Taiwan is operating about 450 CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks. CM-11 is a strange tank produced by Taiwan itself, the unusual point here is a hybrid design between the M60 chassis fitted with the turret from the older M48 Patton and the fire control system of the M1 Abrams.
International media reported, the US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for the M1A2T Abrams Main Battle Tanks and related equipment and support for an estimated cost of $2 billion.
In the history of formation and development, the Taiwanese armed forces use a lot of military equipment provided by the US government as M60A3 Patton tanks, M109A6 “Paladin” howitzers and AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters, as well as updating existing equipment.
According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, the contract to buy 108 M1A2T tanks will help the island replace Taiwan’s aging American-made M60A3 main battle tanks and the Taiwanese-manufactured M48H CM11 tanks.
Taiwan is operating about 450 CM-11 Brave Tiger tanks. CM-11 is a strange tank produced by Taiwan itself, the unusual point here is a hybrid design between the M60 chassis fitted with the turret from the older M48 Patton and the fire control system of the M1 Abrams. With M48’s outdated turret, it is hard to say if this is an improved or a reversal tank version.
The design work began in the early 1980s. At this time, the Republic of China established the Armored Vehicle Development Center, and was tasked to develop military armored vehicles. CM-11 was born under the cooperation of General Dynamics. The development of the tank has two main purposes, first was to avoid the limitations set by the US-PRC Joint Communique, and second was to allow the Republic of China Army to acquire Second Generation Main battle tanks.
As a hybrid design, CM-11 used the M60A3 hull was procured from the United States in 1987. CM-11 used the M48A3 turret and the M68A1 105mm main cannon was produced by the Army Ordnance Maintenance and Development Center. The Commander’s turret was procured from Israel with an M2 Browning 12.7mm machine gun, the loader operates an M240 7.62mm machine gun, the coaxial machine gun is also an M240. Both sides of the turret have one M239 Smoke Grenade Launcher mounted, like the M60A3 tank.
It was introduced to the public on April 14, 1990. The United States designated it as M48H, where the “H” means Hybrid, and the Republic of China designated it CM-11 and named it Brave Tiger. In 1988, two prototype CM-11s were finished and 450 CM-11 were ordered to built.
CM-11 equipped with a heart is a Continental AVDS-1790-2C air-cooled Twin-turbo diesel engine providing 750 horsepower. This gave the vehicle a maximum road speed of 48 km/h (30 miles) on prepared surfaces.
The greatest features and advantages of this 50-ton machine are that it has the same level of digital & analogy hybrid ballistic calculator as the M1A1 Abrams MBT. It has a two-dimensional sighting and gun stabilization system, more complete than the M60A3’s one-dimensional stabilizing device. Combining the AN/VSG-2 Thermal imager, AN/VVS-2 Image Intensifier, AN/GVS-5 Nd-YAG Laser rangefinder. This allowing the CM-11 to have Fire-on-the-Move and Night Combat capabilities. It also has the highest probability of first round hit compared to all other Republic of China Army tanks.
Like the base M48 before it, the CM-11 would be crewed by four personnel made up of the driver, the gunner, loader and vehicle commander. The commander’s position was at right of the turret, just behind the gunner, while the loader was situated to his left. Base armor protection reached 143mm at the most critical facings.
As mentioned above, CM-11 was developed based on the models that have passed the peak, so designing armor and guns was outdated. The Chinese PLA’s second-generation Type 96G tank and its third-generation Type 99 tank are both armed with a 125mm main gun. The CM-11’s armor does not offer significant protection against their 125mm APFSDS and HEAT shots. The ROCA knew this disadvantage very early, and tried to introduce explosive reactive armor from the French company GIAT. However, the weight of the additional ERA installations caused excessive stress on the M60 chassis’s torsion bar suspension, so plans to install ERA on the tanks was put on hold until a solution was found.
Throughout his life, the C-11 encountered some serious incidents, in 2016 the 105mm gun of Taiwanese tank exploded during firing shells in North Hukou test center, one soldier was wounded. Earlier, Taiwanese tank has plunged from a three-metre bridge in heavy rain after a military drill, killing three soldiers.
In 2017, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence started new tank upgrade program for which it allocated 6.5 million USD to state-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology for research and development of upgrade package for 450 M60A3 TTS which begins in 2018.
At the moment, the Armed Forces of Taiwan are in desperate need to update the fleet of their battle tanks. Under expert assessment, Taiwan needs to purchase more than 500 new tanks for parity with the armed forces of continental China.
Thank you for visiting Military-wiki.com. I’m Dung Tran, the person behind all this content. I know some websites are copying my articles. Stop this, or at least respect me by citing the source from Military-wiki.com. Thank you.