India buys 24 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters for spare parts

NEW DELHI, ($1=73.58 Indian Rupees) – The Indian Air Force plans to buy 24 used Mirage 2000 fighters in France, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express. The purchase of 4th generation tactical aircraft as “spare parts donors” to maintain the combat effectiveness of their “peers” may prove to be quite a promising story not only for the Indian Air Force.

These aircraft will not serve as part of the military units, these aircraft will be used as “spare parts donors”, writes the site Scramble.

According to the portal, the Indian Air Force is ready to spend 27 million euros on such a purchase. The aircraft will be delivered to the customer by sea and land transport in disassembled form, in containers.

In theory, 13 aircraft should be fully equipped, of which 8 can fly after proper maintenance. The other 11 aircraft on request must be “partially equipped”, but these used Mirage 2000s must be fitted with fuel tanks and seats for ejection of pilots.

In turn, spare parts from these used 24 Mirage 2000 fighters will be used to maintain the combat effectiveness of 40 Mirage 2000E fighters and 10 Mirage 2000ED fighters, which have been in service since 1985.

Such a specific purchase can be explained by several reasons. For example, according to BulgarianMilitary.com, the Indian Ministry of Defense has about $ 8 billion in the 2021 defense budget. This amount is not enough for the Indian military to start purchasing new tactical aircraft to replace the Mirage 2000.

In theory, the French company Dassault Aviation developed the Rafale fighter for the Mirage 2000 tactical aircraft.

India has a very specific experience of buying Rafales for its air force: 136 such planes were ordered at once, in fact, only about 30 were delivered, and Indian parliamentarians demanded to terminate the contract due to the excessive cost of the Rafale fighter.

In July 2021, the Indian frigate INS Tabar paid an official visit to France, just before the national holiday – Bastille Day. The background to this event indicated that India and France might reach some new agreements on arms supplies.

It seems that the agreement to supply 24 Mirage 2000 fighters as “spare parts donors” is the only achievement from such a visit.

However, here we can assume that the purchase of 4th generation tactical aircraft as “spare parts donors” to maintain the combat capability of their “peers” may be quite a promising story.

For example, according to BulgarianMilitary.com, in February 2021, Germany began resuscitation of its fleet of Tornado fighter-bomber. And this project has its technological problem – the Germans need to re-learn to produce about 400 components for this aircraft.

In theory, spare parts for aircraft could be produced using 3D printing. Similar experiments were started in March 2021 by the Swedish Saab, for the maintenance of its JAS39 Gripen.

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