The Mirage 2000 has been Franceīs frontline fighter for nearly two decades. Itīs successor, the Rafale is still about six years away from Initial Operational Capability (IOC) which means that the Mirage will still be the frontline fighter for years to come.
Can the Mirage 2000 still stay with the pack? The answer is surely yes.
If one compares the basic specifications and statistics of the Mirage 2000 with itīs main competitors one initially gains the impression that the Mirage is far behind. The F16C with itīs mighty engine (129 kN) and even the F18 C with about 14 tons of installed thrust would appear to outfly the Mirage 2000 (with itīs 95kN) by a handsome margin. They donīt. The F16 has over the years put on a lot of weight without the benefit of a larger wing. The thrust increase can only improve the manouvrability to a certain extent. The F16C Block 50, with an empty weight of 8853 kg has a wing area of 28 sq.m. The angle of attack performance has suffered. This is not to suggest that the F16 is a slouch-it certainly isnīt- but the advantage that the high thrust engine would normally confer just isnīt there anymore. The weight increase exhibited by the F16C isnīt entirely due to the addition of new avionics.


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