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Taiwan's first Apache combat squad enters service

ROC Central News Agency

2017/06/28 17:26:04

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) Taiwan's first Apache combat squad was formally commissioned Wednesday under the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command in a ceremony at the command's 601st Brigade base in Taoyuan's Longtan District.

During the ceremony, Wang Shin-lung (王信龍), commander of the Republic of China Army, announced the commissioning of the squad and then watched a parade by soldiers of the squad from a military vehicle.

The 601st Brigade has been training its personnel and upgrading its equipment since 2013 and after undergoing more than two years of training on Taiwan's most advanced attack helicopters, one of the country's two Apache squads was formally commissioned that day, which is expected to contribute greatly to improving the army's combat capability, according to the command.

The other Apache squad will be formally commissioned at a later date, it said.

Taiwan purchased 30 AH-64E Apache helicopters from the United States under a deal announced in 2008, and took delivery of the choppers from November 2013 to October 2014.

One of the aircraft was destroyed in a crash during a training flight in Taoyuan in April 2014 and the other 29 all belong to the 601st.

Taiwan's Apaches are among the world's most advanced attack helicopter models, according to the command.

The AH-64E is also known as the "tankbuster" or "tank killer." It is equipped with a powerful target acquisition radar that is capable of 360-degree operation to a range of 8 kilometers and can track over 128 simultaneously and sort out the 16 most dangerous targets. It carries 16 Hellfire missiles and can deploy them in under 30 seconds, according to the command.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao)
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