The Mirage V in question has a helmet-mounted screen, mission pods, and night attack capability. Sources said Pakistan would update these jets before putting some of them into operation.
The Pakistan Air Force is expected to seal a contract with Egypt to buy upgraded Dassault Mirage-V fighter jets. The two countries have been negotiating the contract for years and now the final contract can see the light of day because the Pakistan Air Force wanted these fighter jets to strengthen their existing squadron of jets.
“Negotiations to purchase 36 such aircraft almost reached the final stage”, one of the person familiar with the negotiations said. These jets were retired from service by the Egyptian Air Force long ago, so Pakistan will have to refurbish them before pressing the aircraft into service.
These jets refurbish like in the past when it has upgraded dozens of Mirage-III/Vs with Italian radars and other electronics at the Mirage Rebuild Factory, established by the Pakistan Air Force in 1978.
For the last five decades, Pakistan’s Air Force has been operating Mirage combat jets and despite the induction of the JF-17, the air force planned to put on hold the retirement of the Mirage in the absence of better weaponry. Over the past five decades, Pakistan has purchased nearly 150 Mirage III/V fighters. The force had in the past also bought retired Mirage-III from Australia.
Relations between the two nuclear-armed states plummeted again in August after New Delhi decided to revoke the special status accorded to the disputed region of Kashmir. While India described the decision as an “internal affair”, Pakistan has stated in several international forums, including at the United Nations, that it is a violation of bilateral agreements and the Vienna Convention.
The Pakistani army has pledged to do its utmost to bring justice to the Kashmiri people and has deployed hundreds of elite commandos near the line of control- a de facto border separating the Kashmir region between the two counties. The Pakistan Air Force also deployed its front-line jets last month at Skardu Forward Air Base, near Ladakh, to rule out any Balakot-like attacks by India.
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