Ukrainian Pilots Do Not Train to Operate Mirage 2000, but Undergo Other Training — French Defenсe Ministry

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Ukrainian pilots have been trained to operate anti-aircraft defence systems, as well as survival in the event of ejection over enemy territory.

General Yann Gravêthe, Deputy Minister for Defence Information and Communications, said at the briefing that Ukrainians will be introduced to the operation of air defence systems of the "surface-to-air" class.

He also denied media reports about the training of Ukrainian pilots on Mirage 2000 fighters in France.

"We do not teach Ukrainian pilots either piloting or the use of weapons systems," Gravêthe said.

In general, France "provides specialised training to up to 1,200 Ukrainians throughout the year." In addition, 150 French soldiers will train in Poland up to 600 Ukrainians per month as part of a European mission.

The French Air Force now has 195 fighters: 96 Rafale and 99 Mirage 2000 of various series; another 40 aircraft are in service with the Naval Forces. Recently, France has been gradually abandoning the Mirage in favour of the Rafale, but the Mirage 2000-C modification is considered a pretty good aircraft, which after additional repairs can be sold to interested countries.

According to Le Figaro, for a month and a half, Ukrainian pilots have been training (Ukr) to operate multipurpose Mirage 2000 fighter jets in France. The decision to train pilots was allegedly made on the eve of the visit of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Paris on 8 February.

Yurii Ihnat, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said that the information of the French publication Le Figaro on the training of Ukrainian pilots in France on Mirage aircraft is not true (Ukr).

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