France on Wednesday (8 January) put on display its latest supersonic Mirage jet fighter for Defence Ministers of four North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.
France on Wednesday (8 January) put on display its latest supersonic Mirage jet fighter for Defence Ministers of four North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries. It's part of the French campaign to secure what could be one of the biggest arms deal of the century.
The ministers - from Belgium, Holland, Norway and Denmark - accompanied French Defence Minister Jacques Soufflet to Istres test centre in southern France to watch demonstration flights by the Mirage F-1 equipped with the new, powerful M 53 engine.
The f-1 M 53 is designed to fly at Mach 2.5, and is faster than its two principal rivals, the United States-build General Dynamics YF-16 and the Northrop YF-17. The four NATO countries are considering these aircraft as a replacement for about 350 ageing F-104 Starfighters -- and this deal alone would be worth about 1,600 million pounds sterling.
But in addition a further 3,000 plus aircraft will have to be replaced by various countries during the next few years. And whichever aircraft is favoured in the current sales drive will be well placed to take the lion's share of this huge market.