Taiwan to take delivery of first batch of Black Hawks in December

Taiwan to take delivery of first batch of Black Hawks in December
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers rappel from UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The United States will be delivering the first batch of six UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Taiwan starting mid-December, the R.O.C. Army said yesterday. An unidentified Army official yesterday told the Central News Agency that the six helicopters are part of the total 60 choppers to arrive in Taiwan in seven batches.

The first six choppers will arrive in Taiwan in mid-December by sea. All 60 helicopters are expected to arrive in Taiwan by 2018, the official said.

The first batch choppers was expected to be assembled at a local harbour before Army personnel fly them to an Army Aviation Special Forces base in Tainan City.

According to the official, the UH-60 helicopters will be mainly used for transportation. The more advanced helicopters will replace the military's aging UH-1H helicopter fleet, the official said.

Fifteen of them will be used for disaster relief by Taiwan's National Airborne Service Corps under the Ministry of the Interior.

The Taiwan military has previously received 30 AH-64Es advanced attack helicopters it bought from the US in six batches between November 2013 and October this year.

The 60 Black Hawk helicopters, worth US$3.1 billion (S$4 billion), are part of the arms sale package announced by the US in 2010.

Also included in the package were two Osprey Class mine-hunting ships and 12 ATM-84L and RTM-84L Harpoon Block II Telemetry missiles as well as 114 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles and technical support worth US$2.82 billion, 35 multifunctional information distribution systems low volume terminals (MIDS/LVT-1) and 25 MIDS on ships terminals.

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