The announcement confirms that Taiwan will be the first country outside the US to obtain the world's most advanced combat helicopter, whose fire control radar can locate as many as 128 targets within one minute
Taiwan has become the first country to make an international purchase of the Block III Longbow Fire Control Radar (FCR), a powerful target acquisition and prioritization system and a key component of the AH-64D Apache helicopter.
This was made official in a Lockheed Martin Corp press release on Wednesday, which stated that Longbow Limited Liability Co, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp, had received a US$181 million contract from the US Army for AH-64D Apache Block III Longbow systems.
According to the press release, the contract includes the first international purchase of the Block III Longbow Fire Control Radar (FCR), for a total of 15 Block III Longbow FCR systems.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.
UPDATE: A source close to the defense industry informs me that due to cost considerations, Taiwan has for the time being delayed purchase of the AGM-114L Hellfire missiles included in the October 2008 package. In other words, the fancy FCR capabilities will be essentially useless.