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Taiwan interested in drone choppers, mines from U.S.

2018/11/05 14:26:06

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's military is hoping to purchase MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopters and Mk-62 Quickstrike Mines from the United States, a senior official said Monday.

Defense Ministry Department of Strategic Planning Director Wu Pao-kun (吳寶琨) said the military is interested in the weapon systems because they fit perfectly into the Taiwan Armed Forces' strengthening of its asymmetric warfare capabilities amid a growing military threat and has adjusted its focus for defending against a possible Chinese invasion.

Despite Taiwan's interest, however, Wu said the U.S. has not agreed to sell Taiwan the weapons.

"We are still making more in-depth evaluations," Wu told lawmakers when asked to comment on the issue during a Legislative hearing.

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout is an unmanned autonomous helicopter developed by Northrop Grumman for use by the U.S. Armed Forces. It is designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, aerial fire support and precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces.

Meanwhile, the Mk-62 Quickstrike Mine features a fast response-to-readiness capability and is a new-generation aircraft-laid bottom mine for use against submarines and surface targets.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)
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