|Role||All-Purpose Ranged-Specialized Fighter|
|Armament(s)||WS-16 Assault Cannon |
While the Mirage III proved to be a more efficient design than the F-4 Phantom, French leadership realized that the attrition rates of French Army pilots, especially in close-quarters and melee-range combat against the BETA, continued to remain high. A combination of inadequate 1st generation technology, lack of properly-developed anti-BETA tactics, and the pilots' unfamiliarity with TSFs and their associated weaponry had contributed to the Mirage III's losses in close-range warfare. Many in the French leadership were thus led to believe that ranged warfare was the proper way to fight the BETA.
Seeking to turn the tide, French Army leadership decided to change their combat doctrine to resemble more of the US Army's, and to that end contracted Dass-Ault to design and manufacture a TSF with high survivability and 2nd generation capabilities from which to engage in ranged combat at mid- to close-range. Dass-Ault took up the task, and to that end also requested the help of Northrock in the development of this new model.
Work on this new TSF started as an upgrade plan for the Mirage III. The arm and leg sections were enlarged by 15% for various purposes, and fuel capacity, as well as battery capacity, were increased, giving the Mirage 2000 significantly improved uptime. Armament capability and capacity, including both melee and ranged, was improved as well, and enhanced survivability was achieved.
Due to improvements made to the Jump Unit engines, resulting in improved output, the Mirage 2000 gained the capability to slide over the ground at high speeds, in a technique known as "surfacing". This gave it the capability to carry out hit-and-run assaults on the enemy at high speeds.
While the requirement for 2nd generation capabilities were not met, other aspects of TSF development, as well as production and the equipping of fighting units with the Mirage 2000, proceeded smoothly. The Mirage 2000 served as the main TSF of the French Army until the introduction of the Rafale in 1998, relegating the Mirage 2000 to a support role.Even through the 1980s, development of the Mirage 2000 did not cease, allowing Dass-Ault to continue to upgrade the initial-production Mirage 2000C. A prototype Mirage 2000-4 with advanced technology was independently produced by Dass-Ault, which used improved material engineering and other new innovations to reduce body frame weight, and was equipped with improved avionics and advanced fire control systems; these improvements allowed the Mirage 2000 to reach 2nd generation standards.
Development continued into the Mirage 2000-5 with its improved close-range combat capabilities, and in 2000 the French Army formally adopted the new TSF as the Mirage 2000-5F, and upgraded their Mirage 2000s to the -5F standard. When paired alongside the Rafale, the Mirage 2000-5F appears to be the "Low" to the Rafale's "High" in the High-Low Mix, although formal adoption of that strategy by French forces was never confirmed. The combat data of the Mirage 2000-5F is also used to further develop the Rafale.
Because foreign export demands and orders were expected for the Mirage 2000, its design placed heavy emphasis on being highly versatile in combat, with a focus on multi-mission capabilities.
Entering service in 1981, several Mirage 2000s saw deployment to Operation Neptune in 1983 as the main French force present during the operation. Apart from the French Army, several African Union nations have also adopted the Mirage 2000 into their TSF forces as of 2001.
Mirage 2000 KaiEdit
A modification of the standard Mirage 2000, with an emphasis on mid-to-close range capabilities for high-speed gun-based combat when Surfacing. The development of the unit was spearheaded by a partnership of Dass-Ault and several North African countries, with the aim of the project being to achieve quasi-3rd generation standing for this new Mirage variant.
Several were deployed by the African Union's Duma Test Flight to Yukon Base in Project PROMINENCE. In combat, the Mirage 2000 Kai's acceleration power proved superior to the UFC's J-10X operated by Bao-Feng Test Flight, although Bao-Feng defeated them in combat using close-quarter techniques.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 15, "ミラージュ2000 開発沿革".
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 15, "ミラージュ2000の特徴と発展", 1st paragraph.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 15, "ミラージュ2000の特徴と発展", 2nd paragraph.
- ↑ MLA Cross Operation Vol. 6, pg. 47.
- ↑ MLA LD7 Total Eclipse, pg. 15, "ミラージュ2000の特徴と発展", last paragraph.