SOURCE: RAJIV BHATIA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG 50 years and counting, Pakistani Air Force’s love affair with French bird doesn’t seem to have completely diminished even when County produces JF-17 fighter jet with help of China, that it is eyeing to procure nearly 30 former Egyptian Mirage-V fighter jet from Cairo which has been long retired from the fleet. Over 170+ jets are still operational which makes up eight different Mirage variants which are carefully maintained at Mirage Rebuild Factory (MRF) at the Kamra complex.
First Inducted in 1967, even with rapid induction of JF-17, PAF plans to hold on to the old Mirage’s for longer than expected due to better range and weapons load capacity than the JF-17 which was supposed to replace them in the first place, It is not clear if the 30 Mirage-V fighter jet from Cairo can be put back in the air or not but it won’t be unusual if PAF does that. PAF in past have brought retired Mirage-III from Australia and even managed to put back few back in the service, Mirage-V which is attack variant derivative out of Mirage-III are in larger numbers and is PAF’s go to Strike aircraft which they want to maintain as long as they can.
A possible sale of 30 Mirage-V by Egypt to Pakistan still requires the blessing of France which recently gifted India retired Anglo-French Jaguar fighter jets basically for free to be used as spares by IAF as a goodwill gesture after tug war in India erupted between government and Congress Party due to Rafale deal with France.
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