Thursday, February 13, 2014

On Thursday, February 13, 2014 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Taiwan is planning to begin putting its 12 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters back into service next week, about two months after it grounded the aircraft after being notified by the United States of a failure in the same model, a military official said Tuesday.

Army Aviation Special Forces pilots will be able to fly the helicopters once they are fitted with new main transmission boxes and have been tested, said Wu Tien-an, director of the Planning Division of the Army Command Headquarters.

The helicopters are expected to be ready for flight next week at the earliest, he told CNA.

Wu's remarks indicated a delayed schedule of putting the Apaches back into service, as a military source told CNA earlier that some of the helicopters were already scheduled to fly.

The 12 aircraft are part of a 30-helicopter package ordered from the United States in June 2011 at a cost of more than US$2 billion. The model E is the latest in the Apache attack helicopter series.

Taiwan received its first delivery of six of the choppers last November, followed by a second batch in early January.
The 12 helicopters Taiwan has received so far were grounded after it received word from the US in mid-December of a main transmission failure in one of the Apache AH-64Es in service in the US Army.

No problems have been found so far in the helicopters received in Taiwan, but the replacement of the transmissions have been carried out as a precaution, a military source said.

Even though the helicopters have been kept out of service, ground and simulation training has continued, army officers have said.

The final three batches of six choppers will be delivered to Taiwan with the new transmission boxes later this year and the first batch is scheduled to arrive in March, the second in May and the final in July, the source said.

The US and Taiwan are the only two countries that use the latest Apache helicopter model to date. [via]

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