A Dassault Mirage V supersonic attack jet crashed near the Sonmiani area in the province of Balochistan yesterday. No casualties were reported during the crash, as the pilot ejected safely. The French designed Mirage 5, is one of the major attack options of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), which is also having a number of other Chinese and American designed fighter jets operating under it.
Originally, there were a total of 82 Dassault Mirage 5 available with the PAF. Including the one involved in the latest crash, three of the jets were lost in accidents. Most of these aircrafts were acquired during the last decade after upgrading the fighters with the Project ROSE (Retrofit Of Strike Element) system. Last year also, two of the Mirage V aircrafts were lost in crashes.
Squadron Leader Muhammad Nadeem informed the media that the reason for the crash is not immediately known. The aircraft had taken off from the largest of the PAF bases in Pakistan, the PAF Base Masroor, located in the Mauripur area of Karachi. The crash site is about 30 miles from the Base.
The Dassault Mirage V is one of the five types of attack aircraft the PAF is having. In addition to the 79 Mirage-5, PAF is also in the possession of close to 40 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons, 41 Chinese designed CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder (CAC FC-1 Xiaolong) multi role combat aircrafts, 70 Dassault Mirage III aircraft, and a total of 180 Chengdu F-7 Skybolt (the Chinese version of MiG-21).