Mirage Fighter Jets (File Image)
Pakistan is planning to buy 36 Mirage V fighters that have already been retired from service from the Egyptian Air Force but will be upgraded to fit the requirements of the Pakistan Air Force. Negotiations with Egypt are in the final stages, according to reports.
To recall, it was the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jets that flew in undetected well about 80 km inside Pakistan in Balakot on February 26 and bombed the terror camps.The Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jets which are known for its sturdiness and accuracy is a better and more advanced version of Mirage V.
Pakistan has a 45-year-old dedicated factory called the Mirage Rebuild Factory at Kamra in Attock and his the old customer of the Mirage.
Based on 'older' hydraulic technology, PAF’s Mirage fighters (both V and III variants) do not have the critical ‘fly-by-wire’ capability which the IAF’s Mirage 2000 possesses. Beside the Mirage, PAF's backbone is the Chinese made JF 17 multirole fighter but which is limited by shorter range and limited payload capacity.
With its shaky economy, Pakistan recently requested IMF to fund support under a 39-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to 'tackle the imbalances and structural problems'. "Pakistan’s economy is at a critical juncture…Without urgent policy action, economic and financial stability could be at risk, and growth prospects will be insufficient to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population," IMF said in a recent report on Pakistan.
The PAF has an inventory of about 800 military aircraft with 438 being fighter aircraft, including 90 Mirage Vs and 69 Mirage III.