F-16 versus Mirage 2000

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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CheckSix

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Unread post12 Dec 2004, 00:12

This one has been posted already: http://www.mirage-jet.com/COMPAR_1/compar_1.htm
and gives the Mirage a slight advantage in almost every respect.

Any other infos / combat exercises?

I just read in a EADS journal, that their MICA AAMs are reported to be deadly, especially the IR variant, because you wont't have any indication being attacked.
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Wildcat

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Unread post25 Jan 2005, 03:08

Well, the figures are not REALLY false, but they are clearly biased:
The mirage 2000 is a very slick (and beautiful, to me) fighter, primarily designed for scramble interception against MiG-25s, and it is true that a Mirage 2000 can (logically) fly faster and higher than a Viper.

Nevertheless, the Mirage 2000 is fairly less powerful than the Viper, so that this advantage in speed and acceleration is negated as soon as you try to fit a decent bomb load on the Mirage 2000.

It is also true that the instantaneous turn rate of the Mirage 2000 is slightly better, but the sustained turn rate of the Viper is better, which is probably better in a dogfight, all in all. Dassault doesn't seem to talk about that too much...

Then, the consumption grid is nearly a lie: the Mirage 2000 really burns less fuel than a Viper, but the Viper can carry more fuel and its engine produces greater thrust (its thrust/consumption ratio is better), so that the Viper actually has a better range and a better combat time than the Mirage 2000.

The air-to-ground mission grid is even worse: with eight Mk-82 bombs and two tanks, a Mirage 2000 can only carry two short-range IR missiles to protect itself, whereas a Viper with eight bombs and one tank can carry four AMRAAMs. If you want the Mirage 2000 to be loaded with four MICAs as well, only four Mk-82 bombs can be loaded then... and, as it is explained under the grid, if you try to load bigger bombs than Mk-82s on the Mirage 2000, it can no longer carry the two big wing tanks, and its range becomes pretty shorter than the range of a similarly-equipped Viper.

To conclude, the Mirage 2000 is slicker than the Viper but less powerful. With good pilots on both sides, they are probably equal in dogfight. However, in air-to-ground missions the Viper is clearly better, as it can carry a much heavier load on a longer range. I really love the Mirage 2000, but it was designed as a small interceptor, not a multirole fighter.
Last edited by Wildcat on 28 Jan 2005, 11:24, edited 1 time in total.
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ACSheva

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Unread post25 Jan 2005, 04:07

I agree with the above statement.
The 16 is probably more superior in many critical ways to the French creation.

Shev
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Cylon

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Unread post26 Jan 2005, 02:14

Sandbagged in a Mirage 2k during Maple Flag in 2002. We got our asses kicked by a Viper... Hows that ?

Cylon
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CheckSix

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Unread post26 Jan 2005, 15:15

Some greeks said, it is superiour to F-16 in dogfight, they must know it, they operate them both.

F-16 has a better thrust weight ratio, but loses more speed in tight turns due its higher wingloading, they said. Surely F-16 is a bit compromised at high altitude, matches agains MiG-29 showed the same.

I can't find the link, I'll post it later.


In Air to ground the F-16 might be more advanced. But how would that be in a high-threat scenario, wher you can't patrol at 20k with 300kts?
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Wildcat

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Unread post27 Jan 2005, 19:51

CheckSix said:
In Air to ground the F-16 might be more advanced. But how would that be in a high-threat scenario, wher you can't patrol at 20k with 300kts?

Actually, only the Mirage 2000N and the Mirage 2000D possess a terrain-following-capable radar, but these are two-seat mud-moving versions, with little AA ability (they can only fire Magic II infrared missiles). They are supposed to protect themselves by speed, very low flying and ECM.
On the contrary, the multirole versions, i.e. Mirage 2000C, Mirage 2000E (same for export) Mirage 2000-5 and 2000-9 have no TFR (or something comparable to the LANTIRN system), so that I cannot figure out why a AA-capable Mirage 2000 would be at advantage over a Viper in a high threat scenario.
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Pat1

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 04:11

Considering they are sales rivals, its surprising that Greece, Egypt, Taiwan and UAE operate them both. Does anybody have any insight on this matter?
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ACSheva

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 04:22

Pat 1

Maybe its to keep good political ties with both nations US-FRN. Just like the Germans bought our F4,and Soviet 29. Maybe also for training, since those fighters may see each other in combat someday.

Shev
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Pat1

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 04:59

Did the Germans buy MiG-29s after the cold war? I thought the were inherited from the former East German airforce.

I can see Taiwan trying to get as many planes as possible, and as a diplomatic measure towards China, both the US and France might have limited their sales. Perserving the balance of powers could also be the case of Egypt and Greece?

About UAE, is each emirate in charge of their own defence? It could be that one Emirate prefers one over the other...
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CheckSix

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 10:03

MiG-29 came from the former East Germany. Despite the Phantom, it was not upgraded. (German F-4F now have APG-65 and AIM-120)

The Eastern-German were new aircraft from 1988, but represented the export standard. (any "fancy" equipment was removed)

West German F-4F were also derated before upgrade: no AIM-7 capability (on paper).

There was a discussion to enlarge/upgrade the MiG-29 fleet. This was unthinkable because of the EF. So only minor changes were made for NATO QRA requirements. Last year they've been handed over to poland to serve until their F-16 arrive.

Back to Mirage 2000: If you look at the Dassault webpage, you'll find all that fancy A-G-stuff. basically you may order Mirage 2k with Rafale avionics.
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Wildcat

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 11:47

Ah, you naïve! :wink:

Yes, keeping political ties might be a part of an explanation about why some countries decide to buy Mirage 2000s whereas the Viper is at least as good and significantly cheaper.

However, the main reason why French fighters are bought is that we have never refused to sell long-range AA missiles and state-of-the-art armament (I prefer not commenting this kind of politics...).

Examples:
  • Taiwan bought Mirage 2000-5s because we sold MICAs when Americans refused to sell AMRAAMs to them.
  • Egypt bought Mirage 2000s in the 80s to get Super 530 missiles (quite similar in capacity to Sparrows). Notice that Egyptians only bought a small number of Mirage 2000s, and it appears that they bought Mirage 2000s mainly to force the United States to sell Vipers to them.
  • UAE did not hide that they chose to buy further Mirage 2000s and modernize their old ones to 2000-9 standard in order to be sure they would always get active-radar long-range missiles (i.e. MICAs in case they would not have been able to get AMRAAMs), and because Mirage 2000s were sold with Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
Maybe armament is not as much an argument about Greece, but when they ordered Mirage 2000s they had just been accepted in the European Union. I think buying Mirage 2000s was a way to get closer to France at the time. (Exocet missiles may have been part of the explanation too, though)

I stop the list there but if you look at the names of countries that bought the Mirage 2000, you will see that, except Greece maybe, they all bought Mirage 2000s because they could not get Vipers at all or wanted to force the United States to sell modern armament later on.
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CheckSix

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 13:44

Maybe it is a bit naive too to assume F-16 has been chosen due it's suppreme capabilities only. :oops:

Compare an eighties style F-16C with a M2000 or a MiG-29, I can't find much differences in A2A capabilities, but -16 is unable to fire BVRAAMs.
Same with A2G, here the 29 is a bit off.

Comparing the airframes only, every rival has it's shortcomings:
  • MiG-29: range
  • Mirage2k:engine is weak and thirsty
  • F-16: high wingloading
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Wildcat

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 18:32

If you want to compare the Viper and the Mirage 2000, it seems that you have to consider the F-16C rather than the F-16A: the first delivery of a Mirage 2000 to a foreign country occured in 1985 (to India) whereas the first delivery of a F-16C occured in 1986 (to South Korea). Therefore, I do not deem that the BVRAAM capacity was an advantage of the Mirage 2000.
About A2G missions, I have never meant that the F-16 had a better avionics (actually, the Mirage 2000 avionics is more comprehensive) or a really better armament, I just wanted to set that the Viper simply possesses a better-suited airframe, i.e. longer range and heavier payload.

Then, I do not think that most airforces preferred the Viper because it was merely BETTER, but primarily because it was CHEAPER. IF France could sell Mirage 2000 the price of a Viper, I guess that many more countries would have bought Mirage 2000s.
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Pat1

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 22:20

Thanks Wildcat and CheckSix
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ACSheva

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Unread post28 Jan 2005, 22:26

Hey what about me bro?

:oops:

Shev
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