OVERKILL:Using sophisticated Black Hawk helicopters in search-and-rescue missions is akin to using a Ferrari as a taxi, former minister of the interior Lee Hong-yuan said
Date: Feb 13, 2016
By: Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter
Controversy continues over the search-and-rescue Black Hawk helicopters scheduled to enter service next month, reflecting broader divisions over Taiwan’s procurement of arms from the US.
Fifteen of the 60 UH-60M Black Hawks ordered from the US in 2010 are scheduled to be “lent” to the Ministry of the Interior’s National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) by the military.
Speaking at a Taichung airbase exhibit showcasing the first three helicopters to arrive from the US, Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) praised the aircraft for having the power to push the nation’s search-and-rescue boundaries to the peaks of its highest mountains and to the farthest reaches of its territorial waters.
“Jade Mountain [玉山] is more than 3,900m high, but we will be able to fly up to 5,000m,” he said, referring to the nation’s highest mountain. “Our rescue diameter will encompass all of our territorial air space, providing protection to the outlying islands and fishing boats within our waters.” [FULL STORY]