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French Mirage 2000D crashes over Mali

Mirage 2000D
Photo: French armed forces

A French Air Force Mirage 2000D fighter crashed during a support mission in the Hombori region in Mali on July 20, the French armed forces said.

The two pilots onboard ejected over an uninhabited area and were subsequently recovered from the crash scene. A combat search and rescue group transferred them to the French military base in Gao.

According to a French defense ministry statement, the Mirage was supporting a desert tactical group (GTD) in the Hombori region and experienced a technical problem which forced the crew to eject.

Following the crash, French forces immediately deployed two Cayman and two Tiger helicopters to secure the crash site and recover the crew.

An investigation into the causes of the accident has already been launched.

The crashed Mirage2000D was one of 55 ageing airframes of the type that the French Air Force plans to continue flying alongside the Rafale, which is the main fighter in service.

France is currently in the process of upgrading the M2000Ds to allow them to remain in service beyond 2030. The first aircraft of the type entered service in 1995.