French specialists plan to develop a modification of the Mirage 2000 combat aircraft to fill the gap formed in the National Tactical Air Force (FATAC) between the old fighters and the ones that entered service in 2006-2007. Rafale.
The aircraft, named "Mirage" 2000 NP, will be created on the basis of the two-seat nuclear weapons carrier "Mirage" 2000 N. The familiar Antelope radar 5 will be placed on board, but it will be used not for the implementation of flight profiles at low altitudes, but for targeting an all-weather weapon system.
The acquisition of Mirages 2000 NP will enable FATAC to begin decommissioning the Mirage IIIE and Jaguar fighters in the early 2000s. The next stage is the implementation of a program of limited modernization of aircraft such as Mirage F1 and Jaguar. The goal is to increase the effectiveness of their tactical use. FATAC and the French Navy are seriously addressing the challenges of maintaining the viability of tactical fighters in the 2000s. This is explained by the fact that the oldest aircraft will reach the end of their service life several years before the Rafale will enter service.
According to experts, if the Rafale is put into service in 2006-2007, an intermediate plane will be required for three or four squadrons to replace the Mirage IIIE and Jaguar. And if deliveries start later, there will be a need for even more intermediate machines.
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