Armed Conflicts
Updated at:

Will France send Ukraine "the whole package"? A Squadron of Mirage 2000 SCALP fighters with Storm and Storm Shadow missiles

Modern Western fighter jets have long been one of the most sought-after items as far as Ukraine is concerned, but so far no concrete commitments have been made. Combat aircraft assistance has been limited to air-launched weapons as well as spare parts for existing aircraft already in Ukraine's arsenal.

Of course, the representative of the Air Force of Ukraine, Yuriy Ignat, confirmed a few days ago the information that Ukraine will receive Western fighters. According to Ignat, during the negotiations, it was possible to reach certain agreements and decide on the type of fighters that the Ukrainian Air Force will receive in the near future.

Despite Kiev's repeated requests for warplanes, US President Biden has made it clear that the US will not provide F-16 fighters to Ukraine. However, the French president has indicated that Paris is willing to supply fighter jets, most likely the Mirage 2000C, to Ukraine.

If France sends fighter jets to Ukraine, they will likely be Mirage 2000Cs, which the French Air Force and Space Force officially retired in June 2022. Experts predict that if Macron chooses to provide fighter jets, France will send a older variant of Mirage fighter jets in Ukraine.

Developed by Dassault Aviation, France had 106 Mirage 2000 jets in service early last year, which will be replaced by the latest Rafale fighters by 2030.

The Dassault Mirage 2000C fighter jet was withdrawn from France on 23 June 2022, leaving only 66 Mirage 2000D ground attack variant aircraft and 26 Mirage 2000-5 interceptors in service. However, a modernization program for 55 Mirage 2000D fighters is underway. The first modernized aircraft was delivered in 2021 and all deliveries are expected to be completed by 2025.

The goal of the program was to modernize the avionics on the Mirage 2000D and allow the use of MICA anti-aircraft missiles rather than the existing MAGIC. However, retired Mirage 2000C aircraft could be given to Ukraine without compromising French military capabilities.

The training of Ukrainian pilots is completed

In a new development, France completes training Ukrainian pilots for Mirage 2000 fighter-bombers.

The training of Ukrainian pilots, which allows them to fly French Mirage 2000 fighter-bombers, has started for more than a month and a half, which means that pilot training could be completed within the next month. In total, France intends to send 10 Mirage 2000 fighter-bombers to Ukraine, however, this will likely happen no earlier than the middle of the year.

“For more than a month and a half, about thirty Ukrainian servicemen have been undergoing rapid training in French fighter-bombers at Mont-de-Marsan and Nancy air bases. According to the French Ministry of Defense, the training of the pilots themselves would not have ended only with the training of the flight crew. The decision was made on the eve of Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Paris," reports Le Figaro.

According to the French version, in total France is considering supplying Ukraine with 10 Mirage 2000 fighters, from which a Fighter Squadron consisting of fighter-bombers can be formed. Despite the fact that such aircraft are obsolete, they pose a serious threat due to the ability to carry SCALP and Storm Shadow tactical cruise missiles, as well as several NATO-standard missiles.

Also, the Mirage 2000C could offer Kiev the ability to conduct ground attack operations. Capable of conducting ground attack missions with 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs, the Mirage 2000C has been upgraded to some degree of multi-role capability.

Given enough time and the right approvals, more weapons can also be added to the Mirage 2000C. However, the lack of a targeting pod in the existing jet configuration is a major operational disadvantage.

Follow Pentapostagma on Google news Google News