Amid border tensions, the Indian Air Force received a boost to its fleet of fighter jets as second-hand Mirage 2000 fighter jets arrived from France at its air base in Gwalior.
“The Indian Air Force received two Mirage 2000 training versions from France. Both aircraft were flying with their air force and recently arrived at Gwalior air base,” ANI told ANI. government sources.
The aircraft would now be upgraded to the latest standards as part of the ongoing Mirage upgrade program at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the sources said. Both planes were acquired by the Indian Air Force as part of the program to offset the number of planes in the Mirage fighter fleet to around 50.
The IAF had acquired around 51 Mirages in different lots and they form three squadrons which are all based in the Gwalior Air Force station. Sources said the Mirage upgrade agreement between the French and Indian sides aimed to upgrade the capabilities of 51 aircraft and some of them. Kits are left behind due to crashes involving these planes. The same kits can be put on these two French Air Force planes and make them fit for combat operations, the sources said.
The Indian Air Force has invested very smartly in finding spare parts for the Mirages in the form of old French planes being phased out, which will help the Air Force maintain them until 2035 , the sources said.
The Mirages have been in service since the 1980s and were the mainstay of war strength from Kargil to the Balakot airstrikes in 2019 where they bombed a Jaish e Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan.
The Mirages also succeeded in clearing the Pakistani army camps and bunkers on Tiger Hill during the Kargil War and changed the face of war by successfully hitting enemy camps at such high altitudes with precision. extreme using laser-guided bombs.