The Indian Air Force (IAF) inked a deal to purchase 24 phased-out Mirage 2000 aircraft from the French Air Force, according to sources quoted by the Hindustan Times on September 17, 2021.

Out of 24 aircraft, 16 will reportedly not be used for flying but rather as salvage for spare parts to ensure operational continuance for the IAF's current fleet of 49 Mirage 2000s.

“A squadron of the French Mirage jets had been phased out some time ago. On August 31, a contract was signed for acquiring these phased-out planes to improve the spares and airframe capability to help improve the serviceability of the around 50 Mirage-2000s in the Indian fleet,” an anonymous government source told the Indian media.

The recent purchase deal for the aircraft is estimated to be worth around €27 million.

India had initially purchased the Mirage 2000 variants from France in 1985 as a strategic defensive countermeasure to Pakistan buying F-16 variants from the United States in the early 1980s.

The Mirage 2000s are famed to have played a significant role in India's airstrike in Balakot, Pakistan on February 26, 2019, involving 12 of the aircraft type armed with the SPICE 2000 bombs.

India's defense aircraft partnership with France has not been limited to the Mirage 2000s, as the IAF has purchased 36 Dassault Rafale aircraft to strengthen its fighter fleet. 

AeroTime has reached out to the Indian Air Force for comment and clarification.

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