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​France is Considering to Transfer Mirage 2000 Combat Aircraft to Ukraine

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Mirage 2000C fighters of the French Air Force / Illustrative photo from open sources
Mirage 2000C fighters of the French Air Force / Illustrative photo from open sources

Such aircraft need to be modernized, but their transfer can open up interesting strike opportunities for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

During the hearings in the French Senate on February 28, 2023, it became known that the French Ministry of Defense is considering the possibility of transferring Mirage 2000 type aircraft to Ukraine and training Ukrainian pilots for this type of aircraft on the territory of Poland.

That is according to BMFTV.

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As the journalists of the publication specify, one of the senators asked the Minister of Defense of France, Sébastien Lecornu, whether it is planned to transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine 12 aircraft of the Mirage 2000C type, decommissioned and put into storage in the summer of 2022. In turn, another senator asked if it was true that Ukrainian Mirage 2000 pilots were planned to be trained on the territory of Poland. To this, Sébastien Lecornu replied that the debate on this matter continues, because first of all, priorities need to be decided.

Mirage 2000C fighters of the French Air Force, France is Considering to Transfer Mirage 2000 Combat Aircraft to Ukraine, Defense Express
Mirage 2000C fighters of the French Air Force / Illustrative photo from open sources

As the head of the Ministry of Defense of France emphasized separately, shells are now more important for the support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "Ukraine's endurance depends on ammunition," the minister said. But he did not deny that there may be negotiations between Paris and Kyiv on the transfer of aircraft, and that President Emmanuel Macron separately emphasized that the ban on aircraft for Ukraine has been lifted.

As it became known, the progress of negotiations on aircraft for the Armed Forces from France depends on the following conditions:

- the transfer of aircraft should not create an escalation and should not harm the combat capability of the French Air Force,

- the type and number of aircraft determined in this way must satisfy Ukraine.

French Rafale and Mirage 2000-5 fighters, France is Considering to Transfer Mirage 2000 Combat Aircraft to Ukraine, Defense Express
French Rafale and Mirage 2000-5 fighters / Illustrative photo from open sources

Sébastien Lecornu did not specify whether it is only the Mirage 2000C, with a high level of wear and tear and little ability to engage ground targets and engage in aerial combat. This makes it possible to consider quite interesting options for strengthening the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with aircraft.

At the moment, 65 Mirage 2000D strike aircraft and 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighters remain in service with the French Air Force, which are planned to be decommissioned by 2030 with a complete replacement by the Rafale. Accordingly, such aircraft can be transferred to Ukraine without harming the defense capability of France itself.

The Mirage 2000-5 modification was produced during the 1990s and 2000s and can be equipped with air-to-air missiles of the MICA type, which have combined guidance and, depending on the modification, can have a range of up to 60 km. At the same time, such aircraft can also use unguided and guided aerial bombs.

French Mirage 2000D attack aircraft, France is Considering to Transfer Mirage 2000 Combat Aircraft to Ukraine, Defense Express
French Mirage 2000D attack aircraft / Illustrative photo by Armée de l'Air

The situation with Mirage 2000D multirole fighter aircraft is even more interesting. Such aircraft are a conversion from the Mirage 2000N, which were produced as carriers of tactical nuclear weapons, and their combat service began only in 1993.

The Mirage 2000D can develop high flight speed even at low altitude, and can act as a carrier of the SCALP cruise missile. The current modernization program provides that such aircraft will also be able to use air-to-air missiles of the MICA type.

French Mirage 2000D multirole fighter aircraft, France is Considering to Transfer Mirage 2000 Combat Aircraft to Ukraine, Defense Express
French Mirage 2000D multirole fighter aircraft / Illustrative photo by Dassault Aviation
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