On February 27, the Indian Air Force (IAF) released a short promotional film showcasing its Dassault Mirage 2000 fleet. The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. 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.
In 1980, the IAF learned that Pakistan had successfully approached the US that year to purchase F-16A/B aircraft, delivery of which was to commence in 1982. The Indian Air Force fleet of MiG-21s and MiG-23s were no match for the F-16 in any aspect. In October 1982, Indiaplaced an order with Dassault for 36 single-seat Mirage 2000Hs and 4 twin-seat Mirage 2000THs (with H standing for “Hindustan”) with the possibility of a follow-on purchase of nine aircraft (eight single and one twin-seater aircraft) as war, maintenance and attrition reserve.
With the delivery of the first seven aircraft on 29 June 1985 to No. 7 Squadron, the Battleaxes, the IAF became the first foreign user of the type, which they renamed the “Vajra”. The second Squadron to convert to the Mirage 2000 was No. 1 Squadron, The Tigers, which was formally accepted as a Mirage 2000 Sqn in January 1986; within twelve months of the first delivery, the IAF had received all 40 aircraft ordered. The follow-on order of nine aircraft was signed in 1986. Five aircraft were delivered by 1990, two more in 1992 and the last two aircraft were delivered in 1994. As such, it was not until 1990 that full unit establishment was achieved.
On February 26, the Indian Air Force observed the first anniversary of the historic airstrikes on a Pakistani terror facility outside the town of Balakot. According to the Indian government, at approximately 0300 IST on 26 February 2019, (2200 UTC, 25 February 2019), twelve non-upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft were used to strike a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot, Pakistan. This engagement was the first time since the 1971 war that Indian fighter jets had entered Pakistani airspace. All aircraft were armed with one Israeli Spice 2000 (one-tonne) bomb.