TAIPEI (CNA) – The Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force has announced a formal request for tenders (RTF) for companies to conduct a marine salvage mission to retrieve the black box of a Mirage-2000 fighter jet that went missing on Nov. 7.
According to an unnamed Air Force official, the RTF, which was made public earlier this week, has attracted bids from more than five companies, all of which are able to locate and retrieve the black box from a depth of 100 meters.
The Air Force is scheduled to review the bids on Monday, Nov. 20. If all goes well, the contract will then be awarded and the chosen company will proceed with salvage work, weather conditions permitting, the unnamed source said.
The earliest possible date for the mission, according to current weather reports, is most likely after Nov. 24th, the official added.
It has been 12 days since the Mirage-2000, piloted by Captain Ho Tzu-yu (何子雨), went missing off northeast Taiwan. Since then, the Air Force has detected and located a signal similar to that sent from the black box of a Mirage-2000 roughly 145 kilometers north by northeast of Keelung.
By Liu Lee-jung and Kuan-lin Liu