Taiwan to get first batch of new Apache helicopters in November

2013/10/17 22:10:40

Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) Taiwan is expected to get six Apache attack helicopters from the United States in early November, a military source said Thursday.

The six AH-64Es will be the first batch of an order of 30 of the advanced U.S. attack helicopters that Taiwan bought for more than US$2 billion. The last batch should be delivered in 2014, the source said.

The helicopters will be shipped to a harbor in Taiwan's southern city of Kaohsiung and then will be flown to an Army Aviation Special Forces base in neighboring Tainan City, the source said, adding that the aircraft are expected to arrive on Nov. 4 at the earliest.

According to the source, the helicopters were previously expected to be delivered to Taiwan in late October, but the schedule was delayed due to the U.S.' partial government shutdown.

The second batch of the Apache helicopters is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan in December and the helicopters will be formally commissioned into service next year, the source said.

Taiwan has sent 61 pilots to the U.S. to undergo training in flying the Apache helicopters and they have all completed the training and returned to Taiwan, the source added.

The U.S. Army has been using the AH-64Es, and Taiwan will be the world's first country other than the U.S. to deploy this type of attack chopper, the source said.

The model E is the latest model of the Apache attack helicopter family.

(By Claudia Liu and Elaine Hou)
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