Fri, Jan 03, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Six further Apache helicopters arrive on schedule from US

Staff writer, with CNA

Six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters arrived in Greater Kaohsiung on schedule yesterday, the second batch in a 30-helicopter deal with the US.

The US-made aircraft are to be sent by truck to an army Aviation Special Forces base in Greater Tainan for final assembly, military officials said.

The six are part of a fleet of 30 helicopters that cost more than US$2 billion.

The model E is the latest in the Apache attack helicopter series.

The first batch of six helicopters was delivered in early November last year, but were grounded for safety checks on Dec. 17 after a US Army helicopter of the same model malfunctioned.

No problems were found with the six already in Taiwan, Army Aviation Special Forces officials said.

The government has not received any further information from the US on the cause of the problem, the officials said.

The newly delivered helicopters will also be grounded for safety checks, according to a military source familiar with the matter.

In the meantime, pilots at the Tainan base will continue to train using aircraft simulators, the source said.

The third, fourth and fifth batches of helicopters are scheduled to arrive in March, May and July respectively, the source said.

Taiwan and the US are the only countries to have the E model Apaches, which are known for their ground attack capabilities.

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