mount .50 caliber machine guns; and one thousand six hundred ninety-eight (1,698) multi-option, Precision Guidance Kits (PGK). Also included are M109A6/M992A2 overhaul, conversion and refurbishment services.

This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient's continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region. This proposed sale of M109A6 SPH will contribute to the modernization of the recipient's self-propelled howitzer fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats. These systems will contribute to the recipient's goal of updating its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing these systems into its armed forces.

In response to the United States government's announcement of the sale of 40 M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems and related equipment to Taiwan, Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang thanked the US on behalf of the government of Taiwan for fulfilling its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

Spokesperson Chang noted that this arms sale was the first by the US to Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office, and demonstrates the great importance the US government attaches to Taiwan's defense capabilities. By providing defensive weapons and helping Taiwan strengthen its self-defense capabilities, the US government was improving Taiwan's confidence in efforts to ensure regional security and peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwanese defense officials were forced to regroup on plans for artillery forces after being told that the US has pushed back the estimated delivery date for 40 howitzer systems by at least three years as Washington races to supply more weapons to war-torn Ukraine. Taipei’s $750 million order was “crowded out” of US production lines, delaying delivery to 2026 at the soonest, rather than starting in 2023 as planned, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on 02 April 2022. As a result, the ministry is looking at other available weapons systems, such as truck-based rocket launchers produced by Lockheed Martin Corp., to fill the void and will submit a budget proposal once a decision has been made.




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Page last modified: 03-05-2022 19:23:24 ZULU