France announced in 1992 that it would offer Dassault Mirage 2000-5
fighters to Taiwan.
The number of aircraft considered had been rumored to be 120,
but the deal was finalized as 60 aircraft
(48 single-seat 2000-5Ei and 12 two-seat 2000-5Di) on November 17 of the same year.
This marks the first ROCAF purchase of French fighters since the arrival
24 Dewoitine D.510C piston-engine monoplanes in 1937.
The program was given the codename "Fei Lung" (Flying Dragon).
ROCAF also obtained 960 MICA medium-range and 480 Magic II short-range
air-to-air missiles from Matra.
The former provides the Mirage with the BVR capability needed for its role
as front-line interceptor.
A number of centerline twin gun pods with DEFA 554 cannons were also acquired
and fitted on the two-seaters, as they do not have an internal gun armament.
Other support equipment, such as auxiliary fuel tanks, helmets, and G-suits,
have also been procured.
The first batch of ROCAF Mirage 2000-5, consisting of five aircraft,
arrived at Hualien Harbor on the east coast of Taiwan by sea on May 6, 1997.
After being unloaded, they were towed to Hualien AB, where they were unpacked
and checked, and then flown to Hsinchu AB.
Subsequent deliveries also followed the same procedure.
The last ROCAF Mirage 2000-5 was delivered in an official ceremony on
November 26, 1998.
All Mirage 2000-5 are operated by the 499th TFW at Hsinchu.
The first unit to conver to the type, the 41st TFS, was commissioned on December 1, 1997.
Subsequently the 42nd TFS was commissioned on November 26, 1998.
The 499th TFW achieved the IOC (Initial Operational Capability) status
on May 10, 2001, and the 48th TFS was commissioned on the same day.
On November 1, 2004,
the 41st and 42nd TFS were upgraded to the TFG status
while the 48th TFS became the 48th Training Group,
in the largest restructure undertaken by ROCAF since 1999.
At the same time, the original 11th TFG went into history.
Each of the new TFG/TG is commanded by a Colonel, but the number of aircraft assigned is not much
different from that for a Squadron.
Although their official English designation is Tactical Fighter Group, the Chinese designation
literally means Operations Group.
Weapon Testing & Exercises
On May 8, 1998, a two-seat Di fired one MICA missile and successfully hit a
target drone 67 km away.
It was the first launch of the said missile outside France.
The second MICA live-firing exercise took place off the east coast of
Taiwan on March 29, 2000, in which 2051 fired a single MICA missile
from its left inner pylon.
On July 21, 2004, two Mirage 2000-5 from the 2nd TFW landed on the wartime reserve runway located
at the Jenteh section of Highway No. 1
as part of the annual Han Kuang No. 20 Exercise.
Mirage 2000-5Di 2051, piloted by Maj. Wei-Kuang Chang and Lt. Col. Juei-Chi Duan,
and 2054, piloted by Lt. Col. Bin-Fu Wu and Capt. Jien-Liang Chen,
took off from their home base Hsinchu Air Base at 0540 hrs.
2051 landed on the highway at 0620 hrs, followed by 2054 at 0622 hrs.
The two jets then taxied to the other end of the reserve runway to be refueled
and re-armed with two Magic Air-to-air missiles, respectively.
At 0712 hrs, 2051 took off again and 2054 followed one minute later.
Both landed at Hsinchu at 0736 hrs.
| Mirage 2000-5Ei
| Mirage 2000-5Di