Confirm ERA fit on Taiwan's CM11 tanks

8:21:00 PM
TAIPEI, -- Recent photographs have confirmed that at least part of the Republic of China Army (RoCA) fleet of CM11 main battle banks (MBT) have been upgraded with the installation of explosive reactive armour (ERA).

The CM11 MBT is essentially a brand new US-supplied General Dynamics Land Systems M60 hull fitted with a modified turret from the older M48 MBT. The CM11 is also referred to as the M48H 'Brave Tiger'.

The ERA, shown in photographs taken during exercises earlier in January, is fitted on the glacis plate as well as the front and turret sides to provide a higher level of protection against weapons fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.

This ERA is not normally fitted during peacetime training as there is no threat.

The exact origins of the ERA fitted to the CM11 MBT has not been confirmed, but it is very similar to that developed by France some years ago rather than the Blazer ERA fielded by the Israel Defense Forces.

The CM11's main armament comprises a 105 mm M68 rifled gun with a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun (MG) and banks of grenade launchers.

The gun is fitted with a fume extractor and thermal sleeve but not a muzzle reference system.

The tank commander's original cupola has been removed and replaced by an externally mounted unprotected .50 M2 heavy barrel MG while the loader mans the roof-mounted 7.62 mm MG.

The image also shows a pole-type device on the turret that is probably a meteorological sensor, indicating that the vehicle is fitted with an advanced computerised fire control system including day/thermal sights for commander and gunner.

The RoCA also operates some surplus US Army M60A3 and M48A5 MBTs, all of which are armed with the 105 mm M68 gun.

General Dynamics Land Systems no longer supports any of these MBTs, which will need to be replaced in the future as they are now overmatched by those deployed by China's People's Liberation Army.

Their only potential replacement would be surplus US Army General Dynamics Land Systems M1A1 Abrams MBTs. Such a deal would almost certainly be opposed by China.

A Republic of China Army CM11 MBT fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA).

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