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France can transfer only six Mirage 2000-5 jets to Ukraine, La Tribune says

La Tribune says France can transfer only six Mirage 2000-5s, contributions from other nations with the jets – Qatar, Greece, UAE – are needed for more.
hellenic air force's dassault mirage 2000-5 illustrative haf_mirage_2000-5_-_low_pass (4)
Hellenic Air Force’s Dassault Mirage 2000-5. Illustrative image: Wikimedia Commons.
France can transfer only six Mirage 2000-5 jets to Ukraine, La Tribune says

French publication La Tribune believes that France’s ability to provide fighter jets to Ukraine is severely limited, as it can transfer only six Mirage 2000-5 aircraft from its current fleet of 26 to “keep a squadron (20 aircraft).” This comes after last week’s announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron of the transfer of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine within the year, with Ukrainian pilot training in France starting June 7.

La Tribune says that a possible contribution of only six Mirages would fall short of Ukraine’s earlier request for 120-130 Western fighter jets to counter Russian air power. While the Netherlands and Denmark have committed to supplying 61 F-16s to Ukraine, with Norway and Belgium pledging additional 22 and 30, La Tribune suggests that additional contributions from nations like Qatar, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – which also operate the Mirage 2000-5 or its more advanced variants – may be crucial to meeting Kyiv’s needs.

The publication speculates that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent visit to Qatar before taking part in the commemorations marking the Normandy landings anniversary could have involved discussions on acquiring Doha’s 12 Mirage 2000-5s, as the Gulf nation is reportedly eager to sell these aircraft. Similarly, Greece’s 25 Mirage 2000-5s, capable of carrying the formidable Scalp missiles, are described as an attractive option, albeit with India also expressing interest in acquiring them.

La Tribune raises concerns about the financial and logistical arrangements required for such transfers, questioning who would bear the associated costs.

We have few Mirage 2000s, and MCO [maintenance in operational condition] would pose very complicated challenges,” French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu told the French National Assembly back in February, according to La Tribune.

Further complicating matters is the potential need for modifications to enable the transferred Mirages to carry the Franco-British Scalp/Storm Shadow missiles, a capability sought by Ukraine. In this regard, La Tribune suggests that Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the Mirages, could be entrusted with the necessary software and hardware updates, provided the timeline aligns with the intended delivery schedule to Ukraine by the end of the year.

According to March media reports, France was considering the transfer of some 40 Mirage 2000s to Ukraine. In total, nine countries operate Mirages of all variants.

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