The Indian Air Force has decided to purchase phased out Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft from the French Air Force. According to government sources, a contract was signed for the purchase of a squadron of Dassault Mirage 2000 jets which were phased out by the French Air Force some time ago. The jets are being purchased to improve the serviceability of the existing Mirage 2000 jets of the IAF.
“A squadron of the French Mirage jets had been phased out some time ago. On August 31, a contract was signed for acquiring these phased-out planes to improve the spares and airframe capability to help improve the serviceability of the around 50 Mirage 2000s in the Indian fleet,” reports said quoting government sources.
However, IAF is not purchasing these aircraft for flying, instead, they will be used to scavenge spare parts from them. 24 Mirage 2000 jets will be supplied in containers to the Indian Air Force.
An earlier report by Hindustan Times had said that the deal is worth 27 million euros, costing each aircraft 1.125 million euros. The report had also said that out of the 24 fighters being purchased, 13 are in complete condition with engine and airframe intact, and eight of them are ready to fly after servicing. However, the latest reports today said that none of the planes will be used for flying.
This is the second time IAF purchasing phased out Mirage 2000 jets for spare parts. Last year such phased out jets had reached India from France, which had helped in improving the Mirage-2000 planes of the IAF.
French Air Force is retiring its Mirage-2000 fleet as it is replacing them with the newer Rafale Fighter Jets.
Indian Air Force operates 49 Mirage 2000 jets at present. It had purchased 51 jets in the 1980s, but two have been lost in crashes. IAF had used Mirage 2000 planes in the Balakot Airstrikes against terror camps in Pakistan.