Days after the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force has given a befitting reply to Pakistan by carrying out an air strike targeting its terror camps across LoC. The Indian Air Force chose 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft to carry out this operation which launched a payload of 1000 Kg at the Balakot, Pakistan.
Let’s read about this mighty aircraft that has been in service with Indian Air Force for more than three decades.
Mirage 2000: Indian Air Force
The Mirage 2000 is the French multirole aircraft manufactured by Dassault Aviation in the 1970s as a replacement for the Mirage III of the French Air Force.
The Mirage 2000 is the deadliest and most versatile aircraft of the Indian Air Force. It was commissioned in the year 1985 and was given the name ‘Vajra’ which meaning thunderbolt in Sanskrit.
The Mirage 2000 is a 4th generation multirole fighter aircraft, which means that the aircraft is capable of performing air to air attack as well as support ground troops. It can also perform as an interceptor to other aircraft.
Image: Indian Express
The Mirage was specially designed as a lightweight, highly maneuverable fighter that was being originally being manufactured as an air superiority fighter under the project “Delta 1000”. But due to changes in the role demanded by the French Military it was later made into a multirole fighter.
It has a speed of 2.3 Mach and has a combat ceiling of 17Kms. It has a climbing speed of 60,000 feet per min & designed for all-weather day & night operations.
It has delta wings and fly-by-wire control systems.
It also has air to air refuelling technology that makes it possible to remain airborne for a long period of time.
Mirage in India:
The first 7 aircraft which India received was named the ‘Battleaxes’, with this India became the first country to use this aircraft.
The Indian Air Force used Mirage 2000s during the Kargil war when the made MiG - 21, MiG-23 and MiG - 27 were unable to execute operation due to difficult weather. These were remarkably successful in destroying the enemy trenches and assisted in capturing Tiger Hill.
The IAF currently operates 49 Mirage 2000s aircraft that went under maintenance upliftment and equipped it with Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, integrated multi-mode multi-layered radar, a war suite equipped with advanced beyond visual range missile system capability.
Mirage is widely used by many countries such as France, Egypt, India, Peru, UAE, Greece, Taiwan, and Brazil. With increasing frequency in maintenance and inception of new aircraft like Rafale, the Vajra is losing its sheen. Nonetheless, the aircraft has time and again proved itself as an excellent performer. The credit goes to the pilots and the support staff as well.
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