Taiwanese F-16V Viper crashes, suspends training flights

 

One of the RoCAF's uograded F-16V Viper fighters during routing flights. Photo c/o Liberty Tinee.


One of the upgraded F-16V Viper fighter aircraft of the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) has crashed into the sea during a routine training mission.


The fighter, from the RoCAF’s 4th Tactical Fighter Wing with serial number 6650 and piloted by Flight Officer Chen Yi, was reported to have disappeared from radar screens at around 3:23pm local time on 11 January 2022, 30 minutes after taking off from Chiayi Air Base in southern Taiwan and flying over the Shuixi Shooting Range.


Eyewitnesses have reported that the fighter aircraft crashed into the sea off Aogu Wetlands in Chiayi’s Donshi Township.


Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen has ordered to spare no efforts on the search and rescue missions to find the pilot and determine the cause of the accident.


RoCAF Inspector General Liu Hui-chien confirmed that the aircraft was one of the F-16A Block 20 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft that was recently upgraded to Viper standards, with improvements made on avionics and weapon systems.


The RoCAF has ordered the indefinite suspension of all combat training missions for its F-16 fleet as the service determines the accident’s cause.


The RoCAF started receiving its first upgraded F-16V Viper fighter aircraft in 2018 as part of the Taiwan’s Phoenix Rising program, with upgrades including the installation of Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 Scaleable Agile Beam Radar, new mission computers, upgraded electronic warfare systems, use of the Rockwell Collins-Elbit Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, a new Identification Friend or Foe System, and improvements in munitions carried.


These aircraft were part of the original F-16A/B Block 20 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, 150 units of which were bought from the United States in the 1990s.





[1] Focus Taiwan

[2] Reuters

[3] The Guardian

Taiwanese F-16V Viper crashes, suspends training flights Taiwanese F-16V Viper crashes, suspends training flights Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on January 12, 2022 Rating: 5

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