India is in discussions to buy 12 second-hand Mirage-2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar, ANI reported.

A Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft taking off (PTI)

The discussions were held in the national capital. A presentation was made to Indian officials on the current state of the 12 Mirage-2000 aircraft, defence sources told ANI.

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The aircraft are in a very good condition and have a lot of life left in them, they said.

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Why the deal?

India is considering the proposal keeping in mind the compatibility of their aircraft with the Indian Mirage-2000 aircraft fleet, which is more advanced than the aircraft on offer, the defence sources told ANI.

The engines of both Indian and Qatari aircraft are the same and it would be easier for the service to maintain them if India decides to go for them, the ANI report read.

Qatar is offering the 12 aircraft for around 5,000 crore, but India is keen to get the aircraft at a more reasonable price, according to the report.

The Qatari aircraft are being offered along with missiles and additional engines for flying operations, the report read.

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The purpose

The officials clarified that the aircraft are planned to be used for flying operations and not for being used for spares and maintenance requirements.

This is because the Indian Air Force received a significant number of spares and equipment in a second-hand deal from a French vendor during the Covid period, according to the report.

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The Indian Air Force’s fleet

The Qatari deal will help the Indian Air Force to take the number of Mirages in its fleet to 60, according to the report.

The Mirage fleet with Gwalior as its home base has been the mainstay of the Indian Air Force and has helped the force carry out major operations like the Kargil war and Balakot air strikes, and has been actively involved along the LAC with China on the northern frontier, ANI wrote.