Taiwan's military is considering buying 10 MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopters from the US to replace its aging fleet of MD500 helicopters.
After the Seahawks are added to Taiwan's fleet, they will join the Navy's S-70C helicopters in conducting anti-submarine warfare missions, China News Agency reported today.
The US helicopters are equipped for a range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), naval gunfire support (NGFS), surveillance, communications relay, logistics support and personnel transfer and vertical replenishment (VERTREP).
For vertical replenishment missions, the helicopter is fitted with a 2,721.55kg (6,000lb) cargo hook. The anti-submarine warfare helicopter operates from frigates, destroyers, cruisers, amphibious ships and aircraft carriers and is suitable for intense littoral warfare operations for handling numerous contacts in confined spaces, and for open-water operations.
"The Navy's MD500 helicopters are very old," Deputy Defense Minister Adm. Chen Yung-kang said. As Taiwan is preparing to take delivery of two Perry-class guided missile frigates purchased from the US, it is necessary to acquire new aircraft to beef up the country's anti-submarine warfare capabilities, he added.
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence has proposed a NT$2.9 billion (US$89 million) budget to the Legislative Yuan to get an indigenous submarine project off the ground
Taiwan plans to build diesel-electric submarines for its navy, president, Ma Ying-jeou, said Sunday. Ma made the remark during a visit to a propeller factory in the southern county of Pingtung, where he was urged to address the problem of a brain drain in Taiwan's shipbuilding industry, Want China Times reported
Taiwan is likely to build a naval base at Taipang for its fighter and maritime patrol aircraft to counter potential stand-off in the conflicted Spratlys island region. According to a report published by Center for Strategic and International Studies, Taiwan might land on Taiping island to launch reconnaissance and perhaps military operations against the PLA Navy's expansion in the region
The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Australia for an upgrade program for MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters costing $360 million. Australia has requested a follow-on ten-year upgrade program for twenty-four (24) MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters and associated training devices, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, engineering and technical services
A Taiwanese warship mistakenly launched a supersonic "aircraft carrier killer" missile towards China on Friday, hitting a fishing boat and killing one person. The domestically developed Hsiung-feng III (Brave Wind) missile flew about 75 kilometres (45 miles) before hitting the trawler in waters off Penghu, a Taiwanese-administered island group in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwanese navy was quoted as saying by AFP Friday
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