French-Moroccan joint exercises with Mirage fighters concluded

The French and Moroccan air forces completed a joint training exercise with Mirage fighters in Morocco on May 27 for the first time in ten years.

so called Change Air Maroc 2022 It was carried out from May 16 to 27 from the air base of the Moroccan Air Force in Sidi Slimane (BAFRA No. 5) northeast of Rabat. The French Air Force deployed three Mirage 2000 d From the 3rd Fighter Squadron, based in Nancy, and a battalion that included nearly 80 pilots of various disciplines, Morocco contributed 3 Mirage F1.

With the aim of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of military aviation, Change Air Maroc 2022 It was an opportunity for pilots from the two countries to train interoperability and share tactical experiences as well as techniques related to the use of specific weapons and munitions, according to the French embassy in Morocco.

Two daily training sessions were held, from preparation for joint missions to their implementation. Previous exercises between the two forces, a shooting campaign, date back to December 2012, according to the French Armed Forces Ministry.

The Mirage in the Moroccan Air Force

Fifth Air Base (BAFRA-5) has an F-1 Mirage Wing called SARAB divided into three squadrons: the ASSAD Squadron, responsible for air surveillance, interception, heavy combat, and pilot training operations; Atlas Squadron, responsible for ground bombing, air support and combat; and IGUIDER, responsible for reconnaissance, surveillance and tactical support missions.

The Moroccan Air Force has entrusted the French companies Sagem and Thales to upgrade 27 Mirage F-1EH, F1EH-200 and F-1CH fighters to the upgraded ASTRAC / MF-2000 version for $420 million. The prototype made its first flight on October 19, 2009.

The ASTRAC consortium developed an upgrade (using the designation MF2000) that transformed the legacy Mirage F1’s capabilities into air-to-air and air-to-ground operations by providing the RC400’s multi-role, laser-characterized radar, new electronic warfare and self-protection systems compatible with the new weapon systems.

A significant part of the update was based on technology developed for the latest versions of Mirage 2000 (Mirage 2000-5 and 2000-9). The cockpit has been converted into a modern glass digital cockpit with multi-function bi-colour displays that replaced the analog flight instruments and the outdated Cyrano IV radar screen.

The fighter has also since been equipped with a new HUD, with a large front control panel (UFCP) and full HOTAS controls. The device contains two SAGEM critical computers connected to a hybrid Sigma INS/GPS system. The MF2000 has new communications systems and the cockpit is compatible with a helmet-mounted sighting system. (Alex Ribeiro)

Pictured: Mirage fighters of the French and Moroccan air forces.

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