The military expects to receive the first shipment of M1A2T Abrams tanks from the US by 2023, but would send personnel to the US to undergo training and accept the tanks in 2022, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) told a legislative meeting yesterday.
The Ministry of National Defense would know the exact dates when it receives the letter of offer and acceptance early next month, he said.
The Legislative Yuan last year approved a budget of NT$40.5 billion (US$1.3 billion) for 108 M1A2T tanks.
The most recent budget submitted by the ministry showed that it plans to order 18 of the new tanks in 2022, 18 in 2023, 28 in 2024, 30 in 2025 and the remaining 14 in 2026.
At yesterday’s meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) asked ministry officials about how the M1A2T compares with tanks used by Japan, South Korea, China and other countries in the region.
Army Chief of Staff Yang Hai-ming (楊海明) said that the M1A2T is more capable than South Korea’s K2 Black Panther, Japan’s Type 10 and China’s Type 99, their main battle tanks.
For amphibious assaults, China relies on lighter tanks, such as its Type 63A, which have even less firepower than the Type 99, he said.
Asked by Tsai about the M1A2T’s fuel, Yang said that it can use either aviation fuel or diesel, adding that the army is considering using diesel.
Asked whether roads in Taiwan can support the weight of the M1A2T, at more than 60 tonnes, Yang said that they could.
Additional reporting by CNA
‘GOOD SIGN’: Thanks to public efforts, the number of COVID-19 cases is on a downward trend, the minister of health said, but told people not to let their guard down The COVID-19 situation appears to be relatively stable and on a downward trend, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, as he reported 185 domestic COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. “This seems to be a relatively good sign,” Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a daily news briefing. In Taipei and New Taipei City, the overall situation seems to be heading in a good direction, he added. He attributed it to public efforts to control the spread of the virus, but warned people against letting their guard down. Of the new local cases, 83 are males and
The EU is set to lift travel restrictions for US and Taiwanese residents as soon as this week, in the latest step toward a return to normal, despite concerns over the spread of potentially dangerous COVID-19 variants. Portugal, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, proposed adding Taiwan, the US, Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Serbia to a so-called “white list” of countries from which non-essential travel to the bloc is allowed, a diplomat familiar with the matter said. Assuming no objections, EU government envoys in Brussels would today approve the expanded
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
NEW BATCH: The ‘Liberty Times’ has reported that 240,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine are to arrive in Taiwan today, following the first 150,000 doses that arrived in May The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 175 domestic cases of COVID-19 infection and 19 deaths. Of the local cases, 100 are male and 75 are female, with an onset of symptoms between June 3 and Wednesday, the center said. New Taipei City had the most local infections, with 87 cases, followed by Taipei with 34 cases, Miaoli County with 31, Hsinchu County with 10, Taoyuan with seven, and two each in Hualien County, Keelung and Taichung, it said. Of the 54 domestic cases reported outside Taipei and New Taipei City, 53 cases had known sources of infection, while one had an