TAIPEI — The first of 12 submarine-hunting aircraft purchased from the United States will arrive in Taiwan today or tomorrow, the military said Saturday.
The first P-3C is being flown to Taiwan by “personnel from the U.S.” for liability reasons, with Taiwanese military personnel along for the flight, the military said.
Taiwan will take over only after the plane lands, it said.
Amid reports that the plane’s landing in Pingtung could be delayed by Typhoon Usagi, the military said that the P-3C could divert to Hawaii or Guam to wait out the storm.
However, the flight is expected to go ahead as planned at this point, it said.
The P-3C is the most capable of Lockheed’s P-3 aircraft submarine-detecting aircraft.
In 2007, the U.S. government approved the sale of the 12 P-3Cs with T-56 turboprop engines and related equipment and services at an estimated cost of US$1.96 billion.
The last of the P-3Cs is set for delivery by the end of 2015, the military said.