Thursday, June 16, 2011

Taiwan Buys 30 AH-64D Apaches

     Flightglobal reports that a U.S. Army official has announced that Taiwan will purchase 30 AH-64D Block III Apache  attack helicopters.
     With China rapidly expanding it's Air Force and Navy, Taiwan in the last few months has been calling on the U.S. to release the promised F-16 C/Ds. However, this is a new development in the Taiwan vs. People's Republic of China, with Taiwan buying state of the art attack helicopters. One possibility why Taiwan is doing this, is that it is a response to the new Chinese Z-10 which is reported to have gone operational. Another possible reason the Taiwanese purchased the Apache is to deter any Chinese landings on the island, as just 4 or 5 Apaches can really hurt, especially against landing craft and amphibious armored vehicles.
     However, in reality these new arrivals will not have much affect on any Chinese plans to take over Taiwan by force, because the first thing the Chinese would do is achieve aerial superiority. Even if the Apaches get off the ground and to the front line, they would be shot down quickly by either Chinese aircraft or surface-to-air missiles, like the HQ-10 which is the Chinese version of the S-300.
     With Taiwan receiving the first of the new Apaches sometime next year, it will be interesting to see how Beijing reacts to this news.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy

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