12 Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter jets, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under license from Dassault Aviation, entered Pakistani airspace and dropped 1,000-kg laser-guided bombs on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror launch pads across the Line of Control in the early hours of Tuesday. The Mirage aircraft played a pivotal role in the 1999 Kargil War against Pakistan and turned it in India’s favor.
Details about Mirage 2000
- Mirage took its first flight in 1978.
- After the IAF inducted the Mirage, it was dubbed as ‘Vajra,’ meaning lightening thunderbolt in Sanskrit.
- Mirage 2000 is equipped to carry a range of air-to-surface missiles and weapons including laser-guided bombs.
- India initially had placed an order of 36 single-seater Mirage-2000 and four twin-seater Mirage 2000 in 1982 and after seeing its success, the government placed an additional order of 10 Mirage-2000 planes in 2004, taking the total tally to 50 jets.
- Then, in 2011, India signed a 2.4 billion USD deal with France to upgrade the existing Mirage-2000 jets to Mirage 2000-5 Mk. The upgraded Mirage jets were delivered to India in April 2018.
- The extraordinary feature of Mirage is its high drag and low wing loading clubbed with a high percentage of thrust.
- The aircraft can reach up to a height of 60,000 feet and is capable of reaching a speed of Mach 2.2, according to Dassault Aviation.
Mirage 2000 is a multirole combat fighter from Dassault Aviation of France. It has been operational with the French Air Force since 1984 and has been selected by Brazil, Egypt, Greece, India, Peru, Qatar, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. By 2009, over 600 Mirage 2000 were in service worldwide. More than 500 different variants of Mirage are operational across the world.