Alan Warne from Asian Military Review has revealed on Twitter that PAF is getting a batch of Mirage 5 (or Mirage V) fighter aircraft from the Egyptian Air force. He tweeted:
He interviewed the PAF Chief ACM Mujahid Anwar Khan on Wednesday at Air Head Quarters Islamabad.
PAF’s JF-17 Block 3 and the dogfight of 27th February came under discussion during the meeting. He also tweeted about the downing of SU-30MKI and the MI-17 helicopter shot down by IAF itself
Alan Warne is a military aviation enthusiast and has traveled more than 60 countries to experience diverse cultures. He is a regular visitor of Pakistan and has written two books about PAF as well.
Why are The Mirages so Important to PAF
Mirage 5 is a supersonic attack fighter aircraft manufactured by French Company Dassault Aviation. It was developed from Dassault Mirage III in the late 1960s. It’s a single jet aircraft with a delta wing design and can carry a maximum load of 4000 kg.
PAF’s Mirage fleet consists of 90 Mirage III and 90 Mirage-5 aircraft for interceptor and attack roles respectively. PAF modernized its Mirage jets in an MLU (Mid Life Upgrade) program named Project ROSE (Retro Fit of Strike Element) at Aeronautical Complex in Kamra. Some of the birds have been modified to carry out night missions and carry other sophisticated systems like Forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imaging sensors and an integrated Electronic Warfare suite.
Pakistan Navy also operates specially upgraded Mirage aircraft for its maritime missions, equipped with French-made Exocet anti-Ship Missiles. The procured Egyptian Mirages will be utilized for the maintenance of airframes and spares for the existing fleet. These jets were also modernized under the Egyptian Horus Program around 2010. Some of the jets may even become operational after inspection and review by the PAFs engineering wing.
Although Mirage is an old aircraft, it’s still better in terms of range and weapons load as compared to the JF-17 and thus PAF wants them to remain operational as long as it can.