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France to transfer Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine, Macron announces

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 6, 2024 10:01 PM 2 min read
A Mirage 2000-5F jet fighter takes off from Luxeuil-Saint Sauveur air-base 116, in Saint-Sauveur, France, on March 13, 2022. (Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images)
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France will transfer an unspecified number of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on June 6.

Speaking to French TV after the end of the 80th anniversary of D-Day commemorations in Normandy, Macron also said his country would train Ukrainian pilots.

"Tomorrow we will launch a new cooperation and announce the transfer of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine made by French manufacturer Dassault and train their Ukrainian pilots in France," he said during a live interview.

Macron did not specify how many planes Ukraine would receive or provide a timeline.

The Mirage 2000 is a multirole aircraft designed in the late 1970s, and introduced in 1984. It can carry a range of air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles and weapons, including laser-guided bombs.

The 2000-5 version has upgraded radar systems and can carry fuel drop tanks, greatly increasing its range.

It is a fourth generation fighter jet meaning it is in the same class as the U.S.-made F-16.

The Netherlands plans to start delivering its F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine this autumn after Denmark begins transferring its aircraft already in the summer, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said during a press briefing in Vilnius, Delfi reported on May 6.

Previously, the Netherlands has pledged to deliver 24 of its fourth-generation U.S.-made jets to Ukraine as Kyiv seeks to bolster its Air Force.

The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium have pledged to supply Ukraine with dozens of F-16 jets.

Denmark, the Netherlands, and the U.S. have led an international coalition established last year to provide Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets and train Ukrainian pilots.

Zelensky meets D-Day veteran, both insist the other is the real hero
President Volodymyr Zelensky met with veterans at the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, on June 6, with one encounter prompting a standing ovation and a discussion about who the real hero is.

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