The Mirage 2000 evolved from a series of Dassault projects performed from 1965 to 1975. The first in this series was a project known as the "Anglo-French Variable Geometry" (AFVG) swing-wing aircraft, begun in 1965. The collaboration was undermined by Dassault and the French, citing costs, withdrew in 1967. The British stayed with the concept and formed another collaboration with the Germans and Italians, which eventually produced the Panavia Tornado multirole combat aircraft.
Dassault then worked on several new concepts evolved from the Mirage G variable-geometry experimental prototype, resulting in a sophisticated design with the designation "Avion de Combat Futur (ACF / Future Combat Aircraft)". The French Air Force developed a requirement for developing the Avion de Combat Futur (ACF) (French: "Future combat aircraft") in the early 1970s. Dassault offered its twin-engine Super Mirage for the ACF requirement. However, the Super Mirage was to be too costly and was canceled in December 1975.
Dassault had been working on other fighter options in the meantime, partly because the export potential of the ACF was not promising. These alternatives were smaller, simpler, and cheaper than the ACF, and took the form of a number of "Mini-Mirage (Mimi)" concepts. These concepts congealed into an aircraft known at first as the "Super Mirage III", then the "Delta 1000", "Delta 2000", "Super Mirage 2000", and finally just "Mirage 2000".
The ACF was a strike aircraft first and an interceptor second, while the Mirage 2000 was exactly the reverse, but the Mirage 2000 was much more affordable. When the ACF was cancelled, Dassault offered the single-engine Mirage 2000 to the French government as an alternative and received approval to proceed on 18 December 1975. This was a return to the first generation Mirages, but with several important innovations that tried to solve their shortcomings. Project chiefs were B.C. Valliéres, J. Cabrière, J.C. Veber and B. Revellin-Falcoz.
There was another important reason for Dassault to push the Mirage 2000. Development of this small aircraft would also give the company a competitor to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, which had defeated the Dassault Mirage F1 in a contest for a new fighter for the air forces of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway. Small single-engined fighters were clearly the most appreciated by foreign customers, as experience with the larger, twin-engined Mirage 4000 would show.
The prototype made its first flight on 10 March 1978. Despite all the new technologies applied, basing the new aircraft on the Mirage III allowed the development of a prototype in only 27 months from the program start to the first flight.
During that summer, at the Farnborough Airshow, this machine displayed not only excellent handling capabilities, but also a full control at 204 km/h and 26 degree angle of attack. This was totally unexpected in a delta-wing fighter, and proved how computer controlled dynamic (CCD) controls were capable of overcoming the delta wing shortcomings related to poor low-speed control, while retaining the advantages, such as low-drag, low radar cross section, ideal high speed aerodynamics, and large internal volume, as well as simplicity, provided by the absence of horizontal tail surfaces. The Mirage 2000 was one of the stars of that airshow and became the direct adversary for the F-16, which shared the CCD control and relaxed stability. The 02 Prototype followed on 18 September 1978 and 03 on 26 September 1979. After 400 hours of flight, they were sent to CEV (Centre d'Essais en Vol, Flight tests centre). The 04 Prototype was a demonstrator made by Dassault for its own purposes, and finally the first dual-seat Mirage 2000B flew on 11 October 1980.
The first production example flew on 20 November 1982, and the aircraft went into operational service in November 1982. They were practically pre-production aircraft, because they had no SARH missiles (RDM-1 radar) and the first model of SNECMA 'Super Atar' M-53-2 engine. The first aircraft entered service in July 1984.
The Mirage 2000 production line was shut down in 2007 after the last aircraft was delivered. The last Mirage 2000 was delivered on 23 November 2007 to the Hellenic Air Force.
The Mirage 2000 features a low-set thin delta wing with cambered section, 58 degrees leading-edge sweep and moderately blended root; area-ruled fuselage. The flight surfaces on the wings are composed of four elevons and four leading edge slats. Its neutral point is in front of its centre of gravity, giving the fighter relaxed stability to enhance maneuverability. It incorporates negative stability and fly-by-wire controls with four analog computers. An airbrake is fitted above and below each wing in an arrangement very similar to that of the Mirage III. A noticeably taller tailfin allows the pilot to retain control at higher angles of attack, assisted by the small strakes mounted along each air intake.
The aircraft uses retractable Tricycle type landing gear by Messier-Dowty, with twin nosewheels and a single wheel on each main gear. The landing features a hydraulic retraction mechanism and electrohydraulic steering of the nosewheel (+/-45 degrees); the nosewheel can caster through 360 degrees for ground towing while under manual control. A runway tailhook or a fairing for a brake parachute can be fitted under the tail, which can operate in conjunction with the landing gear's carbon brakes to shorten landing distances. A removable refueling probe can be attached in front of the cockpit, offset slightly to the right of centre.
