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Apache choppers to arrive with ceremony this week

TAIPEI -- The Ministry of National Defense will hold a formal delivery ceremony later this week for the first batch of six AH 64E Apache attack helicopters purchased from the United States, the agency said recently.

The six helicopters, which arrived in Taiwan in early November and were part of a 30 helicopter package costing Taiwan more than US$2 billion, will greatly improve the military's mobility and firepower, the ministry said.

The ceremony, slated for Friday at an Army Aviation Special Forces base in Tainan, is expected to be attended by President Ma Ying-jeou and Defense Minister Yen Ming and will feature demonstrations of the new helicopters' capabilities.

Taiwan will be the first country in the world other than the U.S. to deploy the AH-64E Apache chopper when they become operational in 2014, a military source said.

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