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YoungBites. Dated: 4/21/2017 11:08:56 AM


Dassault Mirage 2000: Like a desert Mirage they are a Mirage in air!


MAJOR KULBIR SINGH Jammu, Apr 20 I asked a friend of mine in PTC Agra. This was back in Nineties. Those days we were kids and were NCC cadets. We had gone for five Para jumps and one had to be a night jump out of the flying Packets (an aircraft). On the day of the night jump I asked Mani what is your aim (since mine was clear, I wanted to get into Infantry). He said I love air and I will become a fighter pilot. The aims were fulfilled as they are of any man who wants to become something. He started with out of art MIG-21’s and then went into the Mirage squadron. He is still in air while I am on the ground. Welcome to Mirage! The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It was designed in the late 1970s as a lightweight fighter based on the Mirage III for the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air). The Mirage 2000 evolved into a multirole aircraft with several variants developed, with sales to a number of nations. The variants include the Mirage 2000N and 2000D strike variants, the improved Mirage 2000-5 and several export variants. Over 600 aircraft were built and it has been in service with nine nations.
The production of the Mirage 2000 involves three construction sites, all located in Bordeaux, that specialize in different components. The wings are built at Martignas, and the fuselages are fabricated at Argenteuil, with final assembly taking place at Bordeaux-Merignac. However, the first prototype, Mirage 2000 No. 01, was hand built at St Cloud, before being moved to Dassault's Istres facility for assembly. At the hands of Jean Coureau, No. 01 made its first flight on 10 March 1978, a mere 27 months after the programme go-ahead. During the 65-minute flight, Coureau took the aircraft to Mach 1.02 without afterburner, before climbing to some more than 12,000 m and accelerated the aircraft to Mach 1.3. By the end of May, the aircraft had surpassed Mach 2 and an indicated airspeed of 650 knots. On the other end of the speed spectrum, the Mirage 2000 proved to be a capable low-speed aircraft, as demonstrated at the Farnborough Air Show in September 1978, during which Dassault pilot Guy Mitaux-Maurourd raised the aircraft's nose to 25° angle of attack as the aircraft slowed to 100 knots. Later tests showed that the aircraft could attain 30° AoA while carrying fuel tanks and weapons.
The second prototype, No. 02, made its 50-minute first flight in September 1978 at the controls of Maurourd. The aircraft was tasked with the testing of some of the avionics systems and the carriage of weapons. Due to a flame out while on a landing approach, the aircraft was lost in May 1984. No. 03 would make its first flight in April 1979; equipped with a complete weapons system, it was tasked with radar and weapons trials. After 400 hours of flight, they were sent to CEV (Centre d'Essais en Vol, Flight tests centre). Although three prototypes were ordered in December 1975, Dassault constructed an additional fourth single-seat demonstrator for its own purposes, which embodied lessons on the earlier aircraft, namely the reduction in fin height and an increased fin sweep, redesigned air inlets and FBW system. The only dual-seat Mirage 2000B of the test programme first flew on 11 October 1980. The first production Mirage 2000C (C stands for Chasseur, "Fighter") flew on 20 November 1982.[8] Deliveries to the AdA began in 1983. 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. The Mirage 2000N is the nuclear strike variant which was intended to carry the Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP) nuclear stand-off missile. Flight tests of the first of two prototypes, Mirage 2000N 01 (the eighth Mirage 2000) began on 3 February 1983. During the 65-minute flight, the aircraft reached a speed of Mach 1.5. The variant entered operational service in 1988, initially operating from Luxeil Air Base with 4e Escadre de Chasse. Closely derived from the Mirage 2000N is a dedicated conventional attacked variant designated Mirage 2000D. 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 75 and 86 Mirage 2000Ns and Mirage 2000Ds were manufactured, respectively. By the late 1980s, the Mirage 2000 was beginning to age compared with the latest models of F-16 fighters. In particular, attention was drawn to the aircraft's inability to engage multiple target simultaneously and the small load of air-to-air missiles it could carry. Consequently, Dassault in April 1989 announced that it (with the cooperation of Thomson-CSF) would be working 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 first front-line aircraft variant to have been designed specifically in response to the export market, Taiwan was the first country to order the type in 1992, followed by Qatar in 1994. The type was first delivered in 1996 and entered service in 1997. Domestically, 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. 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. At the urging of the United Arab Emirates, Dassault worked on a further modification of the Mirage 2000-5. Initially dubbed Mirage 2000-9, this variant saw the upgrade of the radar and the associated avionics, the change of weapons configuration, and the extension of range. The last Mirage 2000 was delivered on 23 November 2007 to the Hellenic Air Force; afterwards the production line was shut down.

 

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