The US has delivered an additional batch of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to the Taiwanese Army.
Comprising six Apaches, the consignment represents the fifth and final batch of a contract awarded by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence to the US in 2008.
Valued at TWD$59.31bn ($2bn), the deal covered the delivery of 30 AH-64E Apaches to help supplement the Taiwanese Army’s ageing AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter fleet.
The new helicopters flew to an Army Aviation Special Forces base in Tainan, after being unloaded and assembled in the southern port city a day earlier, the Central News Agency reported.
The delivery comes nearly six months after one of the Taiwanese Apaches crashed into the top of a residential building in Taoyuan County’s Longtan Township in April, damaging four homes.
However, the incident did not lead to any serious injuries, according to the news agency.
In July, the army attributed the environment and human error to the crash, and also noted that Apache training operations had resumed before the investigation report was completed.
Nicknamed Guardian, the Boeing AH-64E is a heavily armed helicopter featuring powerful, fuel-efficient T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blade technology and electronics, as well as improved aircraft handling, performance and agility at higher altitudes.
The helicopter, which is designed to replace the existing AH-64D Longbow fleet, also features a joint tactical radio system, electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors to improve pilots’ situational awareness, as well as an overseas capacity for potential strikes on smaller ships.
The helicopters are currently used by the US military and have been ordered by the Indonesian and South Korean armies.
Image: The Boeing AH-64E Apache is designed to replace the existing AH-64D Longbow helicopters. Photo: courtesy of the US Army – by Tech Sgt Andy Dunaway.