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Taiwan Fighter Jets Suffer Damage From Earthquake

The Taiwanese Air Force has reported damage to eight of its fighter planes caused by the recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

The six F-16V aircraft and two F-5 fighters stationed at Hualien Air Force Base suffered minor damage caused by the shaking of their boarding ladders during the incident.

According to the command, the damage is easily repairable and will not affect the aircraft’s combat readiness.

The earthquake occurred at 7:58 local time on April 3, with its epicenter located at Shoufeng, just 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of the air base.

Hualien is home to the air force’s 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, which includes F-16, RF-5E, and F-5 jets tasked with guarding Taiwan’s skies.

Increased Air Defenses

Taiwan’s defense ministry has reported an uptick of Chinese activity in its airspace in recent months, prompting the air force to ensure its air defenses against China.

Taipei recently announced that it had detected 36 Chinese military aircraft operating around Taiwan within 24 hours, with 13 crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

Part of the country’s solution to counter China’s actions includes heightening its monitoring activities through the acquisition of four MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones from the US.

The country has also begun developing an indigenous military trainer aircraft set for mass production in 2031.

These new planes will replace the force’s Beechcraft T-34C trainers, some of which have been in service for almost 40 years.

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