Taiwan is to acquire three EC 225 search and rescue helicopters from Eurocopter for the air force.

Taiwan will sign the $111m deal in the next few weeks, with the option to buy 17 additional EC 225 helicopters, according to Reuters.

A long-range passenger transport helicopter, the Eurocopter EC 225 is powered by twin engines, and has a maximum speed of 275.5km/h (148.5kt).

The EC 225 can carry up to 24 passengers, two crew and a cabin attendant.