Fighter jet crashes in Myanmar, killing pilot

M Radzi Desa / Wikipedia

A Nanchang Q-5 fighter jet crashed during a routine flight in Myanmar’s Sagaing Region.  

According to official information, the crash was caused by a mechanical failure. The aircraft plunged into a lake near Ohn Taw village, killing its pilot.  

An official statement, quoted by Al Arabiya, says that the aircraft took off from Tada-U air force base for a non-combat training flight. Contact with the jet was lost at 10:43 AM MMT (04:13 GMT), prompting the authorities to launch a search and rescue operation. 

Media reports, along with photographs of the wreckage being recovered from the lake, reveal that the aircraft is a Chinese-made Nanchang A-5, an export version of a Q-5 strike aircraft. 

The Q-5 is a ground-attack-focused version of the Shenyang J-6, itself a copy of a Soviet MiG-19 Farmer. 

In contrast to the original MiG-19 and its derivatives, the Q-5 features an extended nose section capable of accommodating a radar, as well as an internal weapons bay and other improvements to the fuselage. 

The aircraft was introduced into service in 1970, and its production continued until 2012. 

Myanmar Air Force received its A-5s between 1994 and 2000. Its fleet of combat aircraft also features Soviet- and Russian-made MiG-29s, Chinese-Pakistani JF-17s, and Chengdu J-7s (Chinese versions of the MiG-21).  

In 2021, Myanmar also received the first batch of Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30s.  

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