LAST SQUADRON OF MIRAGE FIGHTERS TO BE DEPLOYED BY NEXT MARCH
Hsinchu, northern Taiwan, Aug. 25 (CNA) All 60 Mirage 2000-5 jet fighters ordered by the Republic of China Air Force have arrived in Taiwan, with the last squadron to be deployed by next March, according to an air force general on Wednesday.
Gen. Chin Nai-chieh, who is in charge of the Mirage fighter wings at the Hsinchu Air Force Base, told the media that 40 Mirages have already joined the combat-readiness deployment unit, while the last squadron is undergoing intensive training.
He said the air force originally planned to complete deployment of the Mirage fleet by the end of this year, but the schedule has now been extended to next March as the training for the last squadron will be extended from six to eight months.
To demonstrate the Mirage fighter's performance capability, Major Liu Hui-chien, who has 650 flying hours in the French-made fighter, made a performance flight for the media at the Hsinchu base.
Meeting with reporters later, Liu said the Mirage is flawless in flight training and combat training, adding that the only requirement is to step up the training of personnel.
Meanwhile, Colonel Shen Yi-ming of the Mirage tactical combat wing said that mainland China's SU-27 jet fighters are the presumed rivals of Taiwan's Mirage fighters.
He noted that both Mirage and SU-27 fighters are high-altitude high-speed interceptors, but because Mirage 2000-5s have better weapon systems, the ROC Air Force is able to maintain an air supremacy over the Taiwan Strait. (By Victor Lai)