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Taiwan showcases newly acquired Black Hawk helicopters in drill

Taiwan showcases newly acquired Black Hawk helicopters in drill

Taipei, June 11 (CNA) Taiwan's military showcased its newly acquired UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter during a drill Thursday, as part of a rehearsal for a military display in July to mark the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China's 1945 victory over Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War. The ROC's eight-year fight against Japan was a part of World War II, in which Japan and the other axis powers were defeated. Three Black Hawks joined other types of military aircraft in a flyover in Thursday's rehearsal at a military base in Hukou, Hsinchu County. A rapid assault drill was held after the flyover, in which 16 Army Special Forces soldiers rapelled from two Black Hawks to the ground. It was the first time the Black Hawks had been included in a drill. The soldiers were joined by other soldiers riding motorcycles from a CH-47SD helicopter after it landed, as well as other Special Forces soldiers on mountain bicycles to fight a simulated enemy force. The drill also included two U.S.-made AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Maj. Chao Jen-ta (???), an Army special forces officer responsible for the assault drill, said it was the first time their bicycles had been revealed to the public. The mountain bicycles, purchased from a local manufacturer, are used to reduce the time it takes for soldiers to move to their targeted area, he said. Maj. Huang Tzu-ting (???), the Army's first female Black Hawk pilot, said after the drill that the Black Hawks were dispatched to deploy the Special Forces soldiers as fast as possible. Having previously flown the Bell UH-1H, Huang said that the Black Hawk has far more power than the UH-1H, drawing a comparison between a sports car and an old compact car. Taiwan has so far taken delivery of eight Black Hawks, part of a package of 60 such choppers purchased from the United States. A total of 3,858 military personnel participated in the rehearsal, which was inspected by Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yen De-fa (???), the military said. The rehearsal began with a drill by army special forces to demonstrate their combat skills, followed by a flyover and a parade on the ground, which included the country's advanced aircraft, weapons systems, equipment and vehicles. A total of 64 military aircraft of various types participated in the flyover, including the U.S.-made AH-64E Apache attack helicopter, the Army's most advanced attack helicopter; the Black Hawk and the P-3C sub-hunting aircraft. Other helicopters taking part were the EC225 and the S-70C, used for rescue missions, as well as the OH-58D reconnaissance helicopter and the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter. The flyover also included 30 F-16, Mirage 2000-5 and Indigenous Defense Fighter jets -- Taiwan's main combat aircraft -- and five AT-3 jet trainers. One of the F-16s and one of the IDFs had been painted with special icons in commemoration of the ROC's efforts in the war against Japan and its cooperation with the U.S. in World War II. The flyover was followed by the ground parade, in which various weapons systems and aircraft that were used in the eight-year war against Japan passed the review stand. The military's advanced weapons were also included, such as the Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missile and the Tien Kung III surface-to-air missile, both developed locally, and the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile from the U.S. The rehearsal was in preparation for a large-scale military display set for July 4. It is among a series of events planned by Taiwan's military for this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-24 22:41 GMT+08:00