In what scenario could the Mirage 2000 have achieved more export success (but within the control of France and Dassault)

helmutkohl

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The Mirage 3 enjoyed huge success on the export market. used by several European, African, and especially, Latin American air forces
the Mirage F1, less success in Latin America, but about the same in Europe and African markets

but the Mirage 2000 was exported to less countries than the other two.
the M2K is nearly the same size as a Gripen, rather low cost to operate per hour, and suitable for most air forces

In this alternative reality..
what could France and/or Dassault have done to improve its chances?
(This only applies to them, and not external factors, such as the F-16, wars that occured, etc. Thus the F-16 would still exist in this scenario, Iran-Iraq war still exist, US-Israeli relations still exist, etc.)



some ideas that could have improved its success:
- Dassault was less aggressive in pushing F1 upgrades?
- the F1 didn't exist.. Mirage III upgrades would last until the 2000
- Munitions for the 2K were made cheaper?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Mirage G8/G8A/ACF abandoned earlier in 1972-73. No Mirage F1. The "Super Mirage III" / "Delta 1000" / "Delta 2000" / "Super Mirage 2000" gets built earlier and effectively replaces F1.

M53 engine is ready for prototype first flight in 1975, Alternate Cyrano IVM-100 (Air-to-Air) or Agave (Air-to-Surface) might do for initial version, or faster development of Cyrano 5 AKA RDM. FBW was in development for G8A, so I don't think that's a blocker.

The Mirage 2000A captures F1 sales, and is closer competition to F-16A.
 

perttime

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Mirage 2000 was a candidate in the Finnish fighter competition that concluded in 1992. F-16 was also a candidate, and didn't win either.

The Finnish Prime Minister of the time, Esko Aho, has recently stated that France went to somewhat questionable measures to make the sale: at least, there were threats/promises about EU membership.
 

Archibald

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The F1 and 2000 certainly ate each others: Mirage F1C-200 vs Mirage 2000C RDM/RDI, in the late 80's.
Mostly due to the Armée de l'Air chaotic procurement process and, as underlined elsewhere, the many failed atempt at procuring heavy fighters with two engines.
Somewhat amazingly, the F1-M53 was the ACF low-end just like the 2000 to the 4000.

Mirage 2000 / 4000 studies were started as early as 1972 but... the Mirage F1 already existed ! So we need an earlier POD, and there we run into the Jaguar heavy cost that saddled the Armée de l'Air.

I would say that the best way to "neutralize" the F1 would be in 68-69, after the loss of Dassault test pilot René Bigand on May 19, 1969 flying the F1-01. With another derivative of the Mirage III / V instead. One such aircraft was considered in 1969 but I can't remember its name, I will have to check the COMAERO series.
 

Archibald

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There it is... Mirage III C2, also known as Mirage IIIE D.A, that is; air defense (the III-E was a strike aircraft with some airframe goodies compared to the III-C)

En 1965, GAMD lance sur fonds propres, le Mirage F 1194, Mirage III E à voilure
de formule F2 et avec Atar 9 K de Mirage IV. Cet avion, en air-sol, est pratiquement
aussi performant que le Jaguar ; mais c'est également un intercepteur, guère plus
performant que le Mirage III E mais avec une beaucoup plus grande autonomie. Ni
l'Armée de l'air, ni les services ne veulent s'y intéresser. Il ne correspond à aucun
programme : pour l'interception, le Mirage III E ne paraît pas encore devoir
prochainement être dépassé ; l'Armée de l'air souhaite en pénétration un futur avion
beaucoup plus ambitieux (Mirage III V ou Mirage F2) ; le Jaguar a été engagé et se
poursuit en coopération franco-britannique et il est inutile de lancer un avion
correspondant au même créneau en air-sol et guère plus performant que le
Mirage III E en air-air. Le progrès modeste en air-air pourrait être obtenu avec le
Mirage III C2 (delta avec réacteur Atar 9 K).

