TechFrench Mirage 2000 fighters set to bolster Ukraine's defenses

French Mirage 2000 fighters set to bolster Ukraine's defenses

F-16 and Mirage 2000-D fighter jets may appear over Ukraine.
F-16 and Mirage 2000-D fighter jets may appear over Ukraine.
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu Agency

8:52 AM EDT, June 7, 2024

Ukrainians may soon be able to use not only Western F-16 fighters but also Mirage 2000s. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, announced the transfer of these aircraft and informed about plans to train Ukrainian pilots. These two proven and still quite popular fighter models could significantly impact the airspace situation over Ukraine. What features make them stand out?

On Thursday, June 6, the President of France stated: "Tomorrow we will launch a new cooperation and announce the transfer of Mirage 2000-5" fighter jets to Ukraine made by French manufacturer Dassault and train their Ukrainian pilots in France." It is unknown how many machines France will hand over to Ukraine or when exactly it will happen. However, Macron mentioned that pilot training could start early this summer. He also discussed plans to equip and train an entire brigade of 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers.

F-16 and Mirage 2000 fighters over Ukraine

Adding aircraft, for which Ukrainians await deliveries, could significantly improve their air defense and attack capabilities. Kyiv is also waiting for Sweden to transfer two Saab 340 AEW&C early warning and control aircraft. These will facilitate the fighters' work by acting like high-altitude radars that see much more and further. Thanks to them, radar detection and coordination of attacks on air, sea, and land targets will improve.

Deliveries of F-16 fighters are set to begin this summer. About 60 machines will go to Ukraine, most likely forming three or four squadrons. These fourth-generation fighters are significantly more modern than the Soviet-era Su-27s or MiG-29s currently used by the Ukrainians. They are 49 feet long, have a wingspan of 31 feet, and can travel at speeds of about 1,522 mph (Mach 2). Their advantage is the ability to carry various weapons and access a vast amount of data, which can be received and sent almost in real time.

The number of Mirage 2000-Ds that will go to Ukraine remains a secret. However, it is known that France has over 60 machines of this version. Delivering even a dozen or so aircraft would significantly support the Ukrainian army. Mirage 2000-Ds are optimized for ground missions. Ukrainians could thus employ more F-16s for air-to-air operations and jamming the electronic signals of Russian radars deployed in Ukraine and on its borders.

Meanwhile, the Mirage 2000-Ds could support Su-24M bombers in attacking ground targets. It is worth mentioning that the Mirage 2000-Ds are adapted to carry a wide range of precision weapons, including SCALP-EG cruise missiles, known as the French twin of the British Storm Shadow missiles.

The Mirage 2000-D, a two-seater model designed for ground attack missions, was developed from the reconstruction of Mirage 2000N prototypes. The fighters are over 49 feet long, nearly 20 feet tall, and have a wingspan of 30 feet. They can fly at speeds exceeding 1,242 mph, and the Antilope 5 radar they are equipped with provides significant situational awareness. It allows for terrain tracking, mapping, and navigation. These machines also utilize the Sabre electronic warfare system (EWS) and additional flare dispensers to enhance aircraft safety.

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