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    France Bolsters Ukraine’s Air Defenses with Mirage 2000-5 Fighter Jets Amid Conflict

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    As the conflict in Ukraine wages on, France has taken a significant step to bolster Kyiv’s air defense capabilities by committing to donate Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets.

    The announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron comes as a strategic enhancement to Ukraine’s military assets in its struggle against Russia.

    The French President underscored the importance of Ukraine’s resistance, stating, “the moment for peace can only come if Ukraine resists,” during the 80th anniversary of D-Day commemorations.

    France’s decision to send the Mirage 2000-5s, a variant optimized for air-to-air combat, represents a notable shift in military aid dynamics.

    In recent months, various insiders from the military and government had indicated a reluctance to pursue the option, deeming it overly intricate, and instead choosing to yield to the proposal of acquiring American F-16s extended by nations like Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway.

    The president’s declaration marks a deviation from this course.

    Though Macron did not disclose the exact number of Mirage jets to be dispatched, he did mention the formation of “a coalition” in collaboration with “other partners,” with an estimated timeline of “five to six months” for this initiative.

    The Mirage 2000-5 is designed for air superiority missions with advanced avionics, including the RDY radar system capable of tracking multiple targets simultaneously.

    This makes the Mirage an effective platform for engaging enemy aircraft with a variety of missiles and precision-guided munitions.

    With a top speed of Mach 2.2 and a combat radius of about 1,550 kilometers, the Mirage 2000-5 stands out with its delta-wing design.

    Armed with MICA and Magic II air-to-air missiles, and a 30mm DEFA cannon, the aircraft can carry up to 6,300 kilograms of external ordnance, making it a formidable addition to Ukraine’s air defense.

    France faces practical challenges in fulfilling this commitment, given the limited number of Mirage 2000-5s at its disposal and the daily operational demands on its air force.

    The last French fighter squadron operating these jets is stationed at the Luxeuil air base in eastern France.

    The prospect of drawing aircraft from this squadron could lead to its dissolution, hence the discussion of alternative sources, such as the surplus jets from Qatar that were once destined for Indonesia.

    The successful integration of the Mirage 2000-5 into Ukraine’s air force will entail training Ukrainian pilots, a process France has offered to undertake.

    Relevant articles:
    Mirage 2000-5: How The Fighter Jets Compare to Ukraine’s F-16s, Newsweek
    War in Ukraine: By sending Mirage fighters, France steps up support for Kyiv, Le Monde.fr
    Ukraine Will Get Ex-French Mirage 2000-5 Fighters, Forbes
    Understanding the shipment of Mirage 2000-5 to Ukraine in 7 points, Meta-Defense

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