India buys 24 second hand mirage-2000, why is IAF so obsessed with Mirage

The Indian Air Force on Thursday received two second hand Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft from France at its Gwalior airbase.

The Indian Air Force has a huge fleet of Su-30MKI, and its MiG-29 fighters have also been upgraded to the MiG-29UPG standard. These modern Russian-made fighters are multirole fighters and can strike deep into enemy territory. Many precision-guided munitions were purchased from Russia. However, in the eyes of the Indian Air Force, the French-made Mirage-2000 fighter jets and the latest “Rafale” fighter jets are more powerful.

The Mirage-2000 has been used for precision ground strikes many times, and the Indian Air Force is quite satisfied with it. The Mirages have been in service from the 1980s and have been the mainstay of the force from the Kargil war to the 2019 Balakot airstrikes where they bombed a Jaish e Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan.

But the strange thing is that compared to other modern fighters, Mirage-2000 is quite old. India can assemble the Su-30MKI locally and purchase the new MiG-29UPG and Rafale, but the Mirage-2000 has long been discontinued. Just as the Pakistan Air Force searches for second-hand Mirage-3/5 on a global scale, the Indian Air Force also searches for second-hand Mirage-2000 fighters on a global scale. So why Indian air force so obsessed with French Mirage 2000.

Upgrade Mirage 2000 equipped with R-73AAM and Spice bomb
Upgrade Mirage 2000 equipped with R-73AAM and Spice bomb

Recently, the Indian Air Force has once again acquired two Mirage-2000 fighters. This is the first batch of 24 second-hand Mirage-2000 fighters purchased by India from France. According to reports, the first batch of 2 Mirage-2000s obtained by the Indian Air Force seems to have complete combat capabilities and can be put into use at any time. They have arrived at Gwalior Air Force Base and joined the Mirage-2000 fleet stationed there. The two Mirage-2000s were on training missions in the French Air Force before HAL will upgrade them to the latest standards.Even After the upgrade it can be equipped with Russian ammunition like R-73 AAM

With the addition of these two newly acquired aircraft, the Indian Air Force’s Mirage-2000 fleet has reached 49 aircraft and is expected to continue to increase. Previously, the Indian Air Force was equipped with 5o Mirage-2000s, but due to multiple crashes, only 47 were left. In September of this year, the Indian Air Force purchased 24 Mirage-2000s from France at a preferential price of 27 million euros (about 31.65 million US dollars), with an average unit price of only 1.125 million euros. Of the 24 second-hand Mirage-2000s, 13 have intact airframes and engines, 8 of which can be repaired, and the remaining 13 are in a partially completed state.

French Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft
French Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft

In addition to obtaining up to 8 fully usable Mirage-2000 fighters, the remaining 13 Mirage-2000 can also act as “organ suppliers” and provide parts and components for other Mirage-2000 fighters in service. If the Indian Air Force can obtain more second-hand Mirage-2000 fighters from the global market in the future, then the Mirage-2000 fleet of the Indian Air Force will remain in service for a long time and will be able to continuously upgrade it with the help of Dassault till Tejas MK2 replaced.

As we all know, French fighter jets have excellent performance, we all seend the capabilities of Mirage 2000 during the Kargil War and Balakot airstrike. But due to the limited overall output, their unit prices are high and the supply of spare parts is difficult. At present, all the Mirage-2000 fleets in the world are facing difficulties in the settlement of the supply of spare parts. The cycle of ordering spare parts from France is often more than one year, not to mention those spare parts that have long been discontinued, which seriously affects combat effectiveness. One of the reasons why few countries are preparing to retire their Mirage-2000 fleet.

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