Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Circa 1986, An Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 & Il-76 Aircraft Landed In Greece [Photograph Of the Day]

Mirage 2000H - Indian Air Force - IAF - Athens - Greece - 01

via Savvas Garozis

A rare capture, where Plane-spotters had photographed a pair of Indian Air Force [IAF] Mirage-2000H Fighter & IL-76MD Transport aircraft, at the Athens Ellinikon International Airport, in Greece.

Spotted in 1986, this Mirage 2000H [KF 117] was making it's way to India, on it's maiden journey from native France. En-route, it had to stop at Greece, Egypt & Qatar, before finally reaching India, first landing at the Jamnagar Airport, in Gujarat, then flying to Air Force Station [AFS] Gwalior, where IAF's first Mirage Squadron, the No. 7 Battle Axes Squadron, is homebased.

IL-76MD - Indian Air Force - IAF - Athens - Greece - 01

via simon butler

The Il-76MD [K2878 / K2663], flying alongside, carried with it spares & Ground crew, who had undergone training in maintaining the aircraft, with personnel of the Armée de l'Air et de l’Espace Française's first Mirage 2000 squadron, the Dijon-based 2e Escadre de Chasse. The French, themselves, inducted this platform, only in 1984. An unknown entity, whose potential IAF evaluators deduced very early on. Continues to serve with distinction, in India, with many firsts to it's credit.

Absence of aerial refuelling facilities necessitated landing at so many places. In comparison, the 5 Rafale, that the IAF recently inducted, stopped only at the French Al Dhafra Airbase, in Abu Dhabi. On the way, first, the French Air Force's Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport [MRTT] tanked-up it's fuel mid-air, while India's own IL-78MKI Refueler did the same, during it's second leg.

A prized catch, the photograph.

Mirage 2000H - Indian Air Force - IAF - Athens - Greece - 01

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