The Mirage 2000 is available as a single-seat or two-seat multi-role fighter. The pilot flies the aircraft by means of a centre stick and left hand throttles, with both incorporating hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls. The pilot sits on a SEM MB Mk10 zero-zero ejection seat (a license-built version of the British Martin-Baker Mark 10). The pilot sits in a 28-degree recline. The parachute and escape assembly occupies 14 degrees of tilt, so the pilot sits in an almost conventional position. In comparison, the F-16 seat has a steep slope of 30°. The cockpit is small, but the visibility is acceptable.
The instrument panel (in the Mirage 2000 C) is dominated by a Sextant VE-130 Head-up display which presents data relating to flight control, navigation, target engagement and weapon firing, and the VMC-180 radar screen located centrally below it. To the lower left is a stores management panel, above which are the navigation instruments and altimeter. The right half of the instrument panel accommodates the engine and systems displays. Located on the left side of the cockpit, just ahead of the throttle, are controls for the communications equipment, including the Have Quick secure radio.
The SNECMA M53 afterburning turbofan was developed for the ACF, and was available for the Mirage 2000 project. The M53 provides 64 kilonewtons (14,000 lbf) of thrust dry and 98 kilonewtons (22,000 lbf) in afterburner. The first 37 Mirage 2000 aircraft were equipped with the SNECMA M53-5 engine version; later aircraft were equipped with the SNECMA M53-P2 version. The air intakes are fitted with an adjustable half-inlet cone-shaped centerbody, which provides an inclined shock of air pressure for highly efficient air intake. Total internal fuel capacity is 3,978 litres (1,051 US gal) in the Mirage 2000C and E, and 3,904 litres (1,031 US gal) in the Mirage 2000B, N, D and S. There are also provisions for a jettisonable 1,300-litre (340 US gal) centerline fuselage fuel tank and for a 1,700-litre (450 US gal) drop tank under each wing.
The Mirage 2000 is equipped with built-in twin DEFA 554 autocannon (now GIAT 30–550 F4) 30 mm revolver-type cannons with 125 rounds each. The cannons have selectable fire rates of 1,200 or 1,800 rounds per minute. Each round weighs 275 grams (9.7 oz) and has a muzzle velocity of around 800 metres per second (2,600 ft/s).
The Mirage 2000 can carry up to 6.3 tonnes (14,000 lb) (or 7 tonnes for −9 version) of stores on nine pylons, with two pylons on each wing and five under the fuselage. External stores can include Matra Super 530 medium-range semi-active radar-guided air-to-air missile on the inboard wing pylons and underbelly, and Matra Magic short-range infrared-seeking AAM on the outboard wing pylons. Other short-range missiles such as the AIM-9J/L/P are compatible and are often used on Mirages which have been exported, because Magic itself was meant as 'Sidewinder compatible'. The Mirage 2000C and later versions can carry the lighter, more advanced MBDA MICA instead of the Super 530D.
Avionics for the Mirage-2000B/C include the Sagem ULISS 52 inertial navigation system (INS), TRT radio altimeter, Dassault Electronique Type 2084 central digital computer, Digibus digital data bus and Sextant Avionique Type 90 air data computer. The communication equipment package includes the LMT NRAI-7A IFF transponder, IO-300-A marker beacon receiver, TRT ERA 7000 V/UHF com transceiver, TRT ERA 7200 UHF or EAS secure voice communications.
The aircraft has a redundant fly-by-wire automatic flight control system, providing a high degree of agility and easier handling, together with stability and precise control in all situations. The fighter's airframe is naturally unstable, and so it is coupled with FBW commands to obtain the best agility; however, in override mode it is still possible to exceed a 270 deg/sec roll rate and allows the aircraft to reach 11 g (within the 12 g structural limit), instead of 9 g when engaged.
Thomson-CSF RDM multi-mode radar or Dassault Electronique/Thomson-CSF RDI pulse-Doppler radar for the Mirage 2000C/D, each with an operating range of 54 nm (100 km / 62 miles). This unit was an evolution of Cyrano radars, with more modern processing units and look-down/shoot-down capabilities. The effective range is around 60–70 km with modest capabilities against low-level targets. It is linked with Super R.530F missiles, and equipped the first 37 aircraft delivered to the French Air Force and most exported Mirages. It has multirole capabilities that enable its use in air-to-surface tasks, including anti-ship roles. Some recent export versions carry the Thales RDY (Radar Doppler Multitarget) developed for the Mirage 2000-5.
The Mirage 2000 is equipped with the Thales Serval Radar warning receiver (RWR) with antennas on the wingtips and on the rear of the top of the tailfin. It is also equipped with the Dassault Sabre radar jamming and deception in a pod below the bottom of the tailfin, with the antenna in a fairing on the front of the tailfin. The Dassault Éclair dispenser system under the tail was eventually replaced by a pair of Matra Spirale dispensers, each fitted on the extensions behind the rear of each wingroot, giving a total capacity of 224 cartridges.
