Pilots train in US to pre­pare for Black Hawk chop­pers: re­port

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The Min­istry of the In­te­rior (MOI) re­cently sent a batch of pilots and chief engi­neers to the U. S. for train­ing in prepa­ra­tion for re­ceiv­ing 15 UH- 60 Black Hawk he­li­copters that will be used for dis­as­ter re­lief, a lo­cal news­pa­per re­ported yesterday.

Ac­cord­ing to the Chi­ne­se­lan­guage United Evening News, the MOI sent 12 pilots and eight chief engi­neers un­der Tai­wan’s Na­tional Air­borne Ser­vice Corps (NASC) to a train­ing cen­ter in Florida last month to re­ceive train­ing so that they will be ready to fly the Black Hawk he­li­copters in the fu­ture.

Their train­ing is ex­pected to be com­pleted in Jan­uary be­fore they re­turn to Tai­wan, MOI sources told the news­pa­per yesterday.

The MOI said the 15 chop­pers are sched­uled to join the NASC in dif­fer­ent batches start­ing later this month.

Cur­rently the NASC is op­er­at­ing search and res­cue mis­sions with three 30- year- old B234 Chi­nook he­li­copters; 15 UH-1H util­ity he­li­copters that had been in use for around 40 years; and two 24-year-old S-76B he­li­copters, the news­pa­per said.

The Black Hawk he­li­copters are ex­pected to grad­u­ally re­place the ag­ing chop­pers cur­rently owned by the NASC.

Tai­wan has bought a to­tal of 60 Black Hawk he­li­copters, worth US$ 3.1 bil­lion, as part of the arms sale pack­age an­nounced by the U.S. in 2010.

Ac­cord­ing to the Army, the UH- 60 he­li­copters will mainly be used for trans­porta­tion. The more ad­vanced he­li­copters man­u­fac­tured by Siko­rsky Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion will re­place the mil­i­tary’s ag­ing UH-1H he­li­copter fleet.

Fif­teen of the he­li­copters will be used for dis­as­ter re­lief by the NASC un­der the MOI.

Tai­wan so far has taken de­liv­ery of eight Black Hawk he­li­copters. The first batch of four was shipped to Tai­wan last De­cem­ber while the sec­ond batch, another four chop­pers ar­rived this May.

The 60 he­li­copters are sched­uled to be de­liv­ered to Tai­wan in 10 ship­ments, with the fi­nal batch of three to be shipped in 2019, the Army said.

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