ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Air Force is looking to fast track the deal to procure 36 upgraded Dassault Mirage combat fighters from Egypt. Pakistan Air Force is keen to bolster its squadron strength especially now when the tensions are extremely high with India and the country too faces depleting squadron strength, like India.
The negotiations for the deal have almost reached the final stage. The Mirage V aircraft were retired from the service by the Egyptian Air Force and Pakistani Air Force will now induct them into service after extensive refurbishments.
The Mirage V jets posses helmet-mounted display, effective night strike capabilities and mission pods. Pakistan will be upgrading a few of these aircraft before deploying them into service and making them action-ready.
The Mirage jets are supersonic attack aircrafts developed by the French manufacturing giant – Dassault Aviation. It is capable of carrying lethal and sophisticated weapons which can destroy targets with precision. Mirage V combat fighters have a combat range of 1250 kilometres while they can operate at the maximum speed of 2350 kilometres per hour.
Gabon and Pakistan are the only current operators of these aircraft while other users have retired these aircraft from service. Pakistan Air Force currently uses the Mirage 5PA, Mirage 5PA2 and Mirage 5PA3 versions of the aircraft.
Meanwhile, India is all set to receive the first batch of sophisticated Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation. Just like Pakistan, even India is keen to build on its squadron strength amid deteriorating situation between India-Pakistan.
However, the Mirage aircrafts are no match to the Rafale Jets. The Rafale planes have been specifically customized as per the Indian requirements and are considered 4.5 generation fighter jets. Rafales are nuclear-capable aircrafts and are believed to be equipped with semi-stealth technology and considered the most sophisticated fighter aircraft in Asia.