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Taiwan deploys 6 new Black Hawk helicopters for nighttime rescue missions

Black Hawks equipped with sophisticated thermal imaging, communication systems

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NASC stationing six Black Hawk helicopters in Kaohsiung for rescue missions. (NASC photo) 

NASC stationing six Black Hawk helicopters in Kaohsiung for rescue missions. (NASC photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of the Interior’s National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) will start using its six new Black Hawk helicopters, which are able to conduct nighttime rescue missions at sea, on Thursday (July 1).

Their deployment follows six months of crew training, CNA reported. The six choppers arrived in Kaohsiung last October, the last batch of 15 transferred by the Ministry of National Defense for use in rescue missions.

Now painted red, the helicopters have been fitted with thermal imaging systems to detect body heat, as well as radar and satellite communication systems, the NASC said. The additions will allow crews to conduct search missions at night over the ocean and will boost their rescue capabilities, according to officials.

Taiwan procured 60 Black Hawk helicopters from the United States in 2010, with half destined for the Army and 15 each for the NASC and the Air Force Rescue Group. While the six new ones are stationed in Kaohsiung, the NASC’s other nine Black Hawks are stationed in Taichung, Hualien, and Taitung.