Indian Air Force May Buy 12 Used Mirage 2000 Jets From Qatar To Partially Plug Fighter Jet Shortfall

Swarajya Staff

Jun 24, 2024, 06:12 PM | Updated 06:12 PM IST

IAF's Mirage 2000 jet. (Wikimedia Commons)
IAF's Mirage 2000 jet. (Wikimedia Commons)

A team from Qatar visited India and met with officials from the Indian Air Force (IAF) to present a proposal to buy 12 used French Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

The used jets, according to reports, are said to be in good condition with at least 30 per cent of the airframe life still remaining.

The IAF already uses Mirage 2000 jets, which were acquired from France in the mid-to-late 1980s. They were crucial in destroying Pakistani logistics hubs in the Kargil war using laser-guided bombs.

These jets were also used by the IAF in the Balakot air strikes where Lashkar-e-Taiba's (LeT's) training centre at Jabba top in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was destroyed.

The engines of the Qatari jets are the same as the IAF Mirages, which will make their maintenance easier. The asking price for the 12 jets is Rs 5,000 crore, which according to experts is on the higher side, almost as costly as a brand new Tejas Mk-1A fighter jet without the new-generation bells and whistles of the Tejas.

These jets are said to be of Mirage 2000 Dash 1 upgrade instead of the IAF's Dash-2 versions, putting them at a lower level than the IAF Mirages.

However, to sweeten the deal, Qatar is also offering some Mica air-to-air missiles with the jets.

The IAF has earlier procured some French Mirage 2000 jets for cannibalisation of spares. There are also reports of Greece also offering 18 Mirage 2000 jets which are also in good condition. Some of these jets are mission-capable as well.

These jets, if procured, will increase the combat strength of the IAF instantly and may help in plugging, even if partially, some of the IAF's fighter jet shortfalls.

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