French Mirage 2000s were used during the Gulf War where they flew high altitude air defence for USAF U2 spy aircraft, as well as in UN and NATO air operations during the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War. During Operation Deliberate Force, on 30 August 1995, one Mirage 2000D was shot down over Bosnia by a 9K38 Igla shoulder-launched missile fired by air defence units of the Army of Republika Srpska, prompting efforts to obtain improved defensive systems. Both pilots were captured.
French Air Force (Armée de l'Air) Mirage 2000Ds later served with the International Security Assistance Force during the conflict in Afghanistan in 2001–2002, operating in close conjunction with international forces and performing precision attacks with laser-guided bombs. In the summer of 2007, after the Dassault Rafale fighters had been removed from the theater of operations, 3 French Mirage 2000s were deployed to Afghanistan in support of NATO troops.
The Mirage 2000 is being replaced in French service by the Dassault Rafale, which became operational with the French Air Force in June 2006.
French Mirage 2000s were committed to enforcing the no-fly zone in Libya as part of Opération Harmattan in 2011.
Egypt was the first export buyer, ordering 16 single-seat Mirage 2000M and four 2000BM trainers in late 1981, with deliveries beginning in 1986. The Egyptians also purchased ATLIS II pods and a wide range of appropriate munitions, including Magic and Super 530 AAMs, AS-30L laser-guided air-to-surface missiles (ASMs), and Armat anti-radiation missiles (ARMs).
One was lost in a training accident. Egypt originally planned to buy another squadron of Mirage-2000 fighters but financial problems prevented this, instead Egypt signed a contract with France to upgrade the existing fighters which were fitted with new ECM systems. Currently Egypt operates 18 Mirage-2000 (82nd fighter squadron of the 252 fighter brigade) at Bir-Kit AFB in multi-role missions using AS-30L laser guided air-ground missiles and free fall bombs. Egyptian Mirage-2000 fighters train on aerial refueling with the French Air Force during several joint training programs.
Greece ordered 36 single-seat Mirage 2000EGs and 4 2000BG two-seat trainers. They featured an "ICMS mk1" defensive countermeasures suite, an updated version of the standard Mirage 2000C countermeasures suite, characterized by two small antennas near the top of the tailfin. These Mirage 2000s were later modified to carry the Aérospatiale AM39 Exocet antiship missile. In 2000, Greece ordered a batch of 25 Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 fighters. The order included 15 new-build aircraft and 10 upgrades from existing Mirage 2000EG, with aircraft featuring the SATURN secure radio. The only visual difference between the Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2 and the existing Mirage 2000EGM/BGMs is a fixed IFR probe near the canopy. The Mirage 2000 production line was shut down in 2007 after the last aircraft was delivered to the Hellenic Air Force in November 2007.
On 8 October 1996, 7 months after the escalation of the dispute with Turkey over the Imia/Kardak islands, a Greek Mirage 2000 fired an R.550 Magic II missile and shot down a Turkish F-16D over the Aegean Sea. The Turkish pilot died, while the co-pilot ejected and was rescued by Greek forces. In August 2012, after the downing of a RF-4E on the Syrian Coast, Turkish Defence Minister İsmet Yılmaz confirmed that the Turkish F-16D was shot down by a Greek Mirage 2000 with an R.550 Magic II in 1996 after reportedly violating Greek airspace near Chios island. Greece denies that the F-16 was shot down. Both Mirage 2000 pilots reported that the F-16 caught fire and they saw one parachute.
Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2 and 2000EG fighters operate with 332 Squadron and 331 Squadron of 114 Combat Wing, based at Tanagra.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) purchased 49 Mirage 2000s, comprising 42 single-seaters and 7 two-seaters, in the 1980s. In 2004, the Indian government approved purchase of ten Mirage 2000Hs, featuring improved avionics, particularly an upgraded RDM 7 radar. The IAF named the Mirage the "Vajra" (Sanskrit: वज्र, for Lightning, Thunderbolt). India also purchased appropriate stores along with the fighters, including ATLIS II pods and laser-guided weapons.
India has assigned a nuclear strike role to its Mirage 2000 squadrons in service with the IAF since 1985. In 1999 when the Kargil conflict broke out, the Mirage 2000 performed remarkably well during the whole conflict in the high Himalayas, even though the Mirages supplied to India had limited air interdiction capability and had to be heavily modified to drop laser-guided bombs as well as conventional unguided bombs. Two Mirage squadrons flew a total of 515 sorties, and in 240 strike missions dropped 55,000 kg (121,000 lb) of ordnance. Easy maintenance and a very high sortie rate made the Mirage 2000 one of the most efficient fighters of the IAF in the conflict. There are reports that the IAF qualified Soviet-designed missiles with the Mirage 2000, such as the R-27 (NATO AA-10 Alamo) AAM.