Le 3 février 1967, le Conseil de défense décide que le programme intérimaire
Mirage F1 sera lancé.
Le programme n'est pas lancé « parce que l'avionneur le demande » mais parce
que les contraintes financières (et les limitations américaines à l'exportation) ont
contraint au repli sur un avion intercepteur moins ambitieux que celui de l'Armée de
l'air souhaitait avoir. L'avionneur aurait, de toute évidence, préféré lui aussi la
poursuite de programme plus ambitieux - à condition de conserver des droits à
l'exportation. Si l'avionneur ne l'avait pas lancé deux ans plus tôt, au moins une
année aurait été perdue, ou bien il aurait fallu se contenter de poursuivre la
fabrication de Mirage III E ou de lancer celle du Mirage III C2.

MIRAGE III C2
La nécessité de donner un successeur au Mirage III comme intercepteur
performant apparaît en 1963-1964.
En novembre 1964, on examine la possibilité de dériver un avion nouveau à partir
du Mirage III C ; ce pourrait être un Mirage III C avec Atar 9 K (moteur du

Mirage IV A), avec ou sans radar pulse doppler.
En décembre 1964, un Mirage III E est mis en chantier de transformation
Atar 9 K ; il prend la dénomination Mirage III C2.
En février 1965, devant les difficultés prévisibles de réaliser en France un radar
pulse doppler, une coopération avec Hughes USA est envisagée sur ce sujet.
En mai 1965, l'Armée de l'air renonce au Mirage III C2. Mais en décembre 1965, il
est décidé de poursuivre les essais du Mirage III C2 jusqu'à fin 1966.
En juillet 1968, devant les difficultés budgétaires et la priorité donnée au Jaguar,
l'EMAA envisage l'abandon du Mirage F1 et son remplacement par le

Mirage III E DA moins coûteux que le Mirage F1 et à livrer à partir de fin 1971

(Mirage III E + Atar 9 K 50 + Cyrano 32 bis).
Finalement, le Mirage III C2 n'est pas acheté pour l'Armée de l'air mais il fera
l'objet de commandes à l'exportation avec des livraisons, en particulier, à l'Afrique
du Sud.

An interceptor variant of the Mirage IIIE (perhaps with the 9K50) could have done the F1 job except with a shorter range.

So let the Mirage F1 die, buy more Mirage IIIE with the 9K50, and by 1972 shift to the Mirage 2000 with analog FBW and M53 to make a quantum leap.
 

tomo pauk

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So let the Mirage F1 die, buy more Mirage IIIE with the 9K50, and by 1972 shift to the Mirage 2000 with analog FBW and M53 to make a quantum leap.

Indeed, not having the F1 might've enabled the Dassault to came earlier with the 2000. 3-4 years is an eternity when the generation swap occurs, and for the most of costumers of Western countries that happened between late 1970s and early 1980s.
I'd also try to make the M2000 a bit more advanced, ie. air intakes more suitable for high angle of attack flight, canards, wing with the 'doog tooth' or the 'kinked' delta (all in order to improve low-speed abilities and take-off weight). Basically shape of the 'Novi Avion', but bigger. Exocet compatibility. Having BVR missiles by default is a major plus vs. F-16, so is the French attitude towards export vs. that of the USA.
(even without these changes, the earlier introduction on itself is a big wind to the Mirage 2000 sails)
By mid-1980s, introduce the FBW, IRST, different tools for night and adverse weather flying, targeting pods.
Make licence deals all around.

Conversely, if the F1 is still made (presumably with M53 from 1980 or so), wait a bit, and make the 'French J-10', ie. a canard-delta with belly air intake by second half of 1980s. SNECMA will need to came out with a 110-120 kN engine. Composite materials inclusion. RDY radar, IRST, 'bubble canopy', BVR + Exocet capability, targeting pods for bombing. Low-observability features as per technology of the day.
 

Archibald

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Having BVR missiles by default is a major plus vs. F-16
There was basically three generations of "Matra 530"

- R530 which was typical AIM-7B to D level of crapiness
- Super 530F for the Mirage F1C-200 and Cyrano IV
- Super 530D for the 2000 and its Doppler radar, RDI but only in the late 80's

It never dawned on me before (d'oh !) that the F1-M53 would have had R530s when the F-16 only had Sidewinders. Problem is Super 530F came too late, early 80's. And the R530 worked so badly, not sure the F1-M53 had a true advantage there.

