Taiwan loses two fighter jets in apparent collision, third such crash in six months

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Two Taiwanese fighter jets crashed on Monday in the third such incident in the previous half yr, at a time when the Beijing-claimed island’s armed forces are underneath growing stress to intercept Chinese plane on an virtually each day foundation.

While Taiwan’s air drive is effectively skilled and effectively outfitted, principally with U.S.-made gear, it’s dwarfed by China’s. Beijing views the democratic island as its personal territory and has by no means renounced the usage of drive to carry it underneath Chinese management.

Taiwan’s air drive stated two air drive F-5E fighters, every with one pilot aboard, crashed into the ocean off the island’s southeastern coast after they apparently collided in mid-air throughout a coaching mission.

One pilot was discovered and air-lifted to hospital by helicopter however later died, whereas the opposite is lacking, air drive Chief of Staff Huang Chih-wei advised reporters, including the plane had been in good working order.

The air drive has now grounded the F-5 fleet and suspended all coaching missions, he stated.

The U.S.-built F-5 fighters first entered service in Taiwan in the Seventies and have been principally been retired from front-line actions, although some are nonetheless used for coaching and as a back-up for the primary fleet.

Another F-5 crashed in October, killing the pilot. The following month a way more fashionable F-16 crashed off Taiwan’s east coast, and the pilot of that plane additionally died.

In January of final yr, Taiwan’s prime army official was amongst eight individuals killed after a helicopter carrying them to go to troopers crashed in a mountainous space close to the capital Taipei.

The incidents have raised concern about each coaching and upkeep, but in addition the stress the air drive is underneath to answer repeated Chinese flights close to the island.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry has warned Chinese plane, together with drones, are flying repeatedly in Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, looking for to wear down Taiwan’s air drive.

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