Defense Ministry to review French-built fighter jets
CNATAIPEI -- National Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said yesterday that he will ask for an overall review of the country's French made Mirage fighter jets after a lawmaker pointed out that the flight hours of the fighters have been reduced due to concern about a possible engine problem.
October 19, 2010, 12:38 am TWN
Legislator Lin Yu-fang of the ruling Kuomintang told a legislative committee that during maintenance operations in May 2009, the engine rotors were found to have cracks, resulting in reduced flying hours.
For this reason, the total flying hours of Taiwan's Mirage jets were reduced to less than 5,000 this year from the original target of more than 10,000 hours.
“The flying hours of the Mirage pilots were also reduced from the standard 15 hours per month to 10 hours, even lower than the 12 hours per month logged by Chinese fighter jet pilots,” Lin said, adding that this has affected the nation's air defenses.
Taiwan purchased 60 Mirage-2000s fighter jets from France in 1992, the last batch of which was delivered in 2001. Fifty-six of the planes remain in service, with four having been lost in crashes.