Taiwan receives six Apache attack helicopters from US

Taiwan received the first shipment of six Apache AH64-E attack helicopters from the United States on Monday, the state-run Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

Defence Minister Yen Ming said the first helicopters from an order of 30 had arrived at Kaohsiung port.

"Although China has more (attack helicopters) than we do, their quality is not necessarily better than ours," Yen told a meeting of Taiwan's foreign affairs and national defence committee.

The order, valued at 59 billion Taiwan dollars (2 billion US dollars), was announced in 2008 by former US president George W Bush.

The next shipment of six helicopters is expected to arrive in December and delivery of the full order will be completed by the end of 2014, the China Times cited military sources as saying.

It said the helicopters have a maximum speed of 293 kilometers per hour and are armed with 30-millimetre cannon and eight to 16 air-to-land rockets or air-to-air missiles.

In September, Taiwan received the first of 12 refurbished P-3C submarine-hunter aircraft from the United States. Five more are due to be delivered in 2014 and another three in 2015.

Voice of Russia, dpa