skip to main content

Taiwan loses one F-16V in a crash

A Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) F-16V single-seat fighter aircraft crashed into the sea during a routine training sortie on 11 January, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) in Taipei said.

The aircraft (serial number 6650), which departed from Chiayi airbase around 1455 h local time, went missing from radar screens at about 1523 h local time over the sea, west of the airbase. The MND said that radar and communications contact was lost with the aircraft shortly after take-off.

It was later confirmed that the aircraft crashed into the sea. At the time of writing, the pilot was still missing. The RoCAF Command said it has established a response centre to carry out search and rescue (SAR) operations.

Meanwhile, all F-16 training operations have been suspended, the RoCAF said, with Air Force Major General Liu Hui-chien saying during a press conference that safety checks will be conducted on the entire fleet.

The aircraft is one of the recently upgraded F-16A to V standard and part of the recently commissioned first F-16V squadron assigned to the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing in November 2021.

The RoCAF now fields 140 F-16A/B that are being upgraded to F-16V standard under the USD3.7billion (TWD103 billion) Peace Phoenix Rising programme, which was launched in 2016 and is being carried out by Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. All aircraft are expected to be redelivered by the end of 2023.

Originally, 144 F-16A/B aircraft were scheduled to be upgraded. However, in recent years, the RoCAF has lost four F-16s: one in January 2016 in the United States, another in June 2018 during the island's β€˜Han Kuang' exercises, one in November 2020, and the most recent one in January 2022.

According to

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...