Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Apache choppers to be commissioned at Tuesday ceremony

Staff writer, with CNA

The army is to hold a ceremony on Tuesday next week to officially commission the Apache attack helicopters it purchased from the US, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.

The ceremony was originally planned for Wednesday this week, but was rescheduled due to Typhoon Maria.

The helicopters are considered precision weaponry and are highly effective in land, air and asymmetric warfare, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said, adding that they are to be commissioned after three years and eight months of combat evaluation, including personnel selection and training.

In large-scale military exercises and other training programs, the helicopters’ excellent performance and defensive combat effectiveness have been evident, Chen said, adding that the ceremony symbolizes their combat readiness, which would be maintained through training exercises.

The last of the 30 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters was delivered in October 2014.

One of the helicopters was destroyed in a crash in April 2014 during a training flight in Taoyuan, while the other 29 have been allocated to the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command’s 601st Brigade in Taoyuan County’s Longtan District (龍潭).

The chopper, also known as the “tank buster,” is equipped with powerful target acquisition radar that is capable of 360° operation spanning up to 8km. It can track 128 targets simultaneously and identify the 16 most dangerous.

It is also equipped with 16 Hellfire missiles that can be deployed in less than 30 seconds, the command said.

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