In a “bombshell” revelation, French media reports that Paris has agreed to deliver Mirage fighters to Ukraine with training of Ukrainian pilots to begin soon.
The delivery of the fighters is expected to take place within the next 18 months or even sooner. It depends on whether the pilots will be “retired NATO“.
This means that there is already an agreement within NATO for the next escalation steps with the US delivering F-16 fighters.
The French Air Force has 99 Mirage 2000 fighters of versions 5, C and D). The Navy has an additional 40 fighters.
The fighter mission is NATO’s last resort if the
Ukrainians’ spring ground counteroffensive fails. And it will happen if there is no agreement in the negotiations.
France could begin training Ukrainian pilots for Mirage 2000 fighter jets in Poland, according to French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecorny.
During a meeting of the French Senate on February 28, the French Defense Minister was asked about the possible supply of fighter jets to Kiev.
“There are said to be currently 12 Mirage 2000C fighter jets available for sale. Are you planning to deliver them to Ukraine or train Ukrainian pilots?” asked one of the senators.
Then, another senator asked Lecorny directly’
“Is it true that our Air Force is ready to train
Ukrainian pilots in Warsaw? This is information / have been given, I would like to be able to verify it.”
“Logistics, training and maintenance engineering capability make it difficult to procure the aircraft in the short term,” he said.
Lecorny confirmed that Paris and Kiev are in talks to supply fighter jets and train Ukrainian pilots. However, he stressed that there are many issues that are hindering the delivery.
He also stated that the priority at the moment is not the supply of fighter aircraft, but ammunition.
“There is an urgent need. The ability of the
Ukrainians to endure rests on ammunition.”
In January, French President Emmanuel Macron himself spoke about the possibility of sending fighter jets to Ukraine to help it face the Russian invasion, to which he cautiously replied that “nothing is ruled out in principle.”
Several analysts consider the French Mirage 2000 fighters to be “the ideal choice” for the Ukrainian Air Force.
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