TechFrench Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets soar into Baltic skies

French Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets soar into Baltic skies

Mirage 2000 in the colors of the French Air Force, illustrative photo.
Mirage 2000 in the colors of the French Air Force, illustrative photo.
Images source: © Wikipedia
9:14 PM EST, November 24, 2023

Starting with November 28, French Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets will be stationed in Lithuania. Their pilots and ground crews will remain in the Baltic country for several months, working on the Baltic Air Policing mission. Let's examine the capabilities of these aircrafts.

Baltic Air Policing is a NATO mission, established in 2004. Initially its aim was to "maintain the sovereignty of the Baltic countries' airspace". As these countries do not possess their own fleet of fighter jets that could patrol the airspace and respond to threats in accordance with the Alliance's strategy, the external help was needed. Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, emphasis on the Baltic Air Policing mission has heightened.

Based on a recent statement, four French fighter jets will take off from the Luxeuil-Saint Sauveur air base. After following the scheduled route, they will arrive at the base in Šiauliai, Lithuania.

"The crews will integrate with a squadron of approximately 100 airmen supporting Lithuanian forces and NATO partners," as reported by the French Ministry of Defense.

Adhering to a rotating schedule, Baltic Air Policing is executed by the air forces of various NATO countries equipped with suitable fighter jets. The French are taking over the control of the Baltic countries from Italy and will be in charge of this mission for the next four months.

Mirage 2000 is a French fighter jet, designed and manufactured in France. Over 600 units of this single-engine fighter were produced between 1983 and 2007. Engineered with a delta wing, it can reach a speed of 2.35 Mach (about 1,800 mph) and an altitude of nearly 66,000 ft, with a range of approximately 2,400 miles.

Mirage 2000-5 is one of the most advanced variants. This is a multirole single- or two-seat version equipped with an RDY radar, MICA IR/RF missiles, and enhanced electronic systems. It's armed with standard weaponry, including a DEFA GIAT 554 30 mm aviation cannon, as well as extended weapons on the underwing and underfuselage pylons. These additional weapons can include the aforementioned MICA IR/RF missiles, as well as other air-to-air and air-to-ground rockets.

Related content