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The French Air and Space Force has decided to extend the operational life of its Mirage 2000D fighter jets comes as welcome news for countries like India, which rely heavily on this aircraft. The move ensures a continued supply of spare parts and potentially delays the jet’s overall retirement, benefiting nations with Mirage 2000 fleets.

France, the world’s largest Mirage 2000 operator, had previously planned to transition entirely to the Dassault Rafale. However, recent discussions with Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer, have focused on securing a steady flow of spare parts and equipment to extend the Mirage 2000D’s service life into the mid-2030s.

This decision is particularly significant for India, which possesses the third-largest Mirage 2000 fleet globally, behind France and the United Arab Emirates. India originally intended to operate their Mirage 2000s until 2035, when they would be replaced by the indigenously developed Tejas MkII fighter jet.

The French extension offers India valuable flexibility. It allows them to potentially extend the Mirage 2000D’s service life in their Air Force, reducing pressure for an immediate replacement and potentially providing a smoother transition to the Tejas MkII program. Additionally, a continued supply of spare parts from France will ensure the continued operational readiness of India’s Mirage 2000 fleet.

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