Mirage aircraft, the backbone of the Pakistan Air Force fleet, has completed 50 years of joining the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
The PAF DGPR Tweeted on the official account that Pakistan Air Force celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Mirage aircraft.
“A graceful ceremony is being held at an Operational Air Base of PAF. President Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi is the Chief Guest on the occasion,” he added.
Pakistan Air Force celebrates Golden Jubilee of Mirage aircraft. A graceful ceremony is being held at an Operational Air Base of PAF. President Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi is the Chief Guest at the occasion.#DependableMirage pic.twitter.com/J967oPSnow
— DGPR (AIR FORCE) (@DGPR_PAF) February 25, 2021
An estimated 150 Mirage III and Five aircraft have been purchased by Pakistan in the last five decades. The Mirage was first added to the Pakistan Air Force in 1956. The European-made Mirage III surprised people by flying at the speed of sound on its first flight.
According to figures released by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2020, the Pakistan Air Force has 70,000 active duty personnel and 582 fighter jets.
Some media reports have also said that the Mirage aircraft in the Pakistan Air Force fleet will be replaced by JF-17 by 2030. Pakistan has various versions of Mirage aircraft, Mirage Five EF, Mirage 3DDP and Mirage Three Rose One.
These aircraft are equipped with advanced radar systems and are capable of flying even at night. The planes were equipped with RC400 radar and HMD capability to attack at night.
Only 9 countries have Mirage fighter jets. According to one statistic, by 2009 there were more than 600 mirages worldwide. This is a fourth-generation multi-role fighter.
For the upgrade of this aircraft in Pakistan, a project called Project ROSE was launched in Kamra, in which the aircraft has to be developed in a modern style and in proportion to the existing combat mission. The aircraft is also capable of flying at night for air missions. These Pakistan Air Force Mirage aircraft also took part in the 2010 war games in Jordan.
After the upgrade, BVR missiles were also installed in these aircraft. The aircraft is also capable of landing and taking off on motorways after upgrading. It was equipped with H4 hundred bombs, H2 hundred bombs, Takbir Glide bombs, stealth nuclear cruise missiles such as Rad MK One and Rad MK Two.
According to Group Captain Mohammad Farooq, the most important technology for modernizing Mirage aircraft is the ability to refuel in-flight, on which the Pakistan Air Force is working closely with South Africa. The IFF system is a link in the same chain, it provides support to Mirage aircraft when another aircraft takes it over its radar to target or focus.
Former Air Force officer Air Vice Marshal Shahid Latif said that Mirage planes can be made usable by overhauling, but they are not as reliable. Such planes further endanger the life of the pilot and there are many instances in the past when we lost many precious lives due to the accidents of this plane. According to Shahid Latif, the best decision to replace the Mirage aircraft is to replace it with Rafale or Dassault aircraft, as neighbouring India is doing.
Initially, Pakistan bought French-made Mirage aircraft and added them to the fleet in 1960 to increase the strength of the Pakistan Air Force and its fleet of fighter jets. Over time, the old planes were replaced with new ones.
An aviation expert said on condition of anonymity that Pakistan has the world’s largest fleet of French Mirage aircraft, including the Mirage III and Mirage Five aircraft. He said that Pakistan had recently started upgrading these aircraft at Masroor base. He said that Pakistan had acquired the Mirage three and five fighter jets after the war with India in 1965. “Most of the planes were second-hand and were bought from France.”
Experts say that although the rate of air accidents in Pakistan is much lower than that of India’s MiG-21s, which have been the cause of many accidents. However, in recent days, according to these experts, “these accidents have definitely increased.”