The Greece’s Defence Ministry announced on Monday December 23 that it had signed maintenance contracts with French companies Thales Safran Military Engines and Dassault Aviation to upgrade the Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft operated by the Hellenic Air Force. These contracts extend over seven years and relate to the upgrade and sustainment of the a Mirage 2000-5’s electronics and of its engines. The agreement was announced in early December, when Parliament passed legislation to strengthen the air force. According to Greek press reports, the value of the contracts amounts to €260 million.
In July 1985, Greece signed a contract for 40 Mirage 2000s comprising 36 single-seat aircraft and 4 two-seat trainers. The order came as part of a larger defence acquisition programme that saw the country, for political reasons, proceed with an order for the F-16. The $1.38 billion Mirage contract also consisted of weapons and equipment, as well as industrial offsets that permitted HAI to produce the M53-P2 engines. The first aircraft were delivered in June 1988 and the last, by the end of 1989. They featured an “ICMS mk1” defensive countermeasures suite (DCS), an updated version of the standard Mirage 2000C DCS, characterised by two small antennas near the top of the tailfin.
In August 2000, Greece placed a $1.1 billion order for a batch of 15 new Mirage 2000-5 Mk. 2 fighters, and had 10 existing Mirage 2000EGMs upgraded to Mirage 2000-5 Mk. 2 standard. The upgrade meant the addition of the RDY-2 radar and ICMS-3 DCS, and the ability to deploy SCALP cruise missiles and both versions of the MICA instead, an order for which was placed. All Greek machines (Mk 2s and EGMs) feature the TOTEM-3000 INS of the Mk2 instead of the Uliss-52 and have hose-and-drogue aerial refueling capability. The only visual difference between the Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2 and the existing Mirage 2000EGM/BGMs is a fixed IFR probe near the canopy.
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It was designed in the late 1970s as a lightweight fighter to replace the Mirage III for the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air). The Mirage 2000 evolved into a multirole aircraft with several variants developed, with sales to a number of nations. It was later developed into the Mirage 2000N and 2000D strike variants, the improved Mirage 2000-5 and several export variants. Over 600 aircraft were built and it has been in service with nine nations.