In 2006, it was reported that the IAF was close to finalizing a EUR 1.5 billion (about $2 billion) deal to upgrade its fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 'Vajra' fighter jets. The aim was to give the aircraft more capabilities, bringing them to Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2 standard, and extending its useful life for another 20–25 years. The contract was signed in 2011. In July 2011, India approved an $3 billion upgrade to its entire Mirage 2000 fleet and for over 400 MICA missiles. One two-seat trainer crashed on 25 February 2012. Another two-seater crashed on 5 March 2012.
In March 2015, India received the first two of the upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter jets from Dassault in France. The upgraded jets are fitted with the Thales RDY 2 radar, a helmet-mounted display, new avionics, and the ability to fire new weapons including the MICA missile. The new jets will be designated the Mirage 2000I for the single-seat version and the Mirage 2000TI for the twin-seat version.
In May 2015, The Indian Air Force testlanded a Mirage 2000 on the highway. The test was part of India's strategy to use national highways and civil airstrips for emergency landing by fighter jets in future.
Peru purchased 10 single-seat Mirage 2000P and two 2000DP trainers in 1986. The Peruvian Air Force ordered a set of munitions similar to that ordered by Egypt, along with ATLIS II targeting pods. The Peruvian Mirages flew combat air patrol missions in 1995 during the Cenepa War. Most planes are inoperable as of 2016.
In 1992, the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) ordered 48 single-seat "Mirage 2000-5EIs" and 12 "Mirage 2000-5DI" trainers, with introduction of the first squadron in 1997 and the last fighters delivered in 1998. Taiwanese ordered a set of ASTAC electronic intelligence (ELINT) pods for their Mirages. The deal for the 60 aircraft was accompanied by the purchase of 480 Magic short-range air-to-air missiles, 960 MICA intermediate-range air-to-air missiles, auxiliary fuel tanks, ground support equipment, and monitoring equipment; total costs amounted to US$4.9 billion.
In March 2010 it was reported that the Republic of China received over $3 million worth of parts and maintenance service because of an engine flaw in its Mirage 2000s. The engines had cracks in its blades which caused the air force to reduce flight usage. According to Deputy National Defense Minister Lee Hsi-ming in 2016, maintenance parts and other supplies have cost more than those for the Republic's two other fighter aircraft, the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo and the Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon, though he also claimed that the aircraft were still being maintained adequately despite the cost, specifically citing that "Mirage fighter jets have superb performance". Plans to upgrade the fleet, which as of 2016 had exceeded half of its service life, have not been put into place as costs for doing so in France would be very high and domestic industry has yet to demonstrate the capacity to do so. This puts it behind the other two fighters in Air Force service, which both have upgrades complete or ongoing. The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology has been tasked with upgrading the fleet's MICA.
UAE purchased 22 single-seat Mirage 2000EAD; eight unique single-seat reconnaissance variants designated Mirage 2000RAD; and six Mirage 2000DAD trainers. The order specified an Italian-made defensive avionics suite that delayed delivery of the first of these aircraft until 1989.
Some years later, UAE ordered 20 single-seater Mirage 2000-9 and 12 two-seater 2000-9Ds. These were equipped with a classified countermeasures system designated IMEWS. Initial deliveries of the UAE Mirages were in the spring of 2003. Thirty of the older Mirage 2000EADs were also upgraded to Mirage 2000-9 capability.
The UAE Mirage 2000-9s use the Shehab laser targeting pod and the Nahar navigation pod, complementing the air-to-ground modes of the RDY-2 radar. The UAE is also obtaining the Black Shahine cruise missile, a variant of the APACHE. All 30 survivors of this first batch have been extensively refurbished and upgraded, bringing them to the same standard as Mirage 2000-9.
United Arab Emirates Mirage 2000s flew in the Gulf War of 1991, but saw little action. Six Mirage 2000s were to participate in the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya.
In July 2005, the Government of Brazil agreed to purchase 12 ex-French Air Force Mirage 2000 aircraft (ten "C" and two "B" versions) to replace the aging Mirage IIIEBR. Deliveries began in September 2006 and concluded on 27 August 2008 with the delivery of the last 2 aircraft. They operated with 1º Grupo de Defesa Aérea (1º GDA – 1st Air Defence Group), primarily in the air defence role and they were equipped with Matra Super 530D and Matra Magic 2. The Mirage 2000 maintenance contract ended on 26 December 2013. Brazil officially retired its fleet on 20 December 2013 in a ceremony presided by Juniti Saito, the commander of the Brazilian Air Force.
