National Airborne Service Corps to commission Black Hawks next March
ROC Central News Agency
Taichung, Dec. 18 (CNA) Three of seven Black Hawk helicopters from the United States that were delivered to Taiwan on Thursday will be put into service next March as rescue aircraft, according to the National Airborne Service Corps (NASC).
The seven UH-60M choppers are part of a US$3.1 billion arms deal that was approved by the U.S. in January 2010.
Under the deal, the U.S. will supply Taiwan with hardware that includes a fleet of 60 of UH-60M Black Hawks, which are being delivered in batches, with the National Airborne Service Corps receiving its first allocation Thursday.
Three of the seven helicopters that arrived at Kaohsiung Port Thursday have been allocated to the National Airborne Service Corps, which will receive a total of 15 when all 60 have been delivered, while the other 45 will go to the Army Aviation Special Forces.
The 15 rescue helicopters will be deployed at five bases around the island, with the first three aircraft assigned to the Chingchuankang airbase in central Taiwan.
As part of the National Airborne Service Corps' plan to establish a Black Hawk unit by next March, its first group of pilots and maintenance crew for the unit recently took part in a training program in the U.S.
The Black Hawks will replace the National Airborne Service Corps' UH-1H helicopters, which are limited in terms of performance on rescue missions during natural disasters, NASC said.
(By J.K. Liao and Lillian Lin)
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