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In 2019, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) plan to equip its Mirage 2000 fighter jets with long-range Meteor air-to-air missiles faced a setback. Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the Mirage 2000, and MBDA, the maker of the Meteor missile, declined the integration due to two key factors.

Integrating the Meteor missile with the Mirage 2000 would have necessitated significant modifications to the aircraft’s systems. These modifications were deemed too expensive by both Dassault and MBDA.

Concerns existed about the Mirage 2000’s full capability to utilize the Meteor’s full potential. The Meteor’s advanced technology might not have been fully compatible with the older Mirage 2000’s systems.

The Meteor missile boasts an impressive range of about 150 km and a “no-escape zone” of 100 km, offering significant advantages in Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat. This advanced weapon system is part of the armament package for India’s 36 Rafale jets acquired from France.

The Meteor’s deployment with the Rafale is expected to significantly alter the air power balance in the region. Neither China nor Pakistan currently possesses a comparable missile system, potentially giving the IAF a strategic edge in aerial engagements.