Super 530F timeline in that post by our beloved forum founding father Overscan.
 

apparition13

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I think the real issue is thrust to weight, which means engines. The F-16, F-18, and MiG-29 were above unity, the 2000 significantly below. In an era emphasizing sustained turn rate that's an issue, even if it is more nimble than a Mirage due to relaxed stability and FBW. The Mirage III was as or more capable than its competitors (F-104, F-5, MiG-21) while the 2000 was at a disadvantage.
 

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-The Soviet Union introduces a more land attack specific derivative of the Tu-22M which threatens Western European aerospace - not just shipping. Hence during the 1980's, European Air Forces are forced compelled to introduce a fighter-interceptor with beyond visual range radar/missile capability - hence the Mirage 2000....

-Likewise, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and it's willingness to sell everything and anything in terms of its state-of-the-art weapons system to anyone who has the cash, the PLAAF purchase Tu-22M Backfire's, causing a greater run on Mirage 2000 take up in Asia Asia, without the political restraints/terms and conditions constraints of purchasing from the United States......

-France is not as eagerly blindly wowed by lucrative Chinese technological/weapons sales and continues its more ethical relationship with Taiwan, allowing license-production of the Mirage 2000 as it's principle fighter - this includes the joint development of even more advanced and specialised variants - including Mirage 2000D dedicated conventional strike variant, conformal fuel tanks, ....

-The French government in cahoots with its defence industry pull out all the stops to woo former Warsaw Pact countries with the collapse of their Soviet masters - including a joint multi-country (Poland, Hungarian, Czech) license-production of the Mirage 2000 as a replacement for their MiG-21, MiG-23 fleets.....this incorporates a joint French, Polish, Hungarian and Czech training program.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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BLACK_MAMBA

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I think the real issue is thrust to weight, which means engines. The F-16, F-18, and MiG-29 were above unity, the 2000 significantly below. In an era emphasizing sustained turn rate that's an issue, even if it is more nimble than a Mirage due to relaxed stability and FBW. The Mirage III was as or more capable than its competitors (F-104, F-5, MiG-21) while the 2000 was at a disadvantage.
I highly doubt this was the reason... Or perhaps more accurately one of the main reasons. While yes, it didn't have the pure performance attributes of some of its peers I've yet to come across proof that mentioned the 2000's T/W as a definitive issue. Most of the types listed don't have a unity T/W ratio with a useable weapon & fuel load anyway.

That said, if you are not clear in performance you need to be clear in other sectors such as cost. Which is exactly where upgraded F1's sharing missiles and some avionics didn't help the 2000... As already said - less investment in the F1 and attempts to sell more M3's would probably have freed up cash for investment into the 2000 to deliver a more capable package earlier on. A better package a couple years before the F-16's become properly equipped will sell you more 2000's. Maybe even steal some F-18 customers with French ties (looking at Austrailia here).

Overall though, with the F-16 still around being produced in mass it's difficult to find significant extra M2000 orders. And we are limited by the technology available... We can't just boost it into service five/ten years earlier. The M53 being one such area where significant time gains are less obvious. A first flight in '75/'76 with proper investment (proper BVR weapons etc) however does offer great chances at snatching early F-16 orders!
 

helmutkohl

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-The Soviet Union introduces a more land attack specific derivative of the Tu-22M which threatens Western European aerospace - not just shipping. Hence during the 1980's, European Air Forces are forced compelled to introduce a fighter-interceptor with beyond visual range radar/missile capability - hence the Mirage 2000....

-Likewise, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and it's willingness to sell everything and anything in terms of its state-of-the-art weapons system to anyone who has the cash, the PLAAF purchase Tu-22M Backfire's, causing a greater run on Mirage 2000 take up in Asia Asia, without the political restraints/terms and conditions constraints of purchasing from the United States......

-France is not as eagerly blindly wowed by lucrative Chinese technological/weapons sales and continues its more ethical relationship with Taiwan, allowing license-production of the Mirage 2000 as it's principle fighter - this includes the joint development of even more advanced and specialised variants - including Mirage 2000D dedicated conventional strike variant, conformal fuel tanks, ....

