Finally, the Indian Air Force gave an irrecoverable shock to Pakistan by carrying out an air strike in the early hours of Tuesday morning using 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Around 1000 kg of explosives were dropped that destroyed the Jaish-e-Mohammad camps in Balakot, Chakoti, Mujhafarabaad.
“At 0330 hours on 26th February, a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it”.
These attacks are being treated as India’s response to the Pulwama terror attack that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers on February 14.
The Mirage 2000 fighter jets were used by India for the second time in such a large scale. Here are some telling facts about the Indian Air Force’s one of the deadliest weapons.
What is Mirage 2000 aircraft?
Built by Dassault Aviation of France, Mirage 2000 is a multirole combat fighter jet, which has been in operation with the French Air Force since 1984. Currently, it is a part of the defence forces of India, Egypt, Greece, Peru, Qatar, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
History of Mirage 2000 fighter jets
The single-seater and two seater Mirage 2000C/B was first introduced in 1984. Two more upgrades were made later on with Mirage 2000N and Mirage 2000D. Mirage 2000N, two seater, was designed for all weather nuclear penetration at low altitude and very high speed; Mirage 2000D, an upgraded version of the Mirage 2000N, was for automated bombing using conventional and laser-guided munitions.
What makes Mirage 2000 special?
Cockpit: The latest version of Mirage 2000, which is also used by India, has hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control. Mirage 2000-5 incorporates the Thales VEH 3020 head-up display and five cathode ray tube multifunction advanced pilot systems interface (APSI) displays.
Ability to fly at low level: The Mirage 2000 fighter jets can fly at low altitude without being noticed and the Indian Air Force used this particular feature to good effect during their strikes on Tuesday. The IAF was able to drop bombs in some 88 km inside the LoC, mainly because of Mirage 2000 aircraft.
Weapons: Mirage 2000 has nine hardpoints for carrying weapon system payloads: five on the fuselage and two on each wing. The single-seat version is also armed with two internally mounted, high-firing-rate 30mm guns. Mirage 2000 has an upgraded digital weapon delivery and navigation system (WDNS). The aircraft is fitted with a TV/CT CLDP laser designation pod from Thales Optronics, which provides the capability to fire laser-guided weapons by day and night.
India’s past usage of Mirage 2000
India first used Mirage 2000 fighter jets as a surprise weapon during the Kargil war in 1999. After repeated bomb and rocket-runs by IAF MiG 21s and MiG-27s had failed to dislodge heavily entrenched Pakistani defences well within Indian territory, the IAF pressed in its trump card, and the surgical strikes by Mirage 2000 fighter jets using laser-guided bombs broke the back of the enemy’s supply lines.