Mirages May Be Retrofitted Depending on Cost 幻象服役逾20年 主力戰機中仍未升級

Since 1999, eight French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jets have reportedly crashed in Taiwan, including the latest, Monday's incident. National Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said retrofitting is a possibility but the cost needs to be considered.


Military personnel conduct a grid search for pieces of the Mirage 2000 fighter that crashed into the sea off the coast of Taitung City on March 14.

Resident: “I'm keeping an eye out for the wreckage.”

The search took place on the surface and below the water, and a salvage vessel was also present at the scene. Divers said the operation was made more difficult because marine trenches are deeper along the east coast and because of the weather conditions. The Ministry of National Defense is attempting to survey the seabed. Pilot Huang Chung-kai inhaled some seawater after he ejected but is otherwise in good condition and will be discharged on March 16 at the earliest. 

Mirage fighters have been in service for over 20 years and are one of the three main fighter types in Taiwan, but the only one that hasn't been retrofitted. There are currently 54 still in commission, and they have already passed the halfway point of their lifespan. The cost of maintaining them is high, and the availability of parts is decreasing.

Chen I-hsin, Legislator (KMT): “Only 20 are still capable of flying, is that right?”
Chiu Kuo-cheng, Nat'l Def. Minister: “No, that's not it. I think it's necessary to mention components when talking about this plane. One plane may have different components than another, which will cause problems. In this case, it may be necessary to remove components from one plane while it's not in use for use in other planes.”
 
The cost of one hour of flying time in the Mirage is NT$700,000, compared to NT$280,000 for the F-16. The difference is 2.5 times. The current mission-capable rate for the Mirage is 64 percent. Taiwan signed a technical support service agreement with the French manufacturer in 2021, which should boost the mission-capable rate to 75 percent. However, the contract does not include any performance upgrades. Will Taiwan's fighters be able to counter China's new generation fighters? Scholars say the Mirage's special radar will play an extremely important role in combat across the Taiwan Strait.

Su Tzu-yun, Director, Div. of Defense Strategy & Resources, INDSR: “The Mirage's RDY radar is capable of simultaneously scanning 64 targets and simultaneously attacking four. The most important aspect when it comes to electronic warfare is that it can form different combinations with F-16s and IDFs. If that's the case, China will find it harder to take countermeasures.”

National Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said Mirage retrofitting is possible, but the cost has to be considered. Scholars suggest reducing the size of the Mirage fleet as the US continues delivering F-16Vs and assigning some of the interception duties to newly-established wings.

 

 

低頭仔細尋找是否有漂上岸的戰機散落物,軍方人員15日一早就在台東市郊近岸,展開地毯式搜索。

民眾說:「有在注意那個飛機殘骸。」

海上疑似同步進行打撈作業,一艘大型打撈船現蹤知本外海,水下作業業者表示,東部海域因海溝深度較深,加上天候、海象影響,打撈作業有難度,國防部目前正初步勘查海底情況。而飛官黃重凱除了肺部有點積水,其餘狀況良好,最快16日出院。而幻象戰機墜海失事,尤其我國三大主力戰機,只有幻象沒有升級,服役超過20年,目前有54架已進入中壽期,不只維修成本高,零件面臨消失性商源問題。

國民黨立委陳以信詢問邱國政:「只有20架能夠飛,是這樣的狀況嗎?」

邱國正回應:「不是這樣子,因為飛機我覺得講說有必要,它飛機這個料件可能這架飛機上,或兩架飛機有不同料件會出問題,這樣的話就可能有一架飛機在待料時,可能就要把一些料件除下來,給兩架飛機來運用」。

幻象飛行成本一小時約70萬元,F-16則是28萬元,兩者相差2.5倍,目前幻象妥善率只有64%,去年已和法國廠商簽署技術支援服務,預計能提高妥善率到75%,但不包含性能提升,這樣的戰力能否抗衡中共未來新一代戰機?學者指出,幻象的特殊雷達,在台海作戰極其重要。

國防安全研究院軍事戰略暨產業所長蘇紫雲表示,幻象它採用RDY雷達,可以掃描大概64個目標,同時攻擊其中4個,最重要的是在電戰的部分,可以跟F-16還有IDF形成另外一種組合,這樣的話,中共會更難反制。

邱國正不排除針對幻象進一步升級,但考量成本因素,還在研議;學者建議,美國將陸續交付我國66架F-16V,國軍可縮小幻象機隊規模,將部分攔截任務,交給新成立機隊。

 

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