Mirage 2000 is a multirole combat fighter from French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. It has been operational with the French Air Force since 1984, and has been selected by Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Greece, India, Peru, Qatar, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
Mirage 2000 fighters in operation with the French Air Force are: Mirage 2000C/B, a single-seater and two-seater for air defence; Mirage 2000N, a two-seater designed for all-weather nuclear penetration at low altitude and very high speed; Mirage 2000D, an upgraded version of the Mirage 2000N for automated bombing using conventional and laser-guided munitions; and Mirage 2000-5, incorporating advanced avionics, new multiple target air-to-ground and air-to-air firing procedures using the RDY radar, and new sensor and control systems.
Mirage 2000-5 cockpit
Mirage 2000-5 is available as a single-seater or two-seater multirole fighter. The aircraft has hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control. Mirage 2000-5 incorporates the Thales VEH 3020 head-up display and five cathode ray tube multifunction advanced pilot systems interface (APSI) displays.
The combined head-up / head-level display is collimated at infinity and presents data relating to flight control, navigation, target engagement and weapon firing. Sensor and system management data is presented on two-coloured lateral displays.
Mirage 2000 has nine hard points for carrying weapon system payloads: five on the fuselage and two on each wing. The single-seat version is armed with two internally mounted, high-firing-rate 30mm guns.
Air-to-air weapons include the MICA multitarget air-to-air intercept and combat missiles, and the Magic 2 combat missiles, both from MBDA (formed out of a merger between Matra BAe Dynamics, EADS Aerospatiale and Alenia Marconi Systems). MICA supports a maximum operating range of 60km.
The aircraft can carry four MICA missiles, two Magic missiles and three drop tanks simultaneously. The Mirage 2000-5 can fire the MBDA Super 530D missile or the MBDA Sky Flash air-to-air missile as an alternative to the MICA missile.
Mirage 2000 is also equipped to carry a range of air-to-surface missiles and weapons, including laser-guided bombs.
These include the MBDA BGL 1000 laser-guided bomb, MBDA AS30L, MBDA Armat anti-radar missile, MBDA AM39 Exocet anti-ship missile, MBDA rocket launchers, MBDA Apache stand-off weapon, and the stealthy cruise missile, SCALP.
The Mirage 2000-9 aircraft ordered by the United Arab Emirates carries the Black Shahine missile developed by MBDA. The MBDA Storm Shadow / Scalp EG stand-off cruise missile will arm French AF Mirage 2000D, Greek Mirage 2000-5 and UAE Mirage 2000-9 aircraft. Storm Shadow was first deployed on British RAF Tornado aircraft during Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Scalp EG entered service on French AF Mirage 2000D in December 2003.
MBDA was awarded a contract in October 2003 to integrate the ASMPA medium-range air-to-ground missile on the French Air Force’s new Mirage 2000NK3 aircraft. ASMPA has a tactical nuclear warhead and replaces the ASMP missile, which has been in service on the Mirage 2000N since 1988.
The operational evaluation was completed in March 2009 and the new missile entered service on the Mirage 2000NK3 in October 2009. The nuclear warhead was provided by the French Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique).
Mirage 2000 has an upgraded digital weapon delivery and navigation system (WDNS). The aircraft is fitted with a TV/CT CLDP laser designation pod from Thales Optronics, which provides the capability to fire laser-guided weapons by day and night. A number of French Air Force Mirage 2000D aircraft were fitted with the Damocles laser designation pod with thermal imaging camera, also from Thales Optronics, under a contract awarded in July 2008.
Mirage 2000-5 is equipped with a multi-mode Thales RDY doppler radar which provides multi-targeting capability in the air defence role and the radar also has look down / shoot down mode of operation. The radar can simultaneously detect up to 24 targets and carry out track while scan on the eight highest priority threats.
The aircraft is equipped with an internally installed self-protection suite. Mirage 2000-5 carries the ICMS mk2 automated integrated countermeasures system from Thales.
ICMS mk2 incorporates a receiver and associated signal processing system in the nose section for the detection of missile command data links.
The system can be interfaced to a new programmable mission planning and a post-mission analysis ground system.
Mirage 2000 SNECMA M53-P2 turbofan engines
Mirage 2000 is equipped with an SNECMA M53-P2 turbofan engine, which provides 64kN thrust and 98kN with afterburn. The air intakes are fitted with an adjustable half-cone-shaped centre body, which provides an inclined shock of air pressure for highly efficient air input.
The Mirage 2000 can climb at the rate of 285m/s. The maximum and approach speeds of the aircraft are 2,530km/h and 259km/h respectively, while the ferry range is 3,335km. The range and service ceiling are 1,550km and 17,060m respectively.
Mirage 2000 international orders and deliveries
Orders for 110 Mirage 2000-5 have been placed by the air forces of France (37 aircraft), Taiwan (60), Qatar (12) and Greece.
The first Mirage 2000-5 was delivered to Taiwan in December 1997. Around 57 Mirage 2000s are currently in service with Taiwan.
Greece acquired 15 Mirage 2000-5 mk2 and upgraded ten of its Mirage 2000 to the same standard. They first entered service in September 2004 and deliveries concluded in November 2007. The Mirage 2000 production line was shut down in 2007 after the last aircraft was delivered to Greece in November 2007.
The United Arab Emirates ordered 20 Mirage 2000-9, 12 Mirage 2000-9D aircraft, and customised versions of the Mirage 2000-5, which were delivered between 2003 and 2007.
In July 2005, the Government of Brazil agreed to purchase 12 ex-French Air Force Mirage 2000C aircraft. Deliveries began in September 2006 and concluded in June 2008.
Dassault has received a contract to upgrade the French Air Force’s Mirage 2000N to K3 standard. The K3 upgrade includes the operation of the MBDA ASMPA nuclear stand-off missile and a new Thales Optronics Reco NG reconnaissance pod.
In October 2008, three French Air Force Mirage 2000D aircraft were deployed to Kandahar in Afghanistan in support of the Nato International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
India is in discussions with French companies to upgrade a fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a cost of about $1.9bn. In June 2011, it was announced that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) would consider the upgrade of IAF’s Mirage 2000.
A contract was signed for the upgrade of Indian Mirage 2000 fleet in July 2011. The first upgraded Mirage 2000 combat fighter performed its maiden flight in October 2013.
The modernisation was intended to increase the lifespan of the Mirage 2000 by 20 to 25 years..
On-board equipment and systems were modernised by Dassault and Thales to bring the aircraft to Mirage 2000-5 standards. The first two upgraded fighter jets, designated as Mirage 2000 I/TI, were delivered to the IAF in March 2015.
The delivered aircraft achieved initial operational capability in November 2015 and their final operational configuration (FOC) design was implemented by IAF in July 2016.
France’s Air Force awarded a contract to Dassault in July 2016 for the renovation of its 55 Mirage 2000D combat aircraft. An agreement was also reached between both parties during the Dubai Airshow in November 2017 for the upgrade of Mirage 2000-9 fleet.
The UAE Armed Forces announced plans to upgrade their Mirage 2000-9 fleet in November 2017.
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