Dec 11, 2015
France approves Mirage 2000D upgrade
Proposals for an MLU for the aircraft have been recommended since 2008, but repeatedly deferred as a cost-saving measure.
Although yet to be announced by the French Ministry of Defence, approval for the MLU was granted on 3 December. In total, 55 aircraft will be modernised and will soldier on until at least 2030. The first aircraft to go through the MLU process should be delivered in 2019.
The Mirage 2000D entered service in 1993 France purchased a total of 86. About 60 of these remain in service today and the 2000D community is heavily committed on overseas operations.
The Mirage's modernisation is seen as an absolute necessity for the French Air Force. The service will be struggling to maintain a total fleet of 185 combat aircraft (225 in total for France, including 40 Navy's Rafales) in the years to come, with Rafale production for France now on standby and assets increasingly committed to training Rafale export clients.