Procurement of Mirage 2000-5 Mk2

On August 21, 2000, the procurement program for 15 new Mirage 2000-5 aircraft and the upgrade of 10 Mirage 20000 already in operation was signed. The contract also included an option for 5 additional new aircraft and the upgrade of 3 moew existing Mirage 20000 (which was activated) as well as the supply of 200 MICA missiles, 56 SCALP cruise missiles and the Spirale countermeasure system.

The initial decision to purchage Mirage 2000-5 aircraft was taken in April 1996. On 18 December 2003, a new contract was signed for purchasing an additional 100 MICA missiles, 34 Scalp EG air-to-surface missiles and other materials and services. The value of the contract amounted to 59,619,000 euros and includes a sub-construction project worth 30 million euros for Greek the defense companies EAB, AXON, Olympic Tools, ELFON, INTRAMET, MILTECH, TELETEL, SPACE HELLAS, DELTA SINGULAR, ATESE, Neorion and Elefsina Shipyards.

Mirage 2000-5

The M-2000-5 aircraft is a radical development of the well-known Mirage 2000, already operating in the Hellenic Airforce. Essentially, the fuselage and the engine remain the same, while most of its electronic systems and weapon systems are completely overhauled. The aircraft has a completely new RADAR, a new modular host computer, advanced self-defense system (ICMS MK3), completely renewed cockpit with five multi-display monitors and HOTAS system (Hands On Throttle And Stick). In air-to-air configuration it can carry up to six MICA missiles simultaneously, while in air-to-ground configuration it can carry a SCALP and up to six MICA missiles. It can also carry three external fuel tanks, which increases both its range and its length of stay in the specific area of interest.

TO counter those who argued that the Mirage 2000-5 was mostly for air-to-air missions, greater emphasis was placed on air-to-ground missions, adapting many of the features available in the Mirage 2000-9 variant. Due to the new integrated features, the French company assigned to the aircraft the designation Mirage 2000-5 Mk2. The main areas of improvements are the installation of a new combination of INS system and GPS, which is 10 times more reliable than the previous one, the mission computer which has been significantly upgraded to provide higher processing power and can be further upgraded, as well as the data link that was strengthened to allow for 4 Mica missile being launched simultaneously.

An important change is the increased maximum take-off weight from 16.5 to 17.5 tonnes, which means that some restrictions applied to certain configurations during the hot summer days have been eradicated. The rapid adoption of helmet targetting systems forced the french manufacturer to develop two dirfferent systems, one French and one Israeli, that are compatible with the aircraft's cockpit. The RDY radar, in addition to air-to-air and air-to-ground configuratio, has been equipped with air-to-surface configuration and now the aircraft has the ability to launch 2 Exocet missiles simultaneously against different targets.

Hellenic defense industry participation

The contract includded offset programs that amount to 115% of the total value of the procurement program, namely the provision of work to the Hellenic Defense Industry for a total of 65,440,000,000 drchmas. More specifically, 50,860,000,000 drachmas are the offsets for the main procurement contract and 14,580,000,000 drachmas from the weapons contract. It also includes the transfer of know-how, training and provision of infrastructure for a total value of 49,000,000,000 drachmas. The Greek companies that participated as subcontractors in this program were EAB, EBO, INTRACOM, OLYMPIC TOOLS, ELFON, AEROSERVICE, KYTE and PLANAERO. Additionally, the contracts include the provision of services and materials to the Helenic Airforce in the order of 13,250,000,000 drachmas from the aircraft contract and 10,020,000,000 drachmas from the weapons contract.

SCALP-EG Strategic Missile

SCALP-EG is a long-range air-to-ground missile intended to strike pre-selected static targets of strategic interest. In addition to the initial supply of 56 missiles, a new contract was awarded on 18 December 2003 for 220,500,000 euros to the European consortium MBDA, in order to supply of 34 additional SCALP-EG and 100 MICA missiles. The integration of the missile to the aircraft and training of the personnel in the 331 Squadron was completed in 2009, and the Squdron was declared operational. Each Mirage 2000-5 can carry only one SCALP-EG missile.

SCALP-EG missiles are intended for the destruction of high value targets (indicatively, aircraft shelters, moored ships, critical infrastructure and other facilities), the exact location of which is known in advance. The missiles follows the terrain and its low visibility characteristics limit the likelihood of early detection and launch of counter measures. The missile carries a 450 kg BROACH warhead, which can penetrate 6.1 meters of reinforced concrete (according to the manufacturer). The range of the SCALP-EG missile exceeds 250 km.

I.Androulakis - 09 February 2003

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