Air Transportation: Unofficial Battle Hawks

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September 7, 2016: Taiwan has ordered an additional 24 UH-60M transport helicopters and is paying the manufacturer $5.7 million each to have them customized with added defensive electronics and the ability to carry heavy weapons. This mod is called “Battle Hawk” but Taiwan did not use that term. In 2007 Taiwan decided to retire its 90 UH-1H transport helicopters and replace them with 56 (perhaps followed by 30 more) UH-60M models. The first four arrived in late 2014 and the last them will be delivered by the end of 2019.

Taiwan also ordered thirty AH-64D helicopter gunships to replace or complement its fifty AH-1W gunships. Some of the AH-1Ws will be kept in service after the AH-64Ds begin arriving in 2013. The military has wanted to upgrade its helicopter force since the late 1990s but some factions in parliament delayed that so as not to antagonize China. That worked for about a decade until it was obvious that China was not being placated.

 


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