Emirate Mirage 2000 multirole combat fighter aircraft. - Gulf News Archives

UAE seals $3.4 billion Mirage deal

1997 - The UAE has confirmed that it is to buy 30 of the latest generation Mirage 2000-9 fighters from Dassault Aviation of France at a cost of $3.4 billion (Dh12.50 billion). The signing in Abu Dhabi was announced during the visit of French President Jacques Chirac to Abu Dhabi. Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, Lt General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, made the announcement on Abu Dhabi television as high-level talks took place with the French President. Chirac, making his first visit to the UAE, was accompanied by several leading French businessmen, including Serge Dassault whose company makes the Mirage. The UAE has also agreed “on the modernisation of our existing Mirage 2000 jets,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

December 16

1740 - Prussia’s Frederick II enters Silesia (now in Poland) and begins the first Silesian War.

1879 - Transvaal Republic (now South Africa) is proclaimed.

1884 - Britain recognises the International Association of the Congo.

1920 - Earthquake hits Gansu province in China, killing 200,000 people.

1945 - Thailand joins the United Nations.

1949 - Sukarno becomes Indonesia President.

1957 - Malek Feroz Khan Noon becomes Prime Minister of Pakistan.

1960 - A United Airlines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collide over New York City, killing 134 people.

1966 - The UN declares apartheid a crime against humanity.

1971 - Bangladesh declares independence from Pakistan.

1972 - US Apollo 17 spacecraft heads for Earth after the last US manned exploration of the Moon.

1977 - Heathrow Central opens at Heathrow Airport as a station on the London Underground.

1978 - Martial law is clamped on Taiwan.

1989 - A Chinese jumbo jet is hijacked over Shanghai by a Chinese couple and a child seeking asylum in Taiwan.

1998 - US and Britain launch a military strike on Iraq in response to Baghdad’s failure to comply with UN weapons inspections.

2000 - US President-elect George W. Bush names Colin Powell as Secretary of State, the first African-American to hold the post.

2002 - Congolese government, rebels, opposition parties and civil groups sign a peace deal to end civil war in Congo.

2004 - The Millau Viaduct, tallest bridge in the world, opens in southern France.

2005 - Hamas celebrates a landslide victory in key West Bank towns.

2007 - Iraqi authorities take control of the security of Basra province from British troops.

2008 - A splinter group of prominent African National Congress politicians launches a new party.

2014 - Pakistani Taliban attacks an army school in Peshawar, killing at least 141 people, 132 of them children.