Taiwanese Air Force has grounded its entire Mirage 2000 fleet after one of the jets crashed during a training exercise, Reuters reported.
A French-built Mirage 2000 aircraft plunged into the sea shortly after it took off from the Chihhang Air Base in the southeastern city of Taitung for a training mission.
The pilot ejected and is reportedly rescued from the sea.
Air force Inspector General Liu Hui-Chien said that the fleet will remain grounded for safety checks. An investigation has also been launched on the incident.
Despite multiple upgrades, Taiwanese Mirage jets have been involved in several accidents.
This is Taiwan’s second combat aircraft loss in a span of three months. In January, an F-16 jet crashed into the ocean killing the pilot.
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Last year, the Taiwanese Air Force grounded its F-5E fighter jet fleet after a mid-air collision of two aircraft during a training mission.
Taiwan occasionally scrambles air force jets to warn Chinese aircraft that enters its air defence zone.
Such incidents increased significantly in the last two years.
In the latest incursion this month, Taiwan reportedly warned away 13 Chinese aircraft. According to Taiwan’s defence ministry, seven Chinese J-10, five J-16 fighters and one Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft flew past an area northeast of the Pratas Islands.
Notably, China claims the democratic island of Taiwan as its own territory, making it one of the potential military flashpoints in the world.