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Taiwan suspends air exercises after incidents

Recently F-16V disappeared from radar and crashed into the sea

Taiwan's Air Force leadership suspended training missions of the F-16V Fighting Falcon aircraft fleet, produced by US-based General Dynamics yesterday. The reason for the decision is linked to a series of incidents, the latest of which involved an aircraft, recently updated with new weapon systems and avionics, that disappeared into the sea. The government has asked to clarify the causes. 

According to a reconstruction by Taipei's Defense Ministry, the F-16V disappeared from radar screens after taking off from the coastal air base in Chiayi, in the south of the island. After the crash, helicopters and ships reached the crash site to search for and rescue the pilot.

Over the past two years, Taiwan has relied heavily on bolstering its Air Force to prepare for a possible armed response to an attack by China. Air accidents have already been various: in 2020 another F-16 fell into the sea, while in 2021 the same fate befell two old Taiwanese F-5E fighters produced by the US Northrop.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency