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RoKAF F-5E fighter crashes, killing pilot

A Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) Northrop Grumman F-5E Tiger II single-seat fighter aircraft crashed on 11 January, killing the pilot.

An official spokesperson of South Korea‘s Ministry of National Defense (MND) told Janes that the aircraft crashed into a mountain in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, south of Seoul, at 1344 h local time after taking off from an RoKAF airbase in Suwon.

According to the MND, an engine fire warning light turned on a few minutes after take-off. The pilot, who tried to eject twice from the aircraft, died in the crash.

The RoKAF has launched an investigation into the causes of the accident, the MND said.

According to Janes inventory data, this is the 12th ROKAF F-5 aircraft to crash since the fleet's entry into service in the mid-1970s.

The RoKAF originally received 174 F-5Es and 40 F-5Fs from 1975 and 1976 respectively, according to Janes World Air Forces . The F-5s are being retired after more than 30 years of service and replaced with new fighter aircraft capabilities.

The latest incident comes a week after a RoKAF's Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter made an emergency belly landing at Seosan Air Base during a training flight.

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