UAE Offers Combat Planes to Iraq

A government source within the United Arab Emirates has confirmed that UAE plans to provide 10 Mirage fighter planes to Iraq in order to bolster the combat efficiency of the Iraqi Air Force.

This comes after Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi Prime Minister visited Abu Dhabi on December 15th to confer with his UAE counterpart on ways to enhance mutual cooperation and battle terrorism.

UAE has strategic economic interests in Iraq, especially in the Northern Iraqi city of Erbil where UAE has substantial investments in the Oil and Gas sector.

UAE’s offer involves 10 upgraded Mirage 2000-9s fighter planes. The United Arab Emirates Air Force fleet has a total of 368 aircrafts including 36 multi-role Mirage 2000 combat airplanes and 32 Mirage 2000-9s multirole combat jets. The Mirage 2000 fighters first entered service in 1986, and have been upgraded and refurbished to the standard of the newer batch of Mirage 2000-9s fighter jets. Dassault Aviation delivered the Mirage 2000-9s fighter jets in 2003.

The Mirage 2000-9 is an advanced multi-role fighter jet which incorporates advanced modular avionics, night vision support, state of the art sensor systems and an LCD glass cockpit. The most noteworthy feature of the Mirage 2000-9 is its modular data processing unit (MDPU) that was developed jointly by Dassault and Thales. MDPU is a real-time airborne computer system whose modules manage the navigation-attack system, cockpit display system and symbology generation hence creating the most avante-garde man-machine interface.

Last year, as part of a satellite-military deal dubbed Falcon Eye that was signed between UAE and France; UAE offered Egypt several Mirage 2000-9s. Reliable sources state that about 40 Rafale combat airplanes were to be purchased and a fleet of UAE’s Mirage 2000-9s was to be refurbished and handed over to the EAF (Egyptian Air Force).

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