Apache attack helicopters to arrive in Oct.
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A first batch of six U.S.-made AH-64E Apache attack helicopters will be delivered to Taiwan in October, with delivery for the entire purchase of 30 of the aircraft expected to be complete by July 2014, a report said yesterday.
January 13, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
The US$20 billion deal for 30 Apache helicopters was announced by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2008, with aircraft manufacturer Boeing taking orders in October 2000, the Central News Agency said.
The first of the AH-64Es was also delivered to the Taiwan army in a ceremony held in the United States last year. Taiwan's pilots and maintenance personnel have already been receiving training in the United States, CNA said.
The AH-64E is the latest upgraded version of the Apache helicopter. Apart from its attacking capabilities, AH-64E can be a command platform, allowing its crew to control unmanned aircraft.
The U.S. Army commissioned its first AH-64E at the end of 2011, and Taiwan is the only other country that has adopted the upgraded attack helicopters, the CAN said.
The AH-64E aircraft features more powerful T700-GE-701D engines, new composite rotor blades that reduce noise and increase cruise speeds, a new night-vision reconnaissance system, and other improvements.
It has a maximum speed of 365 kph and a combat radius of 480 km. It is equipped with a 30mm gun, with 1,200 rounds of ammunition.
It can carry 16 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and four air-to-air missiles. Missiles options depend on mission requirements, and include the AIM-92 Stinger, the AIM-9 Sidewinder and the BMG-71 TOW.
Taiwan's military will adjust its helicopter fleet deployments in line with the arrival of the AH-64Es, the CNA said.
The new aircraft will be assigned to the army 601 Brigade, whose existing AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters will be transferred to bases, the CNA said. The army's existing OH-58D helicopters, which have been responsible for reconnaissance missions, will also see its work adjusted, the CNA added.