H.A.F. - Mirage 2000 Video

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The Mirage 20 is a French-built multirole fighter jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation.
Development and history
The Mirage 20 was developed by Dassault-Breguet for the Armée de l'Air as an alternative to the swing-wing Avion de Combat Futur. After the latter was cancelled in 1975 due to its growing cost and complexity, Dassault offered the Mirage 20 as an alternative. Development of this aircraft would also give the company a competitor to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, which had defeated the Dassault Mirage F1 in a contest for a new fighter for the air forces of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway.
The prototype made its first flight in March 10, 1978 with test pilot Jean Coreau at the controls. The first production example flew in November 20, 1982 and the aircraft went into operational service in 1984.
Using the concept of the delta wing interceptor seen on the Dassault Mirage I, Dassault built a new design but still using a delta wing. This configuration is not ideal with regard to maneuverability, low-altitude flight, and distance required for take-off and landing, but has advantages in high-speed flight characteristics, simplicity of construction, low radar signature and internal volume.
Design features
French Mirage 20C fully armed.
French Mirage 20C fully armed.
* Low-set thin delta wing with cambered section, 58 degrees leading-edge sweep and moderately blended root; area-ruled; capable of carrying four air-to-air missiles.
* The aircraft's center of lift was moved in front of its center of gravity, giving the fighter a degree of instability that enhances maneuverability.
* A runway arresting hook or fairing for a brake parachute can be fitted under the tail. The landing roll was reduced by robust carbon brakes. The backward-retracting, steerable nose gear features dual wheels, while the main gear features single wheels and retracts inward into the wings.
* An airbrake is fitted on top of each wing in an arrangement very similar to that of the Mirage I. A noticeably taller tailfin allows the pilot to retain control at higher angles of attack, assisted by small strakes mounted along each air intake.
* First fighter jet with negative static stability.
Multi-spar metal wing; elevons have carbon-fiber skins with AG5 light alloy honeycomb cores; carbon-fiber/light alloy honeycomb panel covers avionics bay; most of the tailfin and all of the rudder are skinned with boron/epoxy/carbon; the rudder has a light alloy honeycomb core.
Dassault Mirage 20C at Paris Air Show 2007
Dassault Mirage 20C at Paris Air Show 2007
and easier handling.
Landing gear
The aircraft uses a retractable tricycle type landing gear by Messier-Bugatti, with twin nosewheels and a single wheel on each main gear. Hydraulic retraction, nosewheels rearward, main units inward. Oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers. Electrohydraulic nosewheel steering (+/-45 degrees). Manual disconnect permits nosewheel unit to caster through 360 degrees for ground towing].
The fighter is available as a single-seat or two-seat multi-role fighter. The aircraft has hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) control. The pilot sits on a SEMB Mark 10 zero-zero ejection seat, a license-built version of the British Martin-Baker Mark 10.
The instrument panel is dominated by a Heads Up Display (HUD) with the VMC 180 radar screen located centrally below it. To the lower left is a stores management panel. Above the stores management panel are the navigation instruments and altimeter. The right half of the instrument panel houses the engine and systems displays. Located on the left side of the cockpit, just ahead of the throttle, are controls for the communications equipment, including the Have Quick secure radio.
Standard avionics for the Mirage-20B/C include:
* Sagem ULISS 52 inertial navigation system (INS), TRT radio altimeter.
* Sextant TMV-980 data display system (VE-130 head-up and VMC-180 head-down) (two head-down in 20N/D). The combined head-up/head-level display is collimated at infinity, and presents data relating to flight control, navigation, target engagement and weapon firing. Sensor and system management data is presented on two colored lateral displays.
* Dassault Electronique Type 2084 central digital computer, Digibus digital databus (2084 XR in 20D) and Sextant Avionique Type 90 air data computer.
* LMT NRAI-7A IFF transponder, IO-300-A marker beacon receiver, TRT ERA 70 V/UHF com transceiver, TRT ERA 7200 UHF or EAS secure voice communications.
* Thomson-CSF RDM multi-mode radar or Dassault Electronique/Thomson-CSF RDI pulse-Doppler radar for Mirage 20C/D, each with operating range of 54 nm (100 km / 62 miles).
* Dassault/Thales Antilope 5 Radar with terrain avoidance capability for Mirage 20N Nuclear Strike variant.
* The Thales multimode RDY (Radar Doppler Multitarget) developed for Mirage 20-5.
* Thales Serval Radar warning receiver (RWR) with antennas on the wingtips and on the rear of the top of the tailfin.
* Dassault Sabre RF jammer in a pod below the bottom of the tailfin, with an antenna in a fairing on the front of the tailfin.
* Dassault Eclair dispenser system under the tail. This was eventually replaced by a pair of Matra Spirale dispensers, one fitted on an extension behind the rear of each wingroot, giving a total capacity of 224 cartridges.
Mirage 20 taking off with full afterburner.
Mirage 20 taking off with full afterburner.
The Mirage 20 is equipped with a SNECMA M53-5 or SNECMA M53-P2 turbofan engine according to the different Mirage 20 versions, which provides 64 kN of thrust dry and 98 kN in afterburner. The air intakes are fitted with an adjustable half-cone-shaped centerbody, which provides an inclined shock of air pressure for highly efficient air intake. Total internal fuel capacity is 3978 liters in Mirage 20C and E, and 3904 liters in Mirage 20B, N, D and S. There are also provisions for a jettisonable 1300-liter centerline fuselage fuel tank and for a 1700-litre drop tank under each wing.
Armament and payload
The Mirage 20 can carry up to 6.3 tons (13,900 lb) of stores on nine pylons, with two pylons on each wing and five under the fuselage. A fixed removable refuelling probe can be attached in front of the cockpit, offset slightly to the right of center.
Primary armament of the Mirage 20 includes:
* Matra Super 530 medium-range semi-active radar-guided air-to-air missile on the inboard wing pylons.
* Matra Magic short-range infrared-seeking AAM on the outboard wing pylons.
* The Mirage 20C can carry air-to-ground stores such as the Matra 68 mm rocket pods, iron bombs, and cluster bombs.
Built-in armament consisted of twin DEFA 554 (now GIAT 30-550 F4) 30 mm revolver-type cannons with 125 rounds each. The cannons have selectable fire rates of 1,200 or 1,800 rounds per minute.
Mirage 20C
French Mirage 20C
French Mirage 20C
The first Mirage 20 to go into service was the single-seat Mirage 20C interceptor. There were four single-seat prototypes, including the initial Mirage 20 prototype. The first production Mirage 20C flew in November 1982. Deliveries began in 1983. The first operational squadron was formed in 1984, the 50th anniversary of the French Air Force. A total of 124 Mirage-20Cs were obtained by the AdA.
The first 37 Mirage 20Cs delivered were fitted with the Thomson-CSF RDM (Radar Doppler Multifunction) and were powered by the SNECMA M53-5 turbofan engine. The 38th Mirage 20C had an upgraded SNECMA M53-5 P2 turbofan engine. The Radar Doppler Impulse (RDI) built by Thales did not enter service until 1987.
Latest upgrades include:
* Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NTCR) mode in RDI Radar allows identification of airborne targets not responding on IFF.
* Integration with the new Matra MICA (Missile d'Interception, de Combat et d'Autodefense) IR heat-seeking missile. The radar-guided version of the MICA will not be able to support earlier versions of the Mirage 20.
Mirage 20B
Mirage 20B nose close up.
Mirage 20B nose close up.
The Mirage 20B is two-seat operational conversion trainer variant which performed its initial flight on October 11, 1980. The AdA acquired 30 Mirage 20Bs, with all three of the AdA fighter wings obtaining a few each for conversion training.
Mirage 20N and 20D
Main article: Dassault Mirage 20N/20D
The Mirage 20N is the nuclear strike variant which was intended to carry the Aerospatiale Air-Sol Moyenne Portee (ASMP) nuclear stand-off missile. Initial flight tests of two prototypes began on February 3, 1983, and the Mirage 20N entered operational service in 1988. A total of 75 were built.
The Mirage 20D is a dedicated conventional attack variant developed from the Mirage 20N. Initial flight of the Mirage 20D prototype, a modified Mirage 20N prototype, was on February 19, 1991. The first flight of a production aircraft occurred March 31, 1993, and service introduction followed in April 1995. A total of 86 were built.
Mirage 20-5
By the late 1980s, the Mirage 20 was beginning to age compared with the latest models of U.S. F-16 fighters, so Thomson-CSF began work on a privately funded update of the Mirage 20C which was to be named the Mirage 20-5. A two-seat Mirage 20B prototype was extensively modified as the first Mirage 20-5 prototype, and it first flew on October 24, 1990. A Mirage 20C prototype was then reworked to a similar standard, making its initial flight on April 27, 1991.
* The Thales multimode RDY (Radar Doppler Multitarget). The RDY radar is the heart of the upgrade, providing true multitarget tracking. It can simultaneously detect up to 24 targets and track the eight highest-priority threats while guiding four MICA EMs to different targets simultaneously.
* The updated ICMS 2 countermeasures suite and the Samir DDM missile warning system. ICMS 2 incorporates a receiver and associated signal processing system in the nose for detection of hostile missile command data links. The aircraft's self-protection equipment can be interfaced to a new programmable mission-planning and post-mission analysis ground system.
* A new glass cockpit layout borrowed from the Rafale program with three-color MFDs, a dual-linked wide-angle HUD / head-level display, and HOTAS controls. The cockpit is NVG-compatible.
* Targeting systems included the Thales TV/CT CLDP laser designation pod which provides the capability to fire laser-guided weapons by day and night.
* A two-seater version was developed as well. The back-seater has the HUD but not the associated head-level display, and as with first-generation two-seaters, there are no built-in cannon (although cannon pods can be carried).
* The Mirage 20-5 can also carry the oversized drop tanks developed for the Mirage 20N, greatly extending its range.
In 1993, the AdA decided to upgrade 37 of their existing Mirage 20s to the 20-5 specification as a stopgap before the arrival of the Rafale in AdA service. The upgraded aircraft were redesignated Mirage 20-5F, and became operational in 20. They retained the old countermeasures system with the Serval/Sabre/Spirale units and did not receive the ICMS 2 system.
The AdA is now considering upgrades for the type, including the MIDS datalink, MICA IR support, and the Thales Topsight helmet-mounted display / sighting system.
Mirage 20-5 Mark 2
Dassault extended the improvements of the Mirage 20-5 a bit further with the Mirage 20-5 Mark 2, which is an enhanced, fully multirole version of the Mirage 20-5. It is currently the most advanced version of the Mirage 20.
* Thales RDY-2 radar. The RDY-2 radar is similar in configuration to the original RDY, but features two new air-to-ground modes, including a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging mode with a moving target indicator (MTI) capability to provide an all-weather, day/night targeting capability. The radar features low-probability-of-intercept (LPI) operation, with the output pattern varying in a seemingly random pattern that prevents an adversary RWR from recognizing that it has been targeted.
* The high-power Modular Data Processing Unit (MDPU) designed for the Rafale.
* A new Thales Totem 30 INS with ring-laser gyros and GPS capability, providing much greater accuracy, higher reliability, and shorter alignment time replaces the older ULISS 52 system. It works in conjunction with a terrain-following system.
* An improved, classified ICMS 3 digital countermeasures suite.
* An on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS).
* The cockpit was updated as well, retaining the same general layout but with larger color displays and other modernizations. The Thales Topsight helmet-mounted display / sighting system is offered as an option.
* The Mirage 20-5 Mark 2 includes a datalink for the targeting of MICA ER missiles and can carry the Damocles targeting pod.
* Future Upgrades: Thales AIDA visual identification pod; technology used in the Rafale will be also integrated into the Mirage 20, including infrared and optical sensors for IFF and targeting. It will be used by AdA Mirage 20-5Fs. Further development of the second-generation type is expected to include a GPS receiver, MIDS datalink, and unspecified long-range sensors.
Topsight E helmet-mounted sight
Topsight E displays critical information, protects the pilot, and provides communications. In the display of critical information, Topsight E has three main functions:
* Visual target designation by transmitting the target's line of sight to the nav/attack system. Used with modern missiles, Topsight allows pilots to perform wide off-boresight target designation.
* Visual target acquisition using reverse cueing mode where the display symbology guides the pilot's eyes to the target tracked by the aircraft sensors. The nav/attack system provides spatial data.
* Situational awareness based on concise display of vital information (tactical, navigation, safety, etc.).
Topsight E has four integrated operational modes:
* Navigation is based on ring laser gyro INS with embedded GPS receiver.
* Air-to-air weapon delivery includes guns, rockets and high- and low-drag bombs, using continuous computation of impact point (CCIP) and continuous computation of release point (CCRP).
* Training includes failure simulations, as well as target and threat simulations.
* The Topflight avionics suite features a full glass cockpit and HOTAS control, plus a range of avionics, linked to a 1553 multiplex bus.
Mirage 20E
"Mirage 20E" was a blanket designation for a series of export variants of the Mirage 20. These aircraft were fitted the M53-P2 engine and an enhanced "RDM+" radar, and all can carry the day-only ATLIS II laser targeting pod.
Mirage 20M (Egypt)
Egypt was the first foreign buyer, ordering 16 single-seat Mirage 20M and four Mirage 20BM trainers in late 1981, with deliveries beginning in 1986. The Egyptians also purchased ATLIS II pods and a wide range of appropriate munitions, including Magic and Super 530 AAMs, AS-30L laser-guided ASMs, and Armat anti-radiation missiles.
Mirage 20H (India)
Indian Air Force Mirage 20H.
Indian Air Force Mirage 20H.
India is a major user of the Mirage 20, having acquired a total of 49 examples, including 42 single-seaters and 7 Mirage two-seaters. The IAF named the Mirage Vajra (Thunderbolt). India also purchased appropriate stores along with the fighters, including ATLIS II pods and laser-guided weapons.
* Since India wanted the fighter quickly, the first part of an initial batch of 26 single-seaters and 4 two-seaters was shipped to the Indian Air Force (IAF) beginning in 1985 with the older M53-5 engines. These aircraft were given the designations of Mirage 20H5 and Mirage 20TH5.
* The second part of this initial batch consisted of 10 more single-seaters with the M53-P2 engine, with these aircraft designated Mirage 20H. All the first batch was reengined with the M53-P2, with the single-seaters re-designated "Mirage 20H" and the two-seaters re-designated Mirage 20TH.
* A second batch of six Mirage 20H single-seaters and three Mirage 20TH two-seaters was shipped in 1987-1988.
Recent orders:
* In 2004, the Indian government approved purchase of ten more Mirage 20Hs, with these machines featuring improved avionics, particularly an upgraded RDM-7 radar.
* The Mirage 20-5 was the front-runner for a planned Indian Air Force 124+ fighter procurement in which it was competing with the Mikoyan MiG-35, F-16 Falcon and JAS 39 Gripen. However, Dassault announced that Mirage 20 will be replaced by the Rafale as the contender for the deal since the Mirage 20 production line is to be closed.
* India has announced a $1.9 billion program to arm 52 of its Mirage 20 aircraft with the MBDA ASRAAM dogfighting missile beginning in 2007. Installation will require new radar, electronic warfare equipment, and updates to the cockpit and data bus. Pilot helmets will require addition of a helmet-mounted sight. These will be the first Mirage aircraft to carry the British missile and Dassault, Thales, and MBDA are to participate in the effort
Mirage 20P (Peru)
Peru placed an order for 10 single-seat Mirage 20Ps and 2 Mirage 20DP trainers. The Peruvians ordered a set of munitions similar to that ordered by Egypt, along with ATLIS II targeting pods.
Mirage 20-5EI (Taiwan)
In 1992, the Republic of China Air Force ordered 48 single-seat Mirage 20-5EI interceptors and 12 Mirage 20-5DI trainers, with introduction of the first squadron in 1997 and the last fighters delivered in 19. The Taiwanese ordered a set of ASTAC electronic intelligence (ELINT) pods for their Mirages.
* France announced in 1992 that it would offer Dassault Mirage 20-5 fighters to Taiwan. The number of aircraft considered had been rumored to be 120, but the deal was finalized as 60 aircraft (48 single-seat 20-5EIs and 12 two-seat 20-5DIs) on November 17 of the same year. This marks the first ROCAF purchase of French fighters since the arrival of 24 Dewoitine D.510C piston-engine monoplanes in 1937. The program was given the codename "Fei Lung" (Flying Dragon).
* The ROCAF also obtained 960 MICA medium-range and 480 Magic II short-range air-to-air missiles from Matra. The former provides the Mirage with the BVR capability needed for its role as front-line interceptor. A number of centerline twin gun pods with DEFA 554 cannons were also acquired and fitted on the two-seaters, as they do not have an internal gun armament. Other support equipment, such as auxiliary fuel tanks, helmets, and G-suits, have also been procured.
* The first batch of ROCAF Mirage 20-5s, consisting of five aircraft, arrived at Hualien Harbor on the east coast of Taiwan by sea on 1997-05-06. After being unloaded, they were towed to Hualien AB, where they were unpacked and checked, and then flown to Hsinchu AB. Subsequent deliveries also followed the same procedure. The last ROCAF Mirage 20-5 was delivered in an official ceremony on 1998-11-26.
All Mirage 20-5s are operated by the 499th TFW at Hsinchu. The first unit to convert to the type, the 41st TFS, was commissioned on 1997-12-01. Subsequently the 42nd TFS was commissioned on 1998-11-26. The 499th TFW achieved the IOC (Initial Operational Capability) status on 2001-05-10, and the 48th TFS was commissioned on the same day.
On 2004-11-01, the 41st and 42nd TFSs were upgraded to the TFG status, while the 48th TFS became the 48th Training Group, in the largest restructure undertaken by the ROCAF since 19. At the same time, the original 11th TFG went into history. Each of the new TFG/TG is commanded by a Colonel, but the number of aircraft assigned is not much different from that for a Squadron. Although their official English designation is Tactical Fighter Group, the Chinese designation literally means Operations Group.
Weapon Testing & Exercises
* On 1998-05-08, a two-seat DI fired one MICA missile and successfully hit a target drone 67 km away. It was the first launch of the said missile outside France. The second MICA live-firing exercise took place off the east coast of Taiwan on 20-03-29, in which 2051 (right side image) fired a single MICA missile from its left inner pylon.
* On 2004-07-21, two Mirage 20-5s from the 2nd TFW landed on the wartime reserve runway located at the Jenteh section of Highway No. 1 as part of the annual Han Kuang No. 20 Exercise. Mirage 20-5DI 2051, piloted by Maj. Wei-Kuang Chang and Lt. Col. Juei-Chi Duan, and 2054, piloted by Lt. Col. Bin-Fu Wu and Capt. Jien-Liang Chen, took off from their home base Hsinchu Air Base at 0540 hrs. 2051 landed on the highway at 0620 hrs, followed by 2054 at 0622 hrs. The two jets then taxied to the other end of the reserve runway to be refueled and re-armed with two Magic air-to-air missiles, respectively. At 0712 hrs, 2051 took off again and 2054 followed one minute later. Both landed at Hsinchu at 0736 hrs.
Mirage 20-5EDA (Qatar)
In 1994, Qatar ordered nine single-seat Mirage 20-5EDAs and three Mirage 20-5DDA trainers, with initial deliveries starting in 1997.
Mirage 20EAD/RAD (UAE)
In 1983, the UAE purchased 22 single-seat Mirage 20EADs, 8 unique single-seat Mirage 20RAD reconnaissance variants, and 6 Mirage 20DAD trainers, for a total order of 36 machines. The order specified an Italian-made defensive avionics suite that delayed delivery of the first of these aircraft until 1989.
* The Mirage 20RAD reconnaissance variant does not have any built-in cameras or sensors, and the aircraft can still be operated in air combat or strike roles. The reconnaissance systems are implemented in pods, including the Thales "SLAR 20" radar pod, Dassault "COR2" multi-camera pod with visible and infrared imaging capability, and the Dassault "AA-3-38 HAROLD" telescopic long-range optical camera pod. The UAE is the only nation operating such a specialized reconnaissance variant of the Mirage 20 at this time.
Mirage 20-9
Mirage 20-9 is the export variant of Mirage 20-5 Mk.2.
* The UAE was the launch customer, ordering 32 new-build aircraft, comprising 20 Mirage 20-9 single-seaters and 12 Mirage 20-9D two-seaters. Initial deliveries of the UAE Mirages began in the spring of 2003. A further 30 of Abu Dhabi's older Mirage 20s will also be upgraded to Mirage 20-9 standard.
* The UAE's Mirage 20-9s are well-equipped for the strike mission, since they are being provided with the Shehab laser targeting pod (a variant of the Damocles) and the Nahar navigation pod, complementing the air-to-ground modes of the RDY-2 radar. They are also equipped with a classified countermeasures system designated "IMEWS", which is comparable to the ICMS 3. The UAE is also obtaining the "Black Shahin" cruise missile, which is basically a variant of the MBDA Apache cruise missile similar to Storm Shadow.
Mirage 20EG (Greece)
Greek Mirage 20EG climbing.
Greek Mirage 20EG climbing.
Beginning in March 1985, the Greeks ordered 36 single-seat Mirage 20EGs and 4 Mirage 20BG two-seat trainers.
* They feature an ICMS 1 defensive countermeasures suite, which is an updated version of the standard Mirage 20C countermeasures suite and is characterized by two small antennas near the top of the tailfin. These Mirage 20s were later modified in the field to carry the Aerospatiale AM39 Exocet anti-ship missile.
* In 20, Greece ordered a batch of 25 Mirage 20-5 Mk.2 fighters, which feature the SATURN secure radio. The order included 15 new-build aircraft and 10 upgrades of existing Greek Mirage 20EGs. Apparently the Greek order does not include any upgrades of two-seaters.
Mirage 20BR (Brazil)
Dassault competed for a Brazilian deal with the Mirage 20BR, another variant of the Mirage 20-9. Due to Brazilian budget problems, the competition has dragged on for years until it was suspended in February 2005.
* In July 2005, however, Brazil agreed to purchase 12 ex-AdA Mirage 20C aircraft.
* First two Mirage 20C and Mirage 20B delivered to Brazilian Air Force(FAB) on September 4th 2006 . Aircraft were delivered to 1º GDA in Anápolis, Goiás to replace Mirage IEBR/DBR. Aircraft will be named F-20 in FAB service.
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Tags 2000, aegean, air, dassault, dogfight, f-1, f-16, f1, force, greece, haf, hellas, hellenic, iaf, mirage, rafale, tuaf, usaf, viper

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