TAIPEI--Taiwan says an air force fighter jet has gone missing in seas north of the island.

The official Central News Agency said the Mirage-2000 disappeared from radar screens just over half an hour after taking off Tuesday evening from an air base in Hsinchu, south of the capital Taipei.

The agency says more than a dozen aircraft have been dispatched to search the area but with no result as of midday Wednesday. It said the pilot, Ko Tse-yu, joined the force more than a decade ago and had 227 hours of flight time in Mirages.

Taiwan purchased 60 of the jets from France during the 1990s, despite stiff opposition from China, which claims the island as its own territory and threatens to use military force to bring it under its control.