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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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General Electric secures US $2bn helicopter deal with Taiwan

GE supplying T700 701D and T700 401C engines to Taiwan

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PHOTO CREDIT: BNN news

TAIPEI, Taiwan - General Electric has won a US $2 billion contract to supply helicopter engines to the government of Taiwan over the next five years, the Defense Department has confirmed.

The contract, which runs through December 31, 2020, will see General Electric supplying T700 701D and T700 401C engines to Taiwan to power the popular Black Hawk helicopters built by Sikorsky Aircraft, which is owned by United Technologies Corp.

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter which was first developed in 1972 and produced in 1976.

The UH-60A first entered service with the US Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, used extensively in Vietnam, as the Army's tactical transport helicopter.

Modified versions have also been developed for the US Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard and the helicopter is a popular export for the US' military industrial complex.

Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq and are currently operated by several dozen nations around the world.

Taiwan has operated S-70C-1/1A variants since the Republic of China Air Force received ten S-70C-1A and four S-70C-1 Bluehawk helicopters in June 1986, for Search And Rescue.

Four further S-70C-6s were received in April 1998 and the ROC Navy received the first of ten S-70C(M)-1s in July 1990.

A further 11 S-70C(M)-2s were received in the beginning of April 2000 and in January 2010, the US announced a Foreign Military Sale of 60 UH-60Ms to Taiwan for the ROC Army.

It is the engines for these helicopters that GE will be supplying, while also providing aftersales support for the existing aircraft operated by Taiwan.

Other major operators of the helicopter include Japan, Colombia, Turkey, China, Mexico, Israel, Brazil and Sweden. The United Arab Emirates has purchased 60 Black Hawks since 2010.>BNN

 

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