In a bit of a shift recently a couple of the EAF pilots have moved away from the Hornet/Harrier flying and looked back to the Mirage 2000C.
This was one of the first additions that I made to the original A-10C purchase made in 20011. I’ve got to admit that my first impressions of the Mirage were always good. I just got caught up in buying more and more DCS modules and it ended up a bit neglected. As times have now changed I’m not buying any new modules at the moment and I was tempted back to the Mirage.
This has also spurred another EAF pilot to look back at the Mirage so we’ve started working out the systems, some of them for the first time, and have been getting into the aircraft on a more regular basis and finding it a really enjoyable aircraft.
Systems wise it just isn’t as complex as the F/A-18 or the F-16, there isn’t a myriad of display screens and menus to get lost in, the HOTAS is relatively simple and the ground attack capability is limited to mostly CCIP attacks with unguided weapons. While CCRP is possible it is wildly inaccurate! There is a GBU capability if you have a JTAC or a wingman with a TGP, with GBU-12 and 24 available as options.
In the air to air role it’s very good up close and personal, the issue is that the Fox 1 missiles, the Super 530, has a very short range and the chances are that the aircraft you’re aiming to shoot at will be able to fire from much further away and by the time you’ve evaded the incoming fire you may be too late to be able to use it. The Magic is pretty decent and seems to be on a par with the AIM-9M. There is no helmet-mounted sight, there’s nothing fancy to support dogfighting or an equivalent to the AIM-9X.
The fly by wire (FBW) system is interesting, this is the first model that I had tried with such a system. It’s really responsive, but it also seems to just hold the aircraft how you leave it, the auto-pilot is also really simple and easy to use. One thing that has been tricky has been in-flight refuelling when you’re behind the KC-130. It’s just too slow to be able to hold the Mirage steady. I’ve been able to do this in both the F/A-18 and the Harrier but the Mirage just doesn’t seem to like it. I’ve really enjoyed learning how to get the aircraft to conduct automated landings though, I’ve not been able to do that in any of the other modules yet; I’ve not got it perfected but I could do it in an emergency.
The radar is known for being a bit fussy, but once you get to grips with it it’s really straight forward to use and I find the display simpler to use and understand than the American systems, and especially the Russian systems that are completely displayed on the HUD. If the Mirage 2000 was given more up to date missiles, especially with a Fox 3 capability, it would be a lot more dangerous to opposing fighters.
We’d be really glad to fly with others that have more experience than we do of the Mirage as we’d love to learn more and develop our skills with the aircraft.
Reaper’s Tutorials – a set of tutorials from step 1 (controls set up) through to advanced systems. I generally find that you can not go wrong with the Reaper’s tutorials and Super Cap!