Recently a debate started floating in social media that India should acquire second hand Taiwanese Mirage 2000-5EI to maintain Indian Air Force depleting squadron strength.
The Republic of China Air Force wanted to resale its fleet of 60 Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft due to their poor and expensive maintenance and logistics.
On the other hand India is already operating 3 squadron of Mirage 2000 and it is one IAF first choice aircraft for air to ground mission as we have seen in Balakot air strike.
When the news broke out that Taiwan is not happy with Mirage 2000-5EI and wanted to sell these jets at the cost of 1.5 to 2 billion USD.
After this social media buzzed with the speculation that IAF should purchase this fighter jet as they are already operating Mirages and it can give 3 additional squadron to IAF in a quicker time.
Though IAF has not shown any interest in procuring these jets and it was just a public speculation.
Why IAF should not purchase second hand Mirage 2000
Let’s think if IAF decided to purchase 60 Mirage 2000-5EI from Taiwan at 2 Billion USD, still IAF will require to upgrade these jets on Mirage-2000 H/1 standards.
Earlier in 2011 when the upgradation of IAF Mirage 2000 completed it costs around 167 crore per aircraft.
In this case India will need to pay additional upgradation charge other than 2 Billion USD on these jets.
Investing this much money on an older fighter jet is definitely not an ideal choice for India and even after all these all these upgrades IAF at no cost operates Mirage-2000 after 2030.
Definitely this deal wasn’t a value for money option for IAF in long term. IAF can only think to purchase these fighter jets to fill the squadron strength very fast.
The second reason is India indigenously design and developed fighter jet Tejas.
IAF is planning to buy 83 LCA Tejas MK 1A and the LCA Tejas is more technology advance then upgraded Mirage.
Tejas had a superior Electronic Warfare Suit than Mirage, better engine and most importantly Tejas is more superior Multi Role fighter aircraft than Mirage 2000.
The only place where Tejas inferior than Mirage is payload carrying capacity, Tejas can carry at least one ton less payload than Mirage.
Tejas can easily substitute Mirage in longer run. HAL is already working on MK II variant of Tejas which believed to be equivalent to Rafale.
Though HAL need to ramp up the production rate of Tejas by at least 24 aircraft per year to met IAF requirements for new fighter jets.