Updated: February 26, 2019 2:38:12 pm
India, Tuesday, confirmed that it conducted air strikes at the “biggest training” camp of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad at Balakot along the Line of Control. The “pre-emptive” strike was carried out after India received information about JeM’s attempts of carrying out suicide bombings at multiple places across the country, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told a press briefing in New Delhi today. Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighters were used to destroy the camps, reported ANI.
When was the deal with France signed?
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation fighter jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation. India inked the deal with France in 1980 and the jet is one among the IAF’s strategic aircraft. While negotiations were on to purchase up to 150 aircraft from the French side, the final deal was sealed for 40 aircraft. India later ordered nine Mirage 2000 aircraft in 1986.
Impressed with its services in the Kargil War in 1999, India considered acquiring more 126 aircraft of this kind. In 2004, when India made its third order for the type, the government announced its intention to upgrade its existing Mirage 2000s. After rounds of negotiations, India in July 2011 approved a $2.2 billion upgrade package for its Mirage 2000s.
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What are the operational capabilities of Mirage 2000?
While earlier Mirage 2000 was designed as a lightweight fighter, it later evolved into a multirole aircraft with several variants developed. According to Dassault Aviation, the jet is available as a single-seater or two-seater multirole fighter. It has a maximum climbing speed of 60,000 feet per minute and is designed for all weather penetration at low altitude.
According to Air Force Technology, the aircraft has hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control. Mirage 2000-5 incorporates the Thales VEH 3020 head-up display and five cathode ray tube multifunction advanced pilot systems interface (APSI) displays. It also has 9 hardpoints to carry weapon system payloads. Apart from IAF, the jet is also used by Air Forces of France, United Arab Emirates and China.
How did the Mirage 2000 perform in Kargil?
During the Kargil War, India needed aircraft that could perform at the highest terrains and bad climate. While the Indian side had MiG-21s, MiG-23s and MiG-27s in its arsenal, they were not able to dislodge the Pakistani side. This is when Mirage 2000 was put to use. The jet was used to drop laser-guided bombs to destroy well-entrenched positions of the Pakistani forces
During Operation Safed Sagar, two Mirage aircraft flew a total of 514 sorties and destroyed the command and control bunkers of Pakistan’s Northern Light Infantry. Armed with Laser Guided Bombs, the jets repeatedly struck the heavily defended Tiger Hill. The impressive service of the Mirage 2000 in 1999 prompted the government to make another order for Mirage 2000.
The upgrade in 2004
In 2004, India placed a new order for Mirage 2000. After a period of protracted negotiations for the next several years, during which India and Dassault came close to signing a contract several times, India in July 2011 approved a $2.2 billion upgrade package for its Mirage 2000s. Among the upgrades planned for Mirage 2000 are a night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpit, advanced navigational systems, advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, advanced multi-mode multi-layered radar, fully integrated electronic warfare suite and advanced beyond visual range (BVR) capability.
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