Pakistan plans to procure a batch of 30 Mirage 5 fighters from Egypt. The contract with Egypt had been under negotiation for a couple of years, and now PAF is set to receive the fighters from the Egyptian Air Force.
Alan Warne from Asian Military Review was revealed the development while conducting an interview with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Chief Mujahid Anwar Khan.
The PAF Chief elaborated that the Mirage 5 deal has been in negotiation for a couple of years but at long last it has now been sealed. While most of the aircrafts will be used to support Pakistan’s current fleet of 112 Mirage ‘s but some of these will be operationally deployed too.
Pakistan was offered 30 Mirage aircraft by Egypt to supplement PAF’s existing fleet of Mirages. The Horus Mirage 5 aircraft were updated in Egypt in 2008. The upgrades include RC400 radar, MAWS, mission pods, HMD and night strike capability.
In the 1990s, the PAF launched a Mid-life update (MLU) program, codenamed as Project ROSE (Retrofit Of Strike Element), to upgrade its aging Mirage III and Mirage 5 aircrafts. The program focused on modernization of military avionics and on-board computer system of Mirage IIIE and the Mirage V supplied by Pakistani Margella Electronics, French SAGEM and the Italian SELEX consortiums, as part of the program. The PAF immediately acquired Blue Prints drawings of the aircraft from France, redeveloping and redesigning it at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.
The fighters were upgraded with new cockpits, navigation/attack suites, defensive aids systems and a forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) sensor under the aircraft's nose/cockpit while the cockpits included new MFDs, HUDs, HOTAS controls, radar altimeters and RWRs.
Pakistan which currently operates the largest Mirage III/5 fleets in the world plans to keep the Mirages in service well beyond 2020 in tactical attack and support roles along with motives of strategic deep penetration.
[Source: Asian Military Review]