Taiwan's Apache attack helicopters to be commissioned Tuesday: MND

On July 17, the fleet of 29 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters will be commissioned with the Army's 601st Brigade

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AH-64 Apache (by Wikimedia Commons)

AH-64 Apache (by Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (CNA) -- Taiwan's Army will hold a ceremony Tuesday to officially commission all its Apache attack helicopters purchased from the United States, after nearly four years of combat evaluation, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Friday.

The commissioning ceremony was originally planned for July 11, but moved to July 17 due to Typhoon Maria.

Military spokesman Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said the helicopters are precision weaponry and highly effective during land, air and asymmetric warfare.

In large-scale military exercises and other training programs, the excellent performance and defensive combat effectiveness of the helicopters has been evident, Chen said, adding that the ceremony symbolizes their combat readiness which will be maintained through ongoing training.

The last of the 30 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters was delivered in October 2014 and they have all undergone three years and eight months of evaluation, including personnel selection and training.

One of the helicopters was destroyed in a crash during a training flight in Taoyuan in April 2014 and the other 29 have been allocated to the command's 601st Brigade which is based in Longtan, Taoyuan.

The AH-64E, also known as the "tankbuster" or "tank killer," is equipped with powerful target acquisition radar that is capable of 360-degree operation to a range of 8 kilometers.

It can track over 128 targets simultaneously and identify the 16 most dangerous. it is also equipped with 16 Hellfire missiles that can be deployed in under 30 seconds, according to the command.