-The French government in cahoots with its defence industry pull out all the stops to woo former Warsaw Pact countries with the collapse of their Soviet masters - including a joint multi-country (Poland, Hungarian, Czech) license-production of the Mirage 2000 as a replacement for their MiG-21, MiG-23 fleets.....this incorporates a joint French, Polish, Hungarian and Czech training program.

Regards
Pioneer
those could work..
although in this scenario, no External factors change, only within Dassault and France changes. So Soviet Union, China, Taiwan, etc are still going the same way.
 

Deltafan

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The Mirage 3 enjoyed huge success on the export market. used by several European, African, and especially, Latin American air forces
the Mirage F1, less success in Latin America, but about the same in Europe and African markets

but the Mirage 2000 was exported to less countries than the other two.
the M2K is nearly the same size as a Gripen, rather low cost to operate per hour, and suitable for most air forces

In this alternative reality..
what could France and/or Dassault have done to improve its chances?
(This only applies to them, and not external factors, such as the F-16, wars that occured, etc. Thus the F-16 would still exist in this scenario, Iran-Iraq war still exist, US-Israeli relations still exist, etc.)



some ideas that could have improved its success:
- Dassault was less aggressive in pushing F1 upgrades?
- the F1 didn't exist.. Mirage III upgrades would last until the 2000
- Munitions for the 2K were made cheaper?
Hi,

my world of "only deltas French Air Force post Mirage III" :


But to answer in a "more real world", simply :

-Do not close the Mirage 2000 production line so soon

-Continue the evolution. For example: continuing the development of the M 53 reactor (stopped when the production line was stopped), installing larger canard, etc.
 

helmutkohl

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The Mirage 3 enjoyed huge success on the export market. used by several European, African, and especially, Latin American air forces
the Mirage F1, less success in Latin America, but about the same in Europe and African markets

but the Mirage 2000 was exported to less countries than the other two.
the M2K is nearly the same size as a Gripen, rather low cost to operate per hour, and suitable for most air forces

In this alternative reality..
what could France and/or Dassault have done to improve its chances?
(This only applies to them, and not external factors, such as the F-16, wars that occured, etc. Thus the F-16 would still exist in this scenario, Iran-Iraq war still exist, US-Israeli relations still exist, etc.)



some ideas that could have improved its success:
- Dassault was less aggressive in pushing F1 upgrades?
- the F1 didn't exist.. Mirage III upgrades would last until the 2000
- Munitions for the 2K were made cheaper?
Hi,

my world of "only deltas French Air Force post Mirage III" :


But to answer in a "more real world", simply :

-Do not close the Mirage 2000 production line so soon

-Continue the evolution. For example: continuing the development of the M 53 reactor (stopped when the production line was stopped), installing larger canard, etc.

while I do agree the M2K line should have been kept running (probably would make a big difference for India, and maybe would have led to a reduction in Russian aircraft numbers)...

wouldnt it affect Rafale numbers too?

one issue I've had with Dassault was that there were too many 0.5 generation increments in their product line up

Gen 3, Gen 3.5, Gen 4, Gen 4.5..

which may have cannibalized each other's sales potential
 

H_K

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I think the real issue is thrust to weight, which means engines. The F-16, F-18, and MiG-29 were above unity, the 2000 significantly below.
I’ve always read the opposite - that the Mirage 2000 could win most fights against an F-16 and F/A-18.

Specifically, the Mirage 2000 could start the fight with more energy due to low transonic drag and high supersonic engine thrust (as the M53 was optimized for supersonic / high altitude) which meant good level acceleration and supersonic performance. Compared to the F-16 it also had the advantage of BVR missiles and built-in ECM.

At the merge, the Mirage 2000 could still win most of the time against the F-16 by using its higher instantaneous turn rate and nose pointing ability (thanks to its superior FCS).

Only if the F-16 (or F/A-18) was still alive at that point, after the first few turns, and only if the Mirage made the mistake of getting in a turning fight could the US plane win most of the time.

The Greeks certainly seem to have felt like their Mirage 2000s were superior to Turkish F-16s… and they had both in their fleets so they should know.
 

