The military is expected to receive six Apache attack helicopters from the US early next month, a military source said on Thursday.
The six AH-64Es will be the first batch of an order of 30 of the advanced US attack helicopters that Taiwan bought for more than US$2 billion. The last batch should be delivered next year, the source said.
The helicopters will be shipped to a harbor in Greater Kaohsiung and then will be flown to an Army Aviation Special Forces base in Greater Tainan, the source said, adding that the aircraft are expected to arrive on Nov. 4 at the earliest.
According to the source, the helicopters were previously expected to be delivered later this month, but the schedule was delayed due to the US’ partial government shutdown.
The second batch of helicopters is scheduled to arrive in December and will be officially commissioned into service next year, the source said.
The Ministry of National Defense has sent 61 pilots to the US to undergo training in flying Apache helicopters and they have all completed the training and returned home, the source added.
Taiwan will be the world’s first country other than the US to deploy this type of attack helicopter, the source said.
The model E is the latest model in the Apache attack helicopter family.