The French Air Force has deployed two mid-life refurbished Mirage 2000D RMV aircraft in the N'Djamena BAP since the beginning of March 2023 reinforcing the air capabilities of the French forces in the African Sahel region.
“The Mirage 2000D RMV is capable of simultaneously carrying up to 3 precision guided weapons, 2 unguided weapons and a laser designation pod. Previously, it (Mirage 2000D) only carried two laser-guided bombs in addition to the pod,” the French Air Force said in a series of tweets Friday.
Thanks to the new user applications the pilot and the navigator communicate instantly from their tablets, in the cockpit, on the interconnected software. Thus the crew flies over the territory of the mission more easily.
Eventually, the Mirage 2000D RMV will be able to fire 30mm shells to add additional fire support capability.
The Sahel region is the subject of Russia-West contest ever since France announced in 2022 to reduce its forces in the region. Russia is trying to fill the void by arming rebel groups and courting nations thanks to anti-French sentiments running high in the region.
“Despite Russia’s military struggles in Ukraine, Moscow has not cut back its ambitions in the Global South. Over the past year, Russia has doubled down its focus on Africa’s Sahel region, a troubled part of the continent that spreads roughly from Senegal to the Red Sea. Through the infamous Wagner mercenary group, Moscow is inserting itself in countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso and is taking advantage of Western policy missteps, growing anti-European sentiment, and longstanding failures of international and local actors to address the root causes of regional instability,” the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote in a February 2023 article.