Taiwan finds wreckage of its damaged F16 at sea

Taiwanese rescue troops found the wreckage of an F-16V fighter jet that crashed into the sea on Wednesday, January 12, two months after the first battalion opened, using state-of-the-art equipment and equipment, the National Rescue Center said. Island.

An overnight search involving several helicopters, Coast Guard vessels and more than 60 senior officers failed to locate the pilot. The plane disappeared from radar screens on Tuesday, half an hour after taking off for a regular training flight from its base in the southwest of the island.

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Under the pressure of Beijing

The Air Force explained that the plane was heading towards the sea and could not determine whether the 28-year-old pilot had been ejected from the cockpit. The crash comes less than two months after Taiwan launched its first US-designed F-16V battalion in an effort to upgrade its air fleet at the height of tensions with China. The rest of the fleet landed.

Beijing demands sovereignty over Taiwan’s democratic island and promises to forcibly withdraw one day if necessary. Under President Xi Jinping, China has intensified its economic, diplomatic and military pressure on the region. Under constant pressure from Beijing, which has accelerated its incursions into the island’s air defense identification zone (ADIS) since 2020, the Taiwan Air Force has suffered serious accidents in recent years.

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According to data compiled by AFP, last year, Taiwan recorded 969 Chinese warplane infiltrations on ADIZ, more than double the previous year’s 380 infiltrations. Last March, Taiwan landed all of its military planes, with one pilot killed and another missing in a collision between two warplanes, the third fatal crash in six months.

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