Taiwan to get US Apache attack copters
Iran Press TV
Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:5AM GMT
Taiwan is reportedly due to receive the first batch of attack helicopters, ordered from the United States, in November.
Citing unnamed military sources, Taiwan's Central News agency reported on Friday that the first six Apache AH-64E are expected to be delivered to the southern port of Kaohsiung as early as November 4.
The choppers are the latest variant of one of the most powerful attack helicopters in the world.
The report also said that the delivery makes the Taiwanese army the first military force outside the United States to introduce the helicopters, which were set to be delivered in October, but the delivery has been postponed due to the US government shutdown.
The second consignment of Apache AH-64E will arrive in December while the remaining choppers will be delivered by the end of 2014, the report said.
Taiwan's defense officials have not made any comments on the report.
The $6.5-billion arms deal, including a fleet of 30 advanced Apache Longbow helicopters, was announced in 2008 - a move that provoked China's anger.
China and Taiwan are separated by the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean. They split in 1949 following a civil war, but Beijing still considers the island part of its territory.
In March, Taipei said it had received two upgraded early warning aircraft from the United States.
Ties between Taiwan and China have improved after Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou came to power in 2008. However, Ma has highlighted that Taiwan needs to keep sufficient self-defense and will go on acquiring weapons from Washington.
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