Qatar bought twelve Mirage 2000-5DAs (nine single-seaters and three two-seaters). Four Qatari Mirage 2000 fighter jets joined the NATO operation over the Libyan zone of operations in 2011. These fighters flew from Crete, operating with French Mirage 2000s.
The first Mirage 2000 to go into service was the single-seat Mirage 2000C interceptor, C stands for Chasseur (Fighter) variant. There were four single-seat prototypes, including the initial Mirage 2000 prototype. The first production Mirage 2000C flew in November 1982. Deliveries began in 1983. The first operational squadron was formed in 1984, the 50th anniversary of the French Air Force. A total of 124 Mirage-2000Cs were obtained by the AdA.
The first 37 Mirage 2000Cs delivered were fitted with the Thomson-CSF RDM (Radar Doppler Multifunction) and were powered by the SNECMA M53-5 turbofan engine. The 38th Mirage 2000C had an upgraded SNECMA M53-5 P2 turbofan engine. The Radar Doppler Impulse (RDI) built by Thales for the Mirage 2000C entered service in 1987. It has a much improved range of about 150 km, and is linked to Matra Super 530D missiles, which are much improved compared to the older Super 530F. Look-down/shoot-down capabilities are much improved as well, but this radar is not usually used for air-to-surface roles. (Note that "look-down/shoot-down" often refers to being able to track and target another flying object at a lower altitude, rather than targeting an object on the surface itself.)
Upgrades includes the addition of the Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) mode to the RDI Radar to allow identification of airborne targets not responding on identification friend or foe (IFF), and the ability to carry air-to-ground stores such as Matra 68 mm rocket pods (18 each), Mk 80 series or French 250, 400, and 1000 kg iron bombs, and cluster bombs such as the Belouga or non-French models. Some variants, especially those equipped with the RDM radar (mainly used in export models) have the capability to use the Exocet anti-ship missile. Also, Indian Mirage 2000s have been integrated to carry the Russian R-73AE Archer missile and the indigenous Indian built Astra missile.
The Mirage 2000B is a two-seat operational conversion trainer variant which first flew on 11 October 1980. The French Air Force acquired 30 Mirage 2000Bs, and all three AdA fighter wings each obtained several of them for conversion training.
The Mirage 2000N is the nuclear strike variant which was intended to carry the Aerospatiale Air-Sol Moyenne Portee (ASMP) nuclear stand-off missile. Initial flight tests of two prototypes began on 3 February 1983, and the Mirage 2000N entered operational service in 1988. A total of 75 were built.
The Mirage 2000D is a dedicated conventional attack variant developed from the Mirage 2000N. Initial flight of the Mirage 2000D prototype, a modified Mirage 2000N prototype, was on 19 February 1991. The first flight of a production aircraft occurred 31 March 1993, and service introduction followed in April 1995. A total of 86 were built.
By the late 1980s, the Mirage 2000 was beginning to age compared with the latest models of U.S. F-16 fighters, so Thomson-CSF began work on a privately funded update of the Mirage 2000C which was to be named the Mirage 2000-5. A two-seat Mirage 2000B prototype was extensively modified as the first Mirage 2000-5 prototype, and it first flew on 24 October 1990. A Mirage 2000C prototype was also reworked to a similar standard, making its initial flight on 27 April 1991. The production aircraft entered operational service in 1997. A two-seat version was developed as well, whose rear seat has a HUD but not an associated head-level display and lacks a built-in cannon, although cannon pods can be carried.
Improvements included the Thales TV/CT CLDP laser designator pod as well as the Thales multimode RDY (Radar Doppler Multitarget), which allows detection of up to 24 targets and the ability to simultaneously track 8 threats while guiding 4 MICA missiles to different targets. Updates to defensive systems included the ICMS 2 countermeasures suite and the Samir DDM missile warning system. ICMS 2 incorporates a receiver and associated signal processing system in the nose for detecting hostile missile command data links, and can be interfaced to a new programmable mission-planning and post-mission analysis ground system. Avionics were also updated, using a new Night vision-compatible glass cockpit layout borrowed from the Dassault Rafale, a dual-linked wide-angle Head-up display, and HOTAS controls. The Mirage 2000-5 can also carry the oversized drop tanks developed for the Mirage 2000N, greatly extending its range.
Dassault needed an order from the AdA to help promote foreign sales and, in 1993, the AdA decided to upgrade 37 of their existing Mirage 2000s to the 2000-5 specification as a stopgap before the arrival of the Rafale in AdA service. The upgraded aircraft were redesignated Mirage 2000-5F, and became operational in 2000. They retained the old countermeasures system with the Serval/Sabre/Spirale units and did not receive the ICMS 2 system. The AdA is now considering upgrades for the type, including the MIDS datalink, MICA IR support, and the Thales Topsight helmet-mounted display and sighting system.
