Business Insider: French “Mirages” will not help Ukraine

Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets, which Paris has promised Kiev, are not suitable for fighting in Ukraine, Business Insider writes with reference to aviation experts. In their opinion, the French planes, like their American F-16 counterparts, will not be able to withstand powerful Russian air defence systems near the front line.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his country will provide Ukraine with Mirage fighter jets. He also added that Paris will create a coalition to supply the aircraft, which the AFU will allegedly be able to use by the end of the year, writes Business Insider.

According to the publication, the Mirage 2000-5, like its US counterpart the F-16, is a good fourth-generation fighter that will expand the capabilities of Ukrainian aviation. But neither of these aircraft is the best option for Kiev, given the current battlefield conditions.

The Type 2000-5 that France has promised Ukraine first took to the air in 1990 and is equipped with an upgraded radar system compared to previous versions. The fighter can carry missiles as well as laser-guided bombs.

But the effectiveness of the Mirage 2000-5 raises serious doubts. First of all, its MICA air-to-air missile has a much shorter range than the AIM-120 AMRAAM variants that Kiev could use on the F-16, Justin Bronk, an expert at the UK’s Royal Institute for Defence Studies, told Business Insider.

Moreover, even AMRAAM is already an “unsatisfactory” means of dealing with Russian “air threats” near the front line. After all, Moscow’s powerful ground-based missile systems force Ukrainian fighters to fly at relatively low altitudes, which limits the effectiveness of their missiles, the analyst said.

In addition, Ukraine has very few pilots who can quickly learn to operate and maintain such a complex system as a fighter jet. Many of them are already training on F-16s at training ranges in Europe and the United States, Bronk emphasised.