Taiwan takes delivery of 3 U.S. Black Hawk rescue helicopters
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Dec. 17 (CNA) Three Black Hawk helicopters from the United States were delivered to Taiwan on Thursday and will be put into service next March as rescue aircraft, according to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).
The UH-60M choppers arrived in Kaohsiung Port as part of a US$3.1 billion arms deal that was approved by the U.S. in early 2010.
Equipped with forward looking infrared (FLIR) night vision enhancement systems, the three Black Hawks will be deployed in the National Airborne Service Corps. (NASC), particularly for nighttime search and rescue missions at sea, the ministry said.
Thursday's delivery was the third batch in a fleet of 60 of UH-60M Black Hawks in the arms package, which also includes two Osprey Class mine-hunting ships, 12 ATM-84L and RTM-84L Harpoon Block II Telemetry missiles, 114 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles, US$2.82 billion worth of technical support, 35 multifunctional information distribution systems low volume terminals (MIDS/LVT-1), and 25 MIDS on ships terminals.
Of the 60 Black Hawks in the package, 15 will be deployed to the NASC to boost its search and rescue fleet of AS-365N Dauphin helicopters, while the others will go the Army Aviation Special Forces in Guiren, according to MOI.
A Black Hawk helicopter is capable of carry 12 troops with equipment, airlifting a 9,000 pound (4,100 kg) external payload, and taking off with a maximum weight of 23,500 pounds.
(By Tai Ya-chen and Evelyn Kao)
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