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​The French Gossiping that France Transfers Mirage 2000 Aircraft to Ukraine as a Carrier of the SCALP-EG Cruise Missile

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French SCALP-EG cruise missile under the wing of Su-24M tactical bomber, August 2023 / Open source photo
French SCALP-EG cruise missile under the wing of Su-24M tactical bomber, August 2023 / Open source photo

The reasoning behind such rumors seems strange, but it attracts attention in its own way

In the Western media, the number of reports about delays in the implementation of the training program for Ukrainian F-16 pilots is increasing. Currently, the timelines for the possible completion of the training of the first group of pilots have already been pushed back to the first half of 2024. Against this background, among profile reviews in France and in local social networks, rumors began to circulate that Paris, as it were, has already started the transfer of Mirage 2000 type aircraft to Ukraine for their use as carriers of SCALP-EG cruise missiles, which have already been received by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This, in particular, is stated in the publication of the French profile portal Opex360.

Read more: ​Ukraine’s Air Force Command: France Don’t Train Ukrainian Pilots On The Mirage 2000 Fighters
Su-24 tactical bomber of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, probably with Storm Shadow missiles, summer 2023, The French Gossiping that France Transfers Mirage 2000 Aircraft to Ukraine as a Carrier of the SCALP-EG Cruise Missile, Defense Express
Su-24 tactical bomber of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, probably with Storm Shadow missiles, summer 2023 / Photo from open sources

As the authors of Opex360 emphasize, Xavier Tytelman, Editor-in-chief at Air & Cosmos, who in particular monitors the nuances of the military aid that France provides to Ukraine, wrote on his Twitter about the rumors concerning the possible transfer of the Mirage 2000 aircraft to Ukraine. Xavier Tytelman expressed himself as follows - "he heard rumors that such French planes have been in Ukraine for 2 weeks." Who was the source of such rumors and other details, this author did not give.

Another reason for the creation of rumors about the Mirage 2000 for Ukraine, as further described in Opex360, really became official materials from the leadership of Ukraine.

French SCALP-EG cruise missile under the Su-24M wing, August 2023, The French Gossiping that France Transfers Mirage 2000 Aircraft to Ukraine as a Carrier of the SCALP-EG Cruise Missile, Defense Express
French SCALP-EG cruise missile under the Su-24M wing, August 2023 / Photo from open sources

As we can recall, on August 6, 2023, the first official video with the SCALP-EG missile under the wing of the Ukrainian Su-24M was made public, on which the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi put his signature. If you look more closely at this image, you can see not only the Eiffel Tower, which is inscribed in the contour of the Coat of Arms of Ukraine, but also another interesting stylization - an image that combines the silhouettes of two aircraft: the Ukrainian Su-24M and the French Mirage 2000.

Another interesting hint was "thrown" into social networks by the press service of the French industrial group Safran SA, which specializes in the manufacture of components for aviation. One of their messages was accompanied by an image of a Mirage 2000C type aircraft with a SCALP-EG cruise missile suspended under the fuselage, although the carrier of such a cruise missile can only be an aircraft of another modification - the Mirage 2000D, while the Mirage 2000C is generally an interceptor and this aircraft is already withdrawn from service of the French Air Force in the summer of 2022.

The French Gossiping that France Transfers Mirage 2000 Aircraft to Ukraine as a Carrier of the SCALP-EG Cruise Missile, Defense Express

Maybe it's just a mistake or maybe it's a hint. Moreover, rumors have been circulating among the French establishment for a long time that the Mirage 2000C, instead of simply being written off from the records of the French Air Force, could theoretically be transferred to Ukraine.

And all this is superimposed against the background of reports about the possible training of pilots of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in France, which were partially confirmed even by the French Ministry of Defense in March 2023 - they say that Ukrainian pilots "undergo air defense training and improve survival skills in the event of ejection on hostile territory."

The above reasoning for the new wave of rumors about the Mirage 2000 for Ukraine looks strange and improbable in its own way, but at the same time it attracts some attention. Especially if you consider that France already had the experience of retraining German pilots from the MiG-29 to the Mirage 2000 in just 3 months.

French SCALP-EG cruise missile under the Su-24M wing, August 2023, The French Gossiping that France Transfers Mirage 2000 Aircraft to Ukraine as a Carrier of the SCALP-EG Cruise Missile, Defense Express
French SCALP-EG cruise missile under the Su-24M wing, August 2023 / Photo from open sources
Read more: The Mirage 2000 Already Performed Tasks In the Black Sea Area By Means of the ASTAC Module