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David Womby

Whatif there was a Mirage 3000?

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In the early 1990s, Dassault realised that the costs and, especially, the continually worsening delivery delays, for the upcoming Rafale might discourage some of their target customers.  So they decided they needed a Mirage 2000 upgrade product to hold onto existing customers who might be tempted to buy American aircraft or Eurofighters as their next combat aircraft before the Rafale was available and its final production prices were calculated.  Dassault's solution was an interim design that would be be more agile and have longer range and updated avionics and be a relatively low cost upgrade for Mirage 2000 customers. 

 

Dassault developed their interim fighter by redesigning the longer two-seat Mirage 2000D into a single seater.  A raised cockpit was fitted for better rearward visibility. The original thought was to have variable incidence canards ahead of the cockpit but earlier experience with the Milan had shown that they would cause turbulence that would interfere with the airflow to the intakes.  So the canards were adapted from the Rafale design and fitted to the shoulders of the intakes.    Extra fuel and avionics were fitted in the space the rear seat had originally taken.  The additional avionics enabled the single seater to be classed as multirole with both interception and ground attach capabilities.  Initially the design was referred to as the Mirage 2000NG (Nouvelle Generation) but it was soon renamed Mirage 3000.  

 

Originally intended as a rebuild of two seater 2000B, D or N, Dassault later developed a kit to upgrade the Mirage 2000C by grafting on the forward section of the new design.    Prompted by the government in the hope of encouraging export buyers, the Armee de L'Aire opted to upