In my last topic, I said I would start making topics dedicated to certain exhibits!
Well here is one of them.
These pictures were taken at the Bourget, LFPB
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole fighter that was developed by Dassault Systèmes in the mid-to-late 20th century. The 2000 first flew in… you guessed it! 1978! Nowhere near 2000!
It was introduced to the French Air Force in 1984, and since its Orwellian introduction, it has had a long and successful career, with over 600 aircraft built and sent to many countries worldwide.
The main uses of the Mirage 2000 were in the Gulf War, where they defended US Air Force U-2 aircraft, and in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, where they were used by the UN and NATO.
The Mirages were also used by the French Air Force in Afghanistan in 2001-2002 and Libya in 2011.
However, its decade-long life came to a gradual end starting in 2006. 17 years ago, the Dassault Rafale A was introduced, meant to replace the aging Mirages.
As the Rafale was developed and more variants were created, such as the B, C and M variants, the Mirage lost popularity and remained airborne in only a few countries.
The last military use of the Mirage was in 2018, when five Mirage 2000-5s were used against the Syrian Government during the Syrian Civil War.
However, despite its military presence, a few Mirages also served another purpose…
The testbed for the Dassault Rafale.
And this is the one I saw.
This particular Mirage, SN501, was used as a testbed for the Rafale since 1993! However, it is unfortunately being retired, as pretty much every other Mirage in the months to come.
I’m glad I was able to spot this beautiful bird before its retirement, and share the love of the Mirage.
…and here is the replacement, the Dassault Rafale.
This particular aircraft is a Rafale M, owned by the French Marine.
Thanks a lot for looking at this topic!
Have any of you seen a Mirage before? Let me know!