“The UAE Armed Forces have announced their intention to sign a contract with Dassault and Thales to upgrade their Mirage 2000-9 aircraft,” said HE Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi, Head of the Executive Directorate of Industries and Development of Defense Capabilities at the Ministry of Defense and Deputy Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of IDEX 2017.
“This modernization comes within the framework of the directives of the wise leadership of the country to support and promote the comprehensive development of our Armed Forces in various branches and in line with the requirements of our Armed Forces,” he added.
In 1998, UAE signed a $3.4 billion deal for the purchase of 30 new Mirage 2000-9 and retrofitting of the 33 older UAE Mirage 2000s was signed in December 1987.
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It was designed in the late 1970s as a lightweight fighter to replace the Mirage III for the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air).
The Mirage 2000 evolved into a multirole aircraft with several variants developed, with sales to a number of nations. It was later developed into the Mirage 2000N and 2000D strike variants, the improved Mirage 2000-5 and several export variants. Over 600 aircraft were built and it has been in service with nine nations.