Is France about to transfer Mirage 2000D jets to Ukraine? | Airlines

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Ukraine is actively exploring the acquisition of Mirage 2000D fighter jets, according to Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, the Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Air Force, who has hinted at the possibility of adding the French fighter-bomber to reinforce the strike capability of its fleet.

In a message shared via Telegram on January 14, 2024, Oleshchuk acknowledged the challenge of mastering new Western aircraft types but expressed confidence in the process.

“Of course, we will not be able to immediately abandon the operation of Soviet aircraft,” the Air Chief of Staff explained. “Alongside the F-16, the MiG-29 will operate in the sky. The combat capabilities of the Su-24M bombers may be strengthened by the Mirage-2000D, and the Su-25 attack aircraft by the A-10 Thunderbolt II.”

Though Ukraine’s interest in the Mirage 2000 fighter has been discussed on several occasions since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, it is the first time that the 2000D, a variant still operated by the French Air Force to this day, has been designated.

Previous speculation surrounded the supply of either outdated Mirage 2000C fighters that France phased out in June 2022, or 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets, an air superiority variant of the aircraft, from Qatar.

However, since then, the Qatari 2000-5 fighters have caught the interest of the Indonesian authorities, which are seeking to acquire an interim fleet while waiting for their new Rafale jets to be delivered.

Two French squadrons [1/2 Cigognes, 3/11 Corse – ed. note] are still operating the Mirage 2000-5, and though they should eventually be phased out and replaced by Rafales, no official timeline has been announced.

The Mirage 2000D (Diversified) variant is an updated…

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