Dassault further improved the Mirage 2000-5, creating the Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 which is currently the most advanced variant of the Mirage 2000. Enhancements to offensive systems included a datalink for the targeting of MICA ER missiles, the addition of the Damocles FLIR targeting pod, and a newer, stealthier Thales RDY-2 all-weather synthetic aperture radar with moving target indicator capability, which also grants the aircraft improved air-to-ground capability. The avionics were further updated with higher resolution color displays, an optional Topsight helmet-mounted display, and the addition of the Modular Data Processing Unit (MDPU) designed for the Rafale. A new Thales Totem 3000 inertial navigation system with ring laser gyroscope and GPS capability was added, providing much greater accuracy, higher reliability, and shorter alignment time than the older ULISS 52 navigation system which it replaced. Other upgrades included the addition of an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) for the pilot and an ICMS 3 digital countermeasures suite.
Further planned upgrades will include Thales AIDA visual identification pod, a GPS receiver, MIDS datalink, new long-range sensors, and the Topsight E helmet-mounted display. Other technology developed for the Rafale will also be integrated into the Mirage 2000, including infrared and optical sensors for IFF and targeting.
"Mirage 2000E" was a blanket designation for a series of export variants of the Mirage 2000. These aircraft were fitted the M53-P2 engine and an enhanced "RDM+" radar, and all can carry the day-only ATLIS II laser targeting pod.
The Mirage 2000M is the version purchased by Egypt. Two-seat Mirage 2000BM trainers were also ordered.
India has acquired a total of 51 Mirages, which include 41 single-seater Mirage 2000Hs and 10 two-seater Mirage 2000TH trainers. Since India wanted the fighter quickly, the first part of an initial batch of 26 single-seaters and 4 two-seaters was shipped to the IAF beginning in 1985 with the older M53-5 engines. These aircraft were given the designations of Mirage 2000H5 and Mirage 2000TH5. The second part of this initial batch consisted of 10 more single-seaters with the M53-P2 engine, with these aircraft designated Mirage 2000H. All the first batch was reengined with the M53-P2, with the single-seaters re-designated "Mirage 2000H" and the two-seaters re-designated Mirage 2000TH. A second batch of six Mirage 2000H single-seaters and three Mirage 2000TH two-seaters was shipped in 1987–1988. A total of 49 fighters were received.
In 2004, the Indian government (during NDA tenure), approved the purchase of ten more Mirage 2000Hs with improved avionics. The Mirage 2000-5 was a contender for the Indian Air Force's Indian MRCA competition in competition with the Mikoyan MiG-35, F-16 Fighting Falcon and JAS 39 Gripen. However, Dassault replaced the Mirage 2000 with the Rafale as its contender as the Mirage 2000 production line was to be closed. India received 10 aircraft in 2007 for a total purchase of 59 aircraft.
In 2007, India announced a $1.9 billion program to arm 51 of its Mirage 2000 aircraft with the MBDA AIM-132 ASRAAM dogfighting missile. Installation will require new radar, electronic warfare equipment, and updates to the cockpit and data bus. Pilot helmets will require addition of a helmet-mounted sight. These will be the first Mirage aircraft to carry the British missile and Dassault, Thales, and MBDA are to participate in the effort. In March 2010, India and France finalized the long delayed deal to upgrade all of India's Mirage-2000H to Mirage-2000-5 Mk 2 variant with new radar systems, a new weapon suite, missiles, electronic warfare system, and other equipment, at a cost of $43.9 million per aircraft. The first four to six Mirages will be upgraded in France, with the remaining 50 or so being upgraded in India by Hindustan Aeronautics under transfer of technology. For the upgrade, the entire airframe will be stripped down to be re-wired and re-equipped with new avionics and other equipment to extend and enhance the aircraft's operational life by around 20 years. In July 2011, India approved an upgrade to the avionics and other systems on its Mirage 2000s. The modernized Mirages are given the designation I and TI instead of H and TH. The first two Mirages, modernized in France, were delivered in March 2015.
Peru placed an order for 10 single-seat Mirage 2000Ps and 2 Mirage 2000DP trainers. The Peruvian Air Force ordered a set of munitions similar to that ordered by Egypt, along with ATLIS II targeting pods.
France announced in 1992 that it would offer Mirage 2000-5 fighters to Taiwan. The number of aircraft was rumoured to be 120, but was finalized at 60 aircraft on 17 November of that year in a contract worth US$2.6 billion. Of the 60 fighters, the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) would receive 48 single-seat Mirage 2000-5EI interceptors and 12 Mirage 2000-5DI trainers. The Taiwanese ordered a set of ASTAC electronic intelligence (ELINT) pods for the Mirages. This version of Mirage 2000-5 had the mid-air refuel ability as well as its ground attack ability deleted. This marks the first ROCAF purchase of French fighters since the arrival of 24 Dewoitine D.510C piston-engine monoplanes in 1937. The program was given the codename "Fei Lung" (Flying Dragon).
