According to a report from Intelligence Online (IO), Ukraine hopes to receive around 40 Mirage 2000-9 fighters, with potential suppliers being United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, and Greece.
“After a long negotiation process that has burdened arms brokers working for Kyiv for several weeks, Ukraine hopes to receive around forty Mirage jets. Intelligence Online investigates the origin of these devices,” say IO editors. The first tranche will most likely be fulfilled by the UAE, the French publication also says.
Only a few days ago, there were reports in the media that Ukrainian pilots were being trained to fly the French Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jets. According to our sources, the training has already been taking place for a month and a half. Our information also refers to a source in the prestigious French newspaper Le Figaro, which published the same information. According to Le Figaro, training takes place at the air bases of Mont de Marsan and Nancy.
According to sources, the decision to train Ukrainian pilots was made before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky decided to visit France earlier in February 8.
Following the visit, officials in Paris were quick to deny the news that Ukrainian pilots were being trained to fly the Mirage 2000. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense had also denied such reports.
France’s Ministry of Defense had released a statement through General Jan Gravet, Deputy Minister of Defense Information and Communications, saying “we do not teach Ukrainian pilots either piloting or the use of weapons systems.”
Despite dozens of comments by other European countries regarding possible deliveries of US F-16 fighter aircraft, only France expressed a firm opinion on the matter, stating that deliveries of French fighters to Ukraine need to be a subject that is taboo.
However, before any deliveries are undertaken, France’s Defence ministry said, it will have to consider three main criteria for doing the same. They are the weapons’ usefulness and effectiveness for Ukrainian armed forces, the lack of risk of escalation, and the French army’s defence capability.
According to analysts, French President Emmanuel Macron directed the French Ministry of Defense to conduct an assessment of the possibility of providing fighter jets to Ukraine at the beginning of this year. Official Paris confirmed that Kyiv requested combat aircraft delivery.