Republic of China Air Force

The island state of Taiwan, otherwise known as the Republic of China, is being regarded by the People's Republic of China as a runaway province of mainland China, an opinion that is not shared by the Taiwanese themselves. Effectively, Taiwan is an independent state with a GNP outstripping that of it's much larger communist neighbor. A number of air bases were visited in order to photograph a large cross section of the Republic of China Air Force's aircraft and helicopters. Additionally, the approach near the air base of Hsinchu was visited on a busy Saturday morning.

All pictures (c) Hans Rolink.

Mirage 2000-5Di 2051/Di01
Mirage 2000-5Di 2051/Di01 on final approach to it's base. The base's 2 TFW operates three squadrons of Mirages that replaced the F-104G Starfighters. They are the only active radar guided missile fighters in the Republic of China Air Force, the missiles being MATRA MICA. The US declined to supply the F-16 with the similar AIM-120 AMRAAM.
Hsinchu 12 August 2000
F-5E 5272/80874
Following a reorganization some years ago, Taoyuan Air Base, in effect the third runway of the new Chang Kai Shek International Airport of Taipei, now houses the 8 TFW. This unit operates a mix of F-5E fighter bombers, RF-5E recce birds and F-5F two-seaters. This picture of F-5E 5272/80874 was shot on 14 August 2000. The Chinese characters on the nose stand for Chung Cheng, the nickname for the late President Chang Kai Shek. All RoCAF (R)F-5E/F's carry this inscription, as Chung Cheng also is the nickname for the F-5.
Taoyuan, 14 August 2000.

RF-5E 5507/30094
As one of only seven conversions from F-5E's, RF-5E's like 5507/30094 from 12 TRS/8 TFW took over the reconnaissance role from RF-104G Starfighters. The conversion was designed by ASTA of Singapore. 

Taoyuan, 15 August 2000.

F-CK-1A Ching Kuo IDF 1437/84-8056
During a time that Taiwan was refused modern warplanes like the F-16, the country designed it's own. This AIDC IDF (Indigenous Defense Fighter) is also known as F-CK-1A and Ching-Kuo. The latter names stems from Chang Ching-Kuo, the late President and son of Chang Kai-Shek. Some 130 were built, roughly half of which serve with the 3 TFW at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base near Taichung. Here the type replaced F-104G Starfighters.
The nose badge gives this plane away as belonging to the 28 TFS. 

Ching Chuan Kang, 16 August 2000.

F-16A 6642/93-0743
Armed with AIM-7M Sparrows and AIM-9M Sidewinders, this 4 TFW F-16A 93-0743/6642 is about to touch down at it's home base  The RoCAF received 150 F-16A/B in the Block 20 configuration, i.e. up to the European F-16A/B Block 15MLU standard. At Chiayi, the F-16 replaced F-5E/F.

Chiayi on 17 August 2000.

T-34C 3425/84025
A visit to the RoCAF's Academy at Kangshan produced this T-34C Turbo Mentor of the Basic Training Group.
Kangshan, 18 August 2000

AT-3 0857/AT-30857
The advanced jet trainer in the RoCAF is the AIDC AT-3, another indigenous design. The Chinese characters on the nose stand for Tzu-Chung, meaning "something self achieved".
Kangshan, 18 August 2000