Sikorsky Aircraft Corp was awarded a US$48.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of four “green” UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to Taiwan, the US Department of Defense announced last week.
Work will be performed at the Sikorsky plant in Stratford, Connecticut, with an estimated -completion date of May 30, 2013, said the release, issued on Thursday.
The four “green” helicopters — a term referring to initial assembly of a standard platform before customer add-ons are requested — are part of the 60 Black Hawk utility helicopters included in the US$6.4 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) notified to US Congress in January last year.
The estimated total cost for all 60 helicopters is US$3.1 billion.
The package includes a request for radar warning receivers, infrared countermeasure sets, missile-warning systems, laser-detecting sets, spare engines, machine gun systems, aviator night vision goggles and communication/data link systems for Taiwan’s “Po-Sheng” C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and -reconnaissance) architecture.
Once integrated into the armed forces, the Black Hawks will replace its aging fleet of UH-1H Huey helicopters and serve a series of functions, including personnel movement, cargo lifting and medical evacuation, as well as defense of vital installations and close air support for ground forces.
The UH-60M is the US Army’s primary multi-mission helicopter.
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Twitter aims to ‘play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements,’ the US company said Twitter has thrown its support behind the “Milk Tea Alliance” of democracy movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing Western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters. The social media company yesterday prominently displayed flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support democracy advocates in places that have in the past few years seen historic protests and share a love for the beverage. The emoji will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which was posted been 11 million times
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
TEMPERED EXPECTATIONS: Although analysts welcomed the updated guidance from Washington, Taipei should push back on ‘unnecessary’ restrictions, they said New US guidelines expanding official contacts with Taiwan might be a positive step, but Taipei should still try to break down limits on bilateral interactions that stem from Washington’s “one China” policy, foreign affairs analysts said on Saturday. On Friday, the US Department of State announced that it had issued new guidelines to “liberalize” government contacts with Taiwan, which it said were designed to “encourage engagement ... that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship.” Although not made public, the guidelines would reportedly allow US officials to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts in US federal buildings and at Taiwanese representative offices in the US,