The Taiwan Army is to build a helicopter base for Apache, Bell Super Cobra Helicopters in Taitung County and Taichung for rapid response in case of a surprise attack by China.
Attack helicopters such as Boeing AH-64E Apaches and Bell AH-1W Super Cobras, are to be stationed at Fong Nian Air Force Base, an unnamed official told Taipei Times adding that the government is to earmark NT$1.6 billion (US$52 million) for the project.
With the establishment of the base by 2023, rotary-wing units would be able to use the terrain along the coast to evacuate and preserve their combat capability in the event of a surprise attack by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the official said.
The base could also serve as a forward command center for disaster relief, they added.
The planned hangars at Ching Chuan Kang Air Force Base would cost NT$729 million and would also be completed by 2023, the official said.
The Army’s AH-1W helicopters have been stationed at the base for some time, but they are “borrowing” the air force’s spare hangars, they said. “Once we begin building the new hangars, helicopters under the command will have more appropriate storage space, as well as adequate maintenance capabilities,” the official said.
The upgrade would also cut down the maintenance hours that each unit needs, the official added.