The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) fleet of Dassault Mirage 2000D aircraft will undergo a Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU), starting at the end of this year. This was stated in the 2016 French Finance Bill, which was officially presented to the French financial press on 30 September. The MLU will extend the Mirage 2000D’s operational service life until 2030.
Of the current fleet of 63 operational aircraft, 55 will be renovated and modernized. This modernization will focus on improving the air-to-ground capability, but also the ability to take self-protection missiles MICA IR. According to Paris, the upgrade programm starts at the end of this year, while hand over of the first modernized aircraft to the French Air Force will start from 2019.
The first Mirage 2000D entered service 1993. Overseas operations by the French Air Force put the Mirage 2000D fleet under quite some stress. Therefore, in April the Mirage 2000D in Jordan, as part of Operation Chammal, was relieved by the Mirage 2000N.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk
Featured image (top): A French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) Mirage 2000D with serial 653 / code 133-AU at Nancy-Ochey Airbase, France, during exercise Green Shield 2014. (Image © Dennis Spronk)