The United Arab Emirates has signed a $462 million contract with Dassault Aviation for the modernization of its Mirage 2000-9 fleet. In addition, the missile manufacturer MBDA was awarded a $350 million contract for ammunitions maintenance.
The contract with Dassault had been discussed during the previous edition of Dubai Airshow in 2017. “Dassault Aviation, which has been a reliable partner of the UAE for over 40 years, is fully committed to meet the operational requirements and to support the strategic challenges of the UAE AF & AD for the coming decades,” had declared Chairman & CEO of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier at the time. It was finalized on November 18, 2019.
Developed specifically for the UAE, the Mirage 2000-9 is a multirole fighter derived from 2000-5, with improved systems. The variant is equipped with the same central computer as the Rafale and is capable of carrying out air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. In total, thirty aircraft of the fleet of sixty UAE Mirage 2000 were upgraded to the -9 standard by Dassault Aviation.
On November 20, 2019, the UAE has also awarded a $350 million contract to France’s MBDA for ammunitions maintenance of the Mirage 2000 fighter fleet. The Emirates has spent more than $4 billion on defense contracts in the first three days of Dubai Airshow 2019.
In the last forty years, the UAE has flown both the Mirage 5 and the Mirage 2000. The French manufacturer has been discussing with the Emirates the acquisition of its latest fighter jet, the Rafale, for at least a decade. The neighboring country of Qatar has bought 24 Rafale fighters in 2015.