The Taiwanese army earlier this year took delivery of the first of 30 Apache combat helicopters from the US and next month pilots and crew will begin training on the platform, which recently received a new designation from the US Army.
As a result of the significant upgrades made to the AH-64D Block III Apache during its development, the US Army recently decided to re-designate it the E model. To date, 25 AH-64Es have been delivered to the US Army and Taiwan received its first delivery during a low-key handover ceremony at Boeing Co’s Mesa facilities in Arizona in May.
According to Aviation Week, training for Taiwanese pilots and crews is expected to begin next month.
Photo courtesy of Boeing Co.
Following approval by the US government in August of contracts for full production of the helicopter, Boeing is now building four AH-64Es per month for the US Army, which plans to buy a total of 690, and three for foreign military sales (FMS). The US has also notified Congress for the sale of eight AH-64Es to Indonesia, 22 to Qatar and 22 to India, the latter under a non-FMS “hybrid” agreement.
If tests at the Naval Air Station China Lake in California last year are any indication, Taiwan’s AH-64E will be a far more formidable combat helicopter than its predecessors. During the drills, the E model reportedly countered realistic air defense threats and was able to maintain its position, unlike the Block II Apaches, which was “shot down” in similar exercises.
“The Block III absolutely frustrated these folks that operate these [air defense] systems,” Colonel John Lynch, attack helicopter manager at Army Training and Doctrine Command, told Aviation Week.
This was partly due to the aircraft’s ability to operate at lower altitudes and thus evade radar systems arrayed against it.
Part of the Echo model’s advantages are its improved composite main rotor blades, which are 15cm longer than those used on older models, as well as a new tip design and General Electric T700-GE-701D engines, all of which give the aircraft improved aerodynamic performance.
The AH-64Es’ new power-to-weight ratio also makes it safer for operations at low-levels and gives it a performance similar to that of the AH-64A, which was significantly lighter than the AH-64D Block II model, Lynch told Shephard Media, a defense and aerospace publication.
Taiwan’s 30 Apache helicopters, administered under a program named “Sky Eagle,” were included in an October 2008 notification to US Congress for about US$2.5 billion. Full delivery of the multirole attack helicopters is expected to be completed in 2017.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
ASEAN BATTLEGROUND: Japan and Australia could be drawn into Pacific tensions as China sets its sights on the Diaoyutai Islands and further beyond the first island chain Tensions between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to intensify, the National Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, recommending that Taiwan continue to emphasize its shared values and interests to encourage resistance to Chinese aggression. US commitments in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to continue unabated despite the war in Ukraine, as Beijing takes advantage of the conflict to expand its influence in the region, the agencies said in reports delivered to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Sunday, ahead of a hearing yesterday on regional developments and trends. Although Russia’s invasion of
ONLINE REPORT: Confirmed cases filling out the online contact tracing report can check a box to indicate that a close contact had received a booster dose, an official said The guidelines for diagnosing COVID-19 have been revised to include people aged 65 or older who test positive with a rapid test that is confirmed by a healthcare worker, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 65,794 new local infections. The CECC had first announced the change on Monday, before publishing the new guidelines. Starting today, people aged 65 or older, regardless of whether they are undergoing home quarantine, home isolation or self-disease prevention, can be classified as a confirmed COVID-19 case by a healthcare professional, based on a positive result from an antigen rapid test, said