The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that corrosion woes with AH-64E Apache helicopters have led to the aircraft’s grounding, and Boeing, the US manufacturer, has dispatched a special task force to help identity and fix the problem.
Preliminary assessment found serious oxidation on metal components in the tail rotor gearbox, which led to nine of the Apaches being taken out of operations, said Major General Huang Kuo-ming (黃國明), commander of the Army Aviation Special Forces Command.
Twelve of the helicopters were reportedly also grounded due to parts shortages, leaving only eight of the fleet operational.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
“We noticed rust corrosion developing in the tail rotor gearbox in March, and notified the US side of the problem at that time. They were quite concerned, and have advised our side to apply several remedial measures to counteract the corrosion,” Huang said.
However, despite taking the remedial measures as part of regular maintenance and service work, the corrosion problem is persisting, which is why Boeing sent a special task force last month to perform a thorough check and safety inspection of all 29 helicopters, he said.
The inspection is ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of next month, Huang said.
Officials said the Boeing task force is trying to determine into cause of the problem, which could be Taiwan’s wet and high humidity climate, seasonal monsoon rains blowing salt-laden ocean water inland, or improper maintenance and handling by ground service crew.
The AH-64E gearbox is made of a new aluminum-magnesium alloy, while the earlier AH-64D used an older type of aluminum alloy, and Boeing is also investigating the possibility that the corrosion problems stem from the new alloy, Huang said.
Japanese lawmakers have been refraining from visiting China for fear of being arrested and not being able to return, while Taiwan is a popular destination, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported. As 120 Japanese Diet members visited Taiwan last year and fewer than 10 went to China, Beijing hopes that they could visit China more often, Japanese Ambassador to China Kenji Kanasugi was cited as saying during a meeting of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday last week. Kanasugi was in Japan to attend the Conference of the Ambassadors to Asian and Oceanian Countries and International Organizations, which was held on Thursday and Friday
INVASION: A UK based think tank said in a report published on Friday that Russia-China 5G collaboration could be applied in the event of a Taiwan contingency Russian-Chinese collaboration on 5G and satellite technologies could give Russia an advantage on the battlefield in Ukraine and could feasibly be applied in other theaters, including a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, a report by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security (RUSI) published on Friday said. Russia and China have already tested the use of shared 5G technology to control uncrewed dump trucks at a Russian mine, and have tested the integration of their respective navigation systems, Russia’s GLONASS and China’s BeiDou, the report said. “In Ukraine, GLONASS has already enabled Russian missile and drone strikes via satellite correction
A Singaporean social media streamer who goes by the pseudonym Kiaraakitty faked an egg attack by an alleged passerby during a livestream in Kaohsiung on Feb. 9, the city’s police department said on Saturday. The department was responding to the streamer’s claim earlier this month that a stranger had thrown eggs at her during a recent visit to Kaohsiung. Kiaraakitty is known for posting provocative content on livestreaming sites such as Twitch and Discord, as well as other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. She also posts on paid adult content Web site OnlyFans. In the video dated Feb. 9,
HOT TOPIC: The Taiwan-born founder of a restaurant in the Japanese city is generally credited with creating the super spicy dish, which was originally intended as a staff meal For Taiwanese, ramen is one of the dishes that most represents Japan; for Japanese, its origins are in China. Then there is “Taiwan ramen,” which can only be found in Japan, but not in Taiwan. It is almost impossible to reach a consensus on the origin of any dish, but a brief look at its history might be helpful. Not many people who are not Japanese question whether ramen is really Japanese. Yet think about it — ramen is often unctuous and rich, unlike most other must-try Japanese foods familiar to foreign visitors to the country, such as sushi and soba noodles. According