Dassault Mirage 2000:- Indian Air Force Multirole Fighter plane
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. 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.
Indian Air Force has total number of 59 Mirage 2000 in service since 1985.In 1999 During Kargil war with Pakistan ,The Mirage 2000 has a vital role in Guarding the Himalayas.The Aircraft has a limited air interdiction capability and it was heavily modified to drop laser guided as well as conventional unguided bombs during war.It is one of the most efficient fighters of the IAF due to its impressive performance and easy maintenance.
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 more.
In 1999 During kargil conflict the Mirage 2000 performed remarkably. 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.
The Mirage has enjoyed an impressive record from its induction; also the avionics is extremely pilot friendly. In 2006 the IAF came up with an proposal to upgrade the entire Mirage 2000 fleet to the latest Mirage 2000-5 MK II. The deal ran into turbulent waters and by 2011 to a formal contract was signed which mandated that the entire Mirage fleet would be upgraded. As part of the up gradation program the IAF planned to arm the Mirage with IR and EM missiles and in this regard a deal was signed to procure about 300 MICA IR and EM missiles. A final contract valued over $3 billion was signed for the up gradation process. IAF planned to keep the upgraded Mirage 2000s combat ready for a span of another 20 years until the FGFA project could take wings. As part of the program two mirages would be upgraded in Dassault France and another 51 Mirages would be upgraded in India by HAL. The Mirage upgrade after upgrades would have a better avionics and radar package than the SU 30.
The Mirage 2000 is an aircraft on of its. Mirage 2000 is considered to be the best of the ground attack aircraft under the IAF. What exactly sets it apart is it’s the ‘high drag and low wing’ loading clubbed with high percentage of thrust. The Mirage has a Delta wing design which is very helpful in greater Maneuverability. This factor can be a deciding factor in a dog fight.
During the Kargil operations the IAF faced huge problems with the MANPADS, in order to avoid this threat the fighters were required to fly at a very high altitude and dive steeply to 10000 ft to drop the munitions. The Jaguars and MiG 27 faced serious issues, but Mirage 2000 was the only capable fighter that could carry out successful runs throughout the operation. During the Kargil operation IAF dropped only nine 250 Kg Guided PGM’s. Eight of them were dropped by Mirage 2000, the other hit was tagged to the Jaguar.
1)Radar RDY 3
The upgrade package included the newest and advanced generation Thales RDY 3 Radar Doppler Multi Target Radar. Its major functions include Air to Air, Air to Surface and Air to Sea seeking. The Air to Air mode is multi capability radar it’s also effective for multi target fire control. The Air to ground mode includes high resolution terrain mapping and avoidance capabilities and ground target indication. The radar is easily switchable between Air to Air and Air to Surface Mode. The radar has a very good ECCM Capability. In the radar technology the Thales is considered generations ahead when compared to the Russian BARS radar which is still developing a AESA radar where as Thales have already delivered RBE 2 AESA radar to france airforce
2)RF Jamming and Detection
The Upgrade includes improving the capability of Detecting and Jamming enemy radio frequencies. The system should be in a position to warn the Pilot and also jam the signal, most of the Fighters have this as a Podded feature but here all of these are included into the Air frame.
3) The upgrade also involves bettering the weapons package which includes arming the aircraft initially with 300 MICA IR and EM missiles. The Israeli spice missiles have also been offered to Indian for the Mirage upgrade. This can be outfitted with smart twin Bomb rack which holds two 250KG LGB/PGM. The Mirage has only three strong points each in one wing and one in the under carriage. Further the aircraft has three wet point. The hardpoints can be used to attach drop tanks, but there have been several instances when PGM’s have been attached and used for operations.
Design and Features
The Mirage 2000 features a low-set thin delta wing configuration with cambered section.IT has leading edges swept at 58 degrees and the root are moderately blended .There are two small canard wings that is fixed and placed just behind the air intakes.The flight surfaces on the wings are integrated with four elevons and four leading edge slats.The aircraft demonstrate relaxed stability and high manoeuvrability.
The aircraft has a retractable tricycle landing gear.The landing features a hydraulic retraction mechanism and electro-hydraulic steering of the nosewheel.
The Mirage 2000 aircraft has a length of 14.36m,height of 5.20m and wingspan of 9.13m.It has crew capacity if 1 member.
Engine and Performance
The Mirage 2000 is powered by new and powerful SNECMA M53 afterburning bypass turbojet engine developed by ACF.The engine is capable of producing 64 KN thrust and with afterburner 98 KN Thrust.The aircraft has maximum take off weight of 17000 kg and fuel capacity of 3978 litres.
It has maximum speed of Mach 2.2 and ferry range of 3335 km.It has rate of climb of 285m/s.It has a range and service ceiling of 1550 km and 17,060 m respectively.
Mirage 2000 can also carry up to 6.3 tonnes of payload .The aircraft is equipped with twin DEFA 554 30mm revolver-type cannons with 125 rounds each.The cannons fires at the rate of 1200 or 1800 rounds per minute.The aircraft has a 9 total hardpoints 4 under wing and 5 under fuselage with the capacity of 6300kg all.
The Aircraft integrated with Matra 68 mm unguided rocket pods (18 rockets per pod).
Air-to-Air Missiles include 6x MBDA MICA IR/RF,2x Matra R550 Magic-II and 2x Matra Super 530D.