IAF’s 35-year old Mirage fleet, which performed exceptionally during the 2019 Balakot operation, is undergoing a mid-life upgrade. With the trigger for the acquisition of the second-hand aircraft being the immediate need for 300 critical spares.
In an attempt to strengthen its aging fleet of fourth-generation fighters, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to acquire Dassault Aviation made 24 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters. IAF will also secure parts for its two existing squadrons of the aircraft.
IAF has initialed a 27 million euros contract to buy the fighters. Out of these eight are in ready-to-fly condition. These aircraft, which cost 1.125 million euros each, will soon be shipped to India in containers., According to the reports in Hindustan Times
IAF purchased around 50 fourth-generation Mirage 2000C and B fighters way back in 1985, maintenance contract that expired in 2005. It signed another contract in 2015-2016 with the French original equipment manufacturer.
The purchase highlights the importance of shifting spare parts. Engine supply chains to India for future acquisitions as fighters abroad reach obsolescence much faster than in India.
Until the PM Modi government took the decision of acquiring the 4.5 generation Rafale fighters. The Mirage 2000 was India’s front-line fighter, a position it has held since the Kargil war.
Reportedly, out of the 24 fighters, eight are in ready-to-fly condition and 13 are in complete condition with engine and airframe intact, while the remaining 11 are partially complete but with fuel tanks and ejection seats.
The report stated that IAF and the Indian Navy should plan their fighter acquisition to synergy between the two forces. The experts believe this is important so that the defense ministry to accelerate decisions on replenishing the country’s fighter fleet. China has already moved to fifth-generation fighters and armed drones.
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