On May 6, Obretix, a defense observer on Twitter, shared satellite images of what appears to be Mirage 2000-9 warplanes of the UAE Air Force (UAEF) in Egypt’s Sidi Barrani Air Base.
The images show six Mirage-type warplanes with a color scheme identical to that used by the UAEAF in the Egyptian air base. The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) also operates Mirage 2000 warplanes. However, in different colors schemes.
— Samir (@obretix) May 6, 2020
The Sidi Barrani Air Base is located less than 90 km away from the border with Libya. The UAE may have deployed its warplanes there to support the operations of its ally, the Libyan National Army (LNA).
The UAEAF has been operating in Libya for more than three years now. Several CAIG Wing Loong II unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) and IOMAX AT-802i BPA light attack and recommission warplanes of the UAEAF are deployed in air bases within Libya.
While it is very possible that the UAE is planning to up its intervention in Libya, the deployment of the warplanes could be related to other issues. The UAEAF Mirages may have been sent to Egypt to take part in a military exercise, or to be evaluated by the EAF which was reportedly interested in purchasing them.