The ROCAF also obtained 960 MICA medium-range and 480 Magic II short-range air-to-air missiles from Matra. The former provides the Mirage with the BVR capability needed for its role as front-line interceptor. A number of centerline twin gun pods with DEFA 554 cannons were also acquired and fitted on the two-seaters, as they do not have an internal gun armament. Other support equipment, such as auxiliary fuel tanks, helmets, and G-suits, have also been procured.
On 6 May 1997, the first batch of give Mirage 2000-5s arrived at Hualien Harbor on the east coast of Taiwan by sea. After being unloaded, they were towed to Hualien AB, where they were unpacked and checked, and then flown to Hsinchu AB. Subsequent deliveries also followed the same procedure. The last ROCAF Mirage 2000-5 was delivered in an official ceremony on 26 November 1998.
All Mirage 2000-5s are operated by the 499th TFW at Hsinchu. The first unit to convert to the type, the 41st TFS, was commissioned on 1 December 1997. Subsequently, the 42nd TFS was commissioned on 26 November 1998. The 499th TFW achieved initial operating capability (IOC) status on 10 May 2001, and the 48th TFS was commissioned on the same day. On 1 November 2004, the 41st and 42nd TFSs were upgraded to the "Tactical Fighter Group" status, while the 48th TFS became the 48th Training Group, in the largest restructure undertaken by the ROCAF since 1999. At the same time, the original 11th TFG went into history.
There were reports of the high costs and the low operational readiness for the RoCAF Mirages; the harsh environment and high operational tempo had caused higher-than-expected wear and tear. Other problems include spare parts costs and operational expenses (around double than a F-16 or an IDF), flying costs, and turbine blade faults. In October 2009, Minister of Defence Kao Hua-chu was considering mothballing the entire Mirage fleet. By 2009, the fleet had 56–57 examples, several had been already mothballed due to lack of spare parts. In April 2009, the amount of flying hours for Mirage pilots had reportedly dropped to only 6 hours a month.
Recent efforts between the RoCAF and Dassault have managed to raise the operational readiness of the Mirages and have allowed the fleet to return to their normal training operations of 15 hours a month, which had dipped to 8 hours due to engine damage. Dassault compensated Taiwan in 2010 for engine damage to its Mirage 2000s, and the fighter jets have since been returned to their normal training operations.
In 1994, Qatar ordered nine single-seat Mirage 2000-5EDAs and three Mirage 2000-5DDA trainers, with initial deliveries starting in late 1997.
In 1983, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) purchased 22 single-seat Mirage 2000EADs, 8 unique single-seat Mirage 2000RAD reconnaissance variants, and 6 Mirage 2000DAD trainers, for a total order of 36 aircraft. The order specified an Italian-made defensive avionics suite that delayed delivery of the first of these aircraft until 1989.
The Mirage 2000RAD reconnaissance variant does not have any built-in cameras or sensors, and the aircraft can still be operated in air combat or strike roles. The reconnaissance systems are implemented in pods, including the Thales "SLAR 2000" radar pod, Dassault "COR2" multi-camera pod with visible and infrared imaging capability, and the Dassault "AA-3-38 HAROLD" telescopic long-range optical camera pod. The UAE is the only nation operating such a specialized reconnaissance variant of the Mirage 2000 at this time.
In March 1985, Greece ordered 30 single-seat Mirage 2000EGs and 10 Mirage 2000BG two-seat trainers, equipped with RDM radars and M53P2 engines, mainly for interception/air defence roles, although the ability to use air-to ground armaments was retained. They were each armed with twin DEFA-554 30X113 mm cannons and R-550 Matra Magic-2 missiles; the Hellenic Air Force had discovered with its Mirage F1CGs that the AIM-9 was not interchangeable with R-550 Magic. AM39 Exocet Block II anti-ship missile capability was added during the "Talos" modernization project, conceived in 1990 and implemented throughout the 1990s by HAI (Hellenic Aerospace Industry) and supervised by Dassault and Thompson-CSF. Under "Talos", (Talos being the name of the robotic copper giant which guarded Crete according to Greek mythology), the aircraft were renamed Mirage-2000EGM/BGM. Except for the addition of the Exocet, this rechristening accounted for a vastly improved RDM-3 radar set, the addition of Super-530D medium-range semiactive radar homing missiles and the ICMS 1 defensive countermeasures suite, which is an updated version of the Mirage 2000C's countermeasures suite and is characterized by two small antennas near the top of the tailfin.
