As per reports, France declined Pakistan request for approval to upgrade Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fleet of Mirage III/IV fighter jets, and also rejected Pak demands to upgrade the Croatale/Spada SAMs as well as Agosta 90B submarines.
Diplomats in New Delhi and Paris told Hindustan Times that Pakistan had recently requested France for upgrades to keep the fighter jets in the air. “The request has been declined,” one diplomat in Paris said.
Diplomats said a third request from Pakistan to upgrade its Agosta 90B class submarines with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems that would allow them to stay underwater for longer has also been rejected by France.
It seems like Paris step to rejects Pakistan’s request to upgrade defense equipment due to loud criticism of PM Imran Khan against French President Emmanuel Macron over his remark on Islam.
Pakistan Air Force currently has 110-115 Mirage fighter jets. Total of 198 were acquired of which around 75 crashed and the remaining Fleet also suffers from low serviceability.
Not only Mirage, as per reports 40 percent PAF’s front line fighter jets JF-17 Thunder grounded due to serious structural issue.
Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was told about the French government’s decisions when he visited Paris on 29 October after New Delhi criticised the personal attacks on President Macron.
The report also adds that France has told Qatar not to give any Pakistanis technicians access to Rafale fighter jets, but these conditions on Qatar is not new and in effect since 2016-17.