CV12Hornet

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Dassault was willing and apparently capable of keeping the Mirage 2000 line open, if the Indians made a firm and immediate commitment back in the early 2000s. Instead, the Indians decided to go with a multi-tender bidding process, which normally I'd support but in this instance was IMO a mistake. That's the clearest opportunity I know of, aside from the much smaller Brazilian order, which also got stretched out in the bidding process. It is also, unfortunately, mostly out of France and Dassault's hands.

Frankly, aside from the competition with the Mirage F1 everyone else has covered, the problem of selling the Mirage 2000 doesn't seem to have really come down to anything on the part of the French and Dassault, and more on external factors like the wide-spectrum export of the F-16, and the collapse of the Soviet Union removing a lot of motivation to buy French so as not to get sucked into the camp of one of the superpowers.
 

F-2

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The Mirage 2000 is interesting, it has a dedicated attack and fighter version C and N/D, different radar and avionics. The 2000-5 added true multirole capabilities and yet France chose to develop the D and even recently launch a midlife update. Maybe this is a mischaracterization but the the Mirage seems excellent at ground attack and air superiority but less so both. Obviously it did very well in Indian hands in 1999, but that was a relatively small scale war. Rather it seems rather unique for aircraft it’s Size and age to have this distinction.
 

helmutkohl

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The Mirage 2000 is interesting, it has a dedicated attack and fighter version C and N/D, different radar and avionics. The 2000-5 added true multirole capabilities and yet France chose to develop the D and even recently launch a midlife update. Maybe this is a mischaracterization but the the Mirage seems excellent at ground attack and air superiority but less so both. Obviously it did very well in Indian hands in 1999, but that was a relatively small scale war. Rather it seems rather unique for aircraft it’s Size and age to have this distinction.
this reminds me of the Viggen where the same basic airframe was spun into several dedicated versions.. which some argue is better (at least back then).

India used the Mirage 2000 again for ground attack in its recent skirmishes with Pakistan and again, it did very well. it went like 15km? into Pakistan controlled territory and dropped spice bombs and was able to make it out before being confronted
 

uk 75

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Politics seems to me to be the main problem for France with both Mirage F1 and Mirage 2000.
Not being in the NATO integrated military structure means that France is not seen as "mainstream" by many customers and its aircraft not as interoperable as US types which dominate the market.
Israel showcased the Mirage III in the 67 War but never operated a French aircraft again. Sales to Arab countries did not do a lot to advertise French products.
Iran also bought no French combat aircraft, in part because of the Shah's reliance on the US for being in power.
Similarly in the East, Australia had been a Mirage customer but never buys another fixed wing type from France.
 

tomo pauk

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Similarly in the East, Australia had been a Mirage customer but never buys another fixed wing type from France.
Australia was turned-off wrt. French hardware due to the French giving them hard time when Australians took part in the Vietnam war on the side of US.
 

Pioneer

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Similarly in the East, Australia had been a Mirage customer but never buys another fixed wing type from France.
Australia was turned-off wrt. French hardware due to the French giving them hard time when Australians took part in the Vietnam war on the side of US.
With respect tomo pauk , as much as Australia/RAAF was wowed by Dassault's salesmanship, promises and performance of the Mirage IIIE (IIIO), it was taken aback by the Dassault's lack of support and communications during the license-build. An experience that wasn't easily forgotten.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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apparition13

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I think the real issue is thrust to weight, which means engines. The F-16, F-18, and MiG-29 were above unity, the 2000 significantly below.
I’ve always read the opposite - that the Mirage 2000 could win most fights against an F-16 and F/A-18.

Specifically, the Mirage 2000 could start the fight with more energy due to low transonic drag and high supersonic engine thrust (as the M53 was optimized for supersonic / high altitude) which meant good level acceleration and supersonic performance. Compared to the F-16 it also had the advantage of BVR missiles and built-in ECM.

At the merge, the Mirage 2000 could still win most of the time against the F-16 by using its higher instantaneous turn rate and nose pointing ability (thanks to its superior FCS).

Only if the F-16 (or F/A-18) was still alive at that point, after the first few turns, and only if the Mirage made the mistake of getting in a turning fight could the US plane win most of the time.

The Greeks certainly seem to have felt like their Mirage 2000s were superior to Turkish F-16s… and they had both in their fleets so they should know.
It's the impression I've gotten from a number of Aircrew Interview episodes. There are a number of pilots from different Air Forces, including at least one RAF exchange pilot, and what they seem to say is that it was an excellent aircraft and easy to fly, but in WVR if it didn't get a shot off due to instantaneous turn rate it was at a severe disadvantage because it would have lost its energy and couldn't get it back quickly.

One thing I found really interesting though was that the ADL pilots were very good WVR due to the fact they did it practically every sortie. They would go out, do a mission, and then on the way back do an impromptu WVR session if they had a few enough fuel left. That's a strict no-no in the RAF and U.S. services, which don't do air to air unless it is scripted into a mission. The only exception seems to be Cold War Europe, where getting jumped by NATO allies was common.
 

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The Mirage 3 enjoyed huge success on the export market. used by several European, African, and especially, Latin American air forces
the Mirage F1, less success in Latin America, but about the same in Europe and African markets

but the Mirage 2000 was exported to less countries than the other two.
the M2K is nearly the same size as a Gripen, rather low cost to operate per hour, and suitable for most air forces

In this alternative reality..
what could France and/or Dassault have done to improve its chances?
(This only applies to them, and not external factors, such as the F-16, wars that occured, etc. Thus the F-16 would still exist in this scenario, Iran-Iraq war still exist, US-Israeli relations still exist, etc.)



some ideas that could have improved its success:
- Dassault was less aggressive in pushing F1 upgrades?
- the F1 didn't exist.. Mirage III upgrades would last until the 2000
- Munitions for the 2K were made cheaper?
Hi,

my world of "only deltas French Air Force post Mirage III" :


But to answer in a "more real world", simply :

-Do not close the Mirage 2000 production line so soon

-Continue the evolution. For example: continuing the development of the M 53 reactor (stopped when the production line was stopped), installing larger canard, etc.

while I do agree the M2K line should have been kept running (probably would make a big difference for India, and maybe would have led to a reduction in Russian aircraft numbers)...

wouldnt it affect Rafale numbers too?

one issue I've had with Dassault was that there were too many 0.5 generation increments in their product line up

Gen 3, Gen 3.5, Gen 4, Gen 4.5..

which may have cannibalized each other's sales potential
Yes, but I was only talking about potential best sales of the Mirage 2000.

Regarding the advantage / disadvantage ratio by keeping the two lines (Mirage 2000 / Rafale) active. Difficult to answer. The Rafale could have won fewer markets, but the Mirage 2000 could have won others. We'll never know...
 
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Archibald

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There it is... Mirage III C2, also known as Mirage IIIE D.A, that is; air defense (the III-E was a strike aircraft with some airframe goodies compared to the III-C)

En 1965, GAMD lance sur fonds propres, le Mirage F 1194, Mirage III E à voilure
de formule F2 et avec Atar 9 K de Mirage IV. Cet avion, en air-sol, est pratiquement
aussi performant que le Jaguar ; mais c'est également un intercepteur, guère plus
performant que le Mirage III E mais avec une beaucoup plus grande autonomie. Ni
l'Armée de l'air, ni les services ne veulent s'y intéresser. Il ne correspond à aucun
programme : pour l'interception, le Mirage III E ne paraît pas encore devoir
prochainement être dépassé ; l'Armée de l'air souhaite en pénétration un futur avion
beaucoup plus ambitieux (Mirage III V ou Mirage F2) ; le Jaguar a été engagé et se
poursuit en coopération franco-britannique et il est inutile de lancer un avion
correspondant au même créneau en air-sol et guère plus performant que le
Mirage III E en air-air. Le progrès modeste en air-air pourrait être obtenu avec le
Mirage III C2 (delta avec réacteur Atar 9 K).

Le 3 février 1967, le Conseil de défense décide que le programme intérimaire
Mirage F1 sera lancé.
Le programme n'est pas lancé « parce que l'avionneur le demande » mais parce
que les contraintes financières (et les limitations américaines à l'exportation) ont
contraint au repli sur un avion intercepteur moins ambitieux que celui de l'Armée de
l'air souhaitait avoir. L'avionneur aurait, de toute évidence, préféré lui aussi la
poursuite de programme plus ambitieux - à condition de conserver des droits à
l'exportation. Si l'avionneur ne l'avait pas lancé deux ans plus tôt, au moins une
année aurait été perdue, ou bien il aurait fallu se contenter de poursuivre la
fabrication de Mirage III E ou de lancer celle du Mirage III C2.

MIRAGE III C2
La nécessité de donner un successeur au Mirage III comme intercepteur
performant apparaît en 1963-1964.
En novembre 1964, on examine la possibilité de dériver un avion nouveau à partir
du Mirage III C ; ce pourrait être un Mirage III C avec Atar 9 K (moteur du

Mirage IV A), avec ou sans radar pulse doppler.
En décembre 1964, un Mirage III E est mis en chantier de transformation
Atar 9 K ; il prend la dénomination Mirage III C2.
En février 1965, devant les difficultés prévisibles de réaliser en France un radar
pulse doppler, une coopération avec Hughes USA est envisagée sur ce sujet.
En mai 1965, l'Armée de l'air renonce au Mirage III C2. Mais en décembre 1965, il
est décidé de poursuivre les essais du Mirage III C2 jusqu'à fin 1966.
En juillet 1968, devant les difficultés budgétaires et la priorité donnée au Jaguar,
l'EMAA envisage l'abandon du Mirage F1 et son remplacement par le

Mirage III E DA moins coûteux que le Mirage F1 et à livrer à partir de fin 1971

(Mirage III E + Atar 9 K 50 + Cyrano 32 bis).
Finalement, le Mirage III C2 n'est pas acheté pour l'Armée de l'air mais il fera
l'objet de commandes à l'exportation avec des livraisons, en particulier, à l'Afrique
du Sud.

An interceptor variant of the Mirage IIIE (perhaps with the 9K50) could have done the F1 job except with a shorter range.

So let the Mirage F1 die, buy more Mirage IIIE with the 9K50, and by 1972 shift to the Mirage 2000 with analog FBW and M53 to make a quantum leap.

Wait a minute. I have found a BETTER candidate than the Mirage IIIC2.

Dassault MD.600. A "super Mirage III" in fact very similar to a Mirage 2000 (minus the FBW, this is 1968, not 1978)


So now we have a "high end" and "low end" Mirage III option to bridge the gap with a Mirage 2000... or kill it.

Mirage IIIC2 (1966)
MD.600 (1968)
...
Mirage 50 (1979)
...
Mirage IIIX / III-NG (1982)

(and thanks @Deltafan, in passing)
 
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lancer21

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Without deviating much from OTL, it's possible for Egypt to buy another squadron as initially planned so they will then have 40, Jordan wanted some as well (20?), and i read Pakistan wanted 44 Mirage-2000-5s in the nineties, but i guess India will not be very happy.

Also possibly Iraq might buy Mirage 2000 instead of their last lot of Mirage F1EQs, and even some surprising possibilities like Yugoslavia.

Speaking of surprising... China! Apparently they were interested in buying and possibly licencing the Mirage-2000 in the eighties (along with other western tech). The americans will have an apoplexy attack if China would have bought and built several hundred Mirage-2000 (possibly edging out the J-10 though), and even the mighty Mirage-4000 if we kinda go with historical hi-lo mix China went for (edging out my beloved Sukhois though). But i recall Archibald mentioning a scenario where China buys one or both Clemeanceaus, well here's some Mirages to go with that!

Anyway it seems in severals cases France has been edged out from countries that operated earlier Mirages, like some Latin American countries (by arguably inferior Kfirs), Middle East (Jordan, Kuwait etc.) or South Africa.

Apart from political machinations and general skulduggery that is behind most or all high end weapons sales that may have caused Dassault to lose most of the potential sales above, could Dassault somehow reduce the price of the 2000? As i understand it was quite pricery compared to other competotors like F-16, or am i wrong?
 

CV12Hornet

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Mirage 2000 contracts varied from $35-50 million per plane, though most of the deals include weapons and support rather than just flyaway cost. The closest thing to a flyaway number I could find was the $43 million per plane Taiwan shelled out in 1992. Flyaway cost for a Hornet in the mid-80s stabilized around $30 million per plane while for the F-16 it ranged from $15-18 million. So yeah, pretty pricy compared to an F-16.

The problem with trying to reduce cost is that the price of the Mirage 2000 is due to the fact that a. it had a more sophisticated electronics fit and b. was produced in smaller numbers and so benefitted less from economies of scale. Neither is a good avenue to reduce costs, the economies of scale for obvious reasons and the electronics fit because the Mirage 2000 isn't competing against the F-16 on capability grounds without it.
 

F-2

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I have the feeling you might as well go big with the mirage 4000. More capable, if the French buy a similar number as the 2000 and the Saudi order goes through you’ve already match the 2000 sales and might be an attractive offer to say India who liked the 2000 but wanted a heavy like the MKI. No need for a C or D. I think I read similar low altitude capabilities to a mirage 2000 with climb and supersonic similar to an F-15a. Might kill the Rafale though.
 

Keyboard Commando

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Speaking of Egypt, their Mirage 2000 purchase was mainly used to gain some leverage for an F-16 order which the US was at first reluctant to provide, maybe the Carter export restrictions remain in place and they aren't allowed F-16s. So in this case they would replace them with greater numbers of Mirages.

Maybe also have the US refuse to supply the F-15 to the Saudis so they order 2000s and 4000s which could lead to more orders across the Middle East like Kuwait and Jordan.

Brazil also looked at the Mirage 2000-9BR during their initial F-X competition so you have another possibility there.
 

Lascaris

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Speaking of Egypt, their Mirage 2000 purchase was mainly used to gain some leverage for an F-16 order which the US was at first reluctant to provide, maybe the Carter export restrictions remain in place and they aren't allowed F-16s. So in this case they would replace them with greater numbers of Mirages.
The Egyptian Mirage 2000s I understand still have capabilities not present in the Egyptian F-16 fleet. Frex it still has no BVR capability. Which gives an obvious reason to go French if you have the money, you are Western leaning but the US has reasons not sell everything...
 

F-2

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Speaking of Egypt, their Mirage 2000 purchase was mainly used to gain some leverage for an F-16 order which the US was at first reluctant to provide, maybe the Carter export restrictions remain in place and they aren't allowed F-16s. So in this case they would replace them with greater numbers of Mirages.
The Egyptian Mirage 2000s I understand still have capabilities not present in the Egyptian F-16 fleet. Frex it still has no BVR capability. Which gives an obvious reason to go French if you have the money, you are Western leaning but the US has reasons not sell everything...
At least a good number of Egyptian Vipers have sparrow capabilities. While the Mirage 2000s are old RDM machines and fairly basic themselves.
 

CV12Hornet

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Most Egyptian F-16s are BVR-capable: 198 of the 240. This is due to the Egyptians primarily getting Block 40 F-16s, all of which are BVR-capable. The thing is that the Egyptians ordered the Mirage 2000 in 1981, and at that point the only batch on the books was likely the initial 42 Block 15s, which were day-only. The next batch were BVR-capable Block 32s and at that point it was curtains for further Mirage orders.
 

Archibald

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Dump the licence on India. I would love to see what would they do with it. Naval Mirage 2000 for India would be completely awesome. Yes, naval Mirage 2000 is technically doable, thanks to the analog FBW which really dropped landing speed compared to the Mirage III from 180 kt to 140 kt: only a bit more than the swept / VG Mirages at 125 kt.

Also handling at takeoff and landing, much less AoA with a better designed nose and canopy immensely improved things.

Would need a slightly more power M53 however: P2 would be mandatory, but SNECMA could certainly do better than that.
 
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tomo pauk

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Dump the licence on India.

Makes all the sense. Indians were making the MiG-27, so the Mirage 2000 is within the grasp as far as airframe goes. Ship the engines and electronics from France until/unless Indians can duplicate any of those.
It also serves as a cushion against the LCA delays - just churn out more 2000s when the MiG-21 fleet needs retiring.
 

Archibald

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Note that the M53, just like the Atar, is not a very sophisticated engine. If the small and embargoed South Africa could master the Atar, the Indians should be able to do the same with the M53. Perhaps a better idea that the screwed Kaveri...
 
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