In 2000, Greece ordered a batch of 15 new Mirage 2000-5 Mk.2 fighters, and had 10 existing Mirage 2000EGMs upgraded to Mirage 2000-5 Mk. 2 standard (with RDY-2 radar and ICMS-3 DCS), losing the ability to fire Exocets and Supers, but able to shoot SCALP cruise missiles and both versions of the MICA instead. The Greek Mirage 2000-5 Mk. 2s feature the SATURN secure radio. All Greek machines (Mk2s and EGMs) feature the TOTEM-3000 INS of the Mk2 instead of the Uliss-52 and have hose-and-drogue aerial refueling capability. The cost of a "Mk3" standard with Damocles pod, retention of Exocet and Super -530D missiles launching ability, better datalinks and communications, helmet-mounted displays and ability to shoot French laser-guided weapons such as the AS-30L air-to ground missile shelved the idea in favor of the Mk2 because of cost considerations.
Dassault participated in a competition to replace the Brazilian Air Force's aging Mirage IIIEBR/DBRs with the Mirage 2000BR, another variant of the Mirage 2000-9. However, due to Brazilian fiscal problems, the competition dragged on for years until it was suspended in February 2005. Later in July 2005, however, Brazil agreed to purchase 10 Mirage 2000C and 2 Mirage 2000B trainer aircraft which had been retired from French service under the designation "F-2000". The first two Mirage 2000C and Mirage 2000B were delivered to the FAB base at Anápolis on 4 September 2006, and the last two were delivered on 26 August 2008. All retired in December 2013.
Mirage 2000-9 is the export variant of Mirage 2000-5 Mk.2. The UAE was the launch customer, ordering 32 new-build aircraft, comprising 20 Mirage 2000-9 single-seaters and 12 Mirage 2000-9D two-seaters. Initial deliveries of the UAE Mirages began in the spring 2003. A further 30 of Abu Dhabi's older Mirage 2000s will also be upgraded to Mirage 2000-9 standard.
The UAE's Mirage 2000-9s are equipped for the strike mission, with the Shehab laser targeting pod (a variant of the Damocles) and the Nahar navigation pod, complementing the air-to-ground modes of the RDY-2 radar. They are also equipped with a classified countermeasures system designated "IMEWS", which is comparable to the ICMS 3. The UAE is also obtaining the "Black Shaheen" cruise missile, which is basically a variant of the MBDA Apache cruise missile similar to Storm Shadow. Emirati Mirage 2000 are armed with MBDA PGM 500 "Hakim" guided bombs. Brazil (retired in December 2013)
Republic of China (Taiwan)
Data from Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, International Directory of Military Aircraft
General characteristicsCrew: 1
Length: 14.36 m (47 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 9.13 m (29 ft)
Height: 5.20 m (17 ft)
Wing area: 41 m² (441.3 ft²)
Empty weight: 7,500 kg (16,350 lb)
Loaded weight: 13,800 kg (30,420 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 17,000 kg (37,500 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × SNECMA M53-P2 afterburning turbofan
Dry thrust: 64.3 kN (14,500 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner: 95.1 kN (21,400 lbf)
PerformanceMaximum speed: Mach 2.2 (2,336 km/h, 1,451 mph) at high altitude/ 1,110 km/h (690 mph) at low altitude
Range: 1,550 km (837 nmi, 963 mi) with drop tanks
Ferry range: 3,335 km (1,800 nmi, 2,073 mi) with auxiliary fuel
Service ceiling: 17,060 m (59,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 285 m/s (56,000 ft/min)
Wing loading: 337 kg/m² (69 lb/ft²)
Thrust/weight: 0.7 at loaded weight
ArmamentGuns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) DEFA 554 revolver cannon, 125 rounds per gun
Hardpoints: 9 total (4× under-wing, 5× under-fuselage) with a capacity of 6,300 kg (13,900 lb) external fuel and ordnance
Rockets: Matra 68 mm unguided rocket pods, 18 rockets per pod
6× MBDA MICA IR/RF(Mirage 2000-5, Mirage 2000-9, Mirage 2000 I)
2× Matra R550 Magic-II and 2× Matra Super 530D (Mirage 2000 C)
2× AM.39 Exocet (Mirage 2000 EG, Mirage 2000-5 Mk2)
PGM 500 and PGM 2000 modular guided bombs (Mirage 2000-9)
2× AS-30L laser-guided missile (Mirage 2000 D)
2× GBU-12 laser-guided bombs (Mirage 2000 D, Mirage 2000 C & Mirage 2000 N with external laser designation)
1× GBU-16 laser-guided bomb (Mirage 2000 D, Mirage 2000 C & Mirage 2000 N with external laser designation)
1× GBU-24 laser-guided bomb (Mirage 2000 D, Mirage 2000 C & Mirage 2000 N with external laser designation)
2× GBU-49 laser-guided bombs (Mirage 2000 D)
1× ASMP tactical nuclear cruise missile (Mirage 2000 N)
AvionicsThomson-CSF RDY (Radar Doppler Multi-target) radar (Mirage 2000-5)