Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has announced that it will upgrade its aging fleet of M60A3 Patton tanks with new engines.
The move is part of the country’s continuing efforts to modernize its military arsenal amid the looming possibility of a Chinese invasion.
RENK America has been tapped to deliver the new engines, according to reports by local media.
The company will also provide the engine assembly lines, which will be set up by Taipei’s Army Command at its ordnance development center in Nantou.
The deal is reportedly worth 7.24 billion New Taiwan dollars ($236 billion), with work for the contract expected to be complete by 2028.
First entering service in 1978, the M60A3 Patton tank is currently the main mobile artillery force on Kinmen, Penghu, Taitung, and Hualien islands in the Taiwan Strait.
It features a Raytheon fire control system, AN/WG-2 eyesafe laser rangefinder, and M21 ballistic computer.
Its crew is also provided with added protection in case of a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack.
The tank’s primary weapon is a 105-millimeter M68 rifled gun with 63 rounds. It also has a 7.62mm M240 coaxial machine gun.
The 460 M60A3 Patton tanks in service with the Taiwanese Army are currently equipped with 750-horsepower engines, according to a Liberty Times report.
However, long hours of use have caused a decline in their performance.
The new RENK America engines are 1,000 horsepower, which will greatly improve the tanks’ speed and agility.