UAE set to up­grade its Mi­rage 2000-9 fighters

The National - News - - NEWS -

The Armed Forces are set to up­grade their Mi­rage 2000-9 jet fighters.

Maj Gen Ishaq Al Balushi said the Gov­ern­ment in­tended to sign a deal with French com­pa­nies Das­sault Avi­a­tion and Thales to mod­ernise the fighter group.

The an­nounce­ment was made at the Dubai Air Show and re­ported by Wam. It was not im­me­di­ately clear when the deal would be signed. The UAE and Lock­heed Martin have signed a US$1.6 bil­lion (Dh5.8bn) deal to up­grade F-16s.

Those air­craft and Das­sault Mi­rages form the back­bone of the Air Force fighters. Many UAE pi­lots learnt to fly in Mi­rages dur­ing the 1970s.

In 1998, the UAE bought 32 new Mi­rage 2000-9 jets, while 30 of the older Mi­rage 2000s were re­vamped.

The Mi­rage was de­vel­oped in the 1970s and is a sin­gle-en­gine jet fighter. Hun­dreds were made, and they are used by sev­eral coun­tries.

There have been pre­vi­ous re­ports the UAE was con­sid­er­ing buy­ing the Rafale, Das­sault’s ad­vanced fighter, but no firm deals have been made.

Pawan Singh / The Na­tional

A Mi­rage 2000-9 per­form­ing at the Dubai Air­show at Al Mak­toum In­ter­na­tional Air­port

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