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Taiwan has grounded its AH-64E Apache attack helicopters

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World Defense & Security News - Taiwan
 
 
Taiwan has grounded its AH-64E Apache attack helicopters
 
Taiwan has grounded its fleet of 29 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, as a result of corrosion, according to a Taipei Times report. Major General Huang Kuo-ming, who is the commander of the Army Aviation Special Forces Command, said that after a preliminary assessment they found extensive oxidation in the metal components of the tail rotor gearbox.
     
Taiwan has grounded its AH 64E Apache attack helicopters 640 001A ROCAF AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter
     
Of the 29 helicopters, 12 were already grounded duo to lack of parts for maintenance. One more was lost after it crashed into a building due to bad weather conditions. The Ministry of Defence reported the corrosion problems to the US as soon as they were spotted, in March 2015. Despite the measures they were advised to take, the problem was not eliminated, resulting in the dispatch of a Boeing team, according to Major General Huang Kuo-ming’s statements.

The company’s engineers are conducting a detailed inspection which is expected to be concluded next month. According to the Taiwanese officials, the problem could be due to the country’s wet and hot climate, the monsoons and the fact that they carry the ocean’s salty water towards the inland. The climate conditions could have an effect at the tail rotor gearboxes which are made of aluminum-magnesium alloy. Another factor could be any inconsistencies in the maintenance procedures.

Taiwan procured 30 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters in 2008 and received the first six in 2013. The total value of the contract was USD6.4 billion including 1,000 AGM-114L Hellfire missiles, 66 M299 Hellfire Longbow missile launchers, support, maintenance and crew training.