Tue, Jul 10, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Army may buy 30 Apaches: report

AFP , TAIPEI

The army is seeking to buy 30 attack helicopters worth more than US$2 billion, a news report said yesterday.

It plans to spend NT$73 billion (US$2.26 billion) on the US-made Apache helicopters, the Chinese-language United Daily News said, citing a "reliable" military source.

The Ministry of National Defense declined to comment on the report, which said the package still needed the approval of the US and the legislature.

"The Apache is more powerful than the AH-1W now in service with the army. If the reported deal goes through, it would be a boost to Taiwan's anti-landing defenses," Chang Li-te (張立德) of the Defense Technology Monthly said.

The Canada-based Kanwa Asian Defense monthly reported in its latest issue that China is building its first aircraft carrier, which is expected to join the Chinese navy in two to four years.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has accused China of provoking Taiwan by targeting it with nearly 1,000 missiles.

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