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French President Macron announces transfer of Mirage 2000 fighter jets to Ukraine

Amid the D-Day commemorative ceremonies, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the transfer of Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine.

“As of tomorrow, we will launch a pilot training and transfer program for these aircraft [with the goal] that they will be trained by the end of the year,” Macron explained, adding that 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers would also be trained and equipped by France.

“In no case are we at war with Russia and its people,” Macron added, emphasizing that the support is designed to help Ukraine protect its territory and airspace. The exact number of aircraft being transferred or their origin was not disclosed.

The Dassault Mirage 2000-5 is an air superiority variant of the aircraft. Two French squadrons [1/2 Cigognes, 3/11 Corse – ed. note] are still operating the Mirage 2000-5, which should eventually be phased out and replaced by Rafale fighters.

Doubt had long hovered over France’s transfer of Mirage 2000s to Ukraine. On March 22, 2023, the daily newspaper Le Figaro stated that around 30 Ukrainian air crewmembers were receiving accelerated training to operate Dassault Aviation Mirage 2000 fighters. However, the French Ministry of Armed Forces denied the claims.

On September 3, 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Macron announced that they had agreed to have Ukrainian pilots trained in France. Several weeks earlier, General James Hecker, who is in charge of US Air Forces in Europe, US Air Forces Africa, and NATO Allied Command, indicated that Ukrainian pilots chosen to fly the F-16 would “travel to France and train in flying the Alpha Jet for a short period.”

Macron also reemphasized that Ukraine has the right to strike back at Russian positions from which attacks are launched.

“If we say to the Ukrainians: ‘you cannot neutralize these Russian capabilities,’ then we tell them you can no longer defend yourself,” the French president explained.

The post French President Macron announces transfer of Mirage 2000 fighter jets to Ukraine appeared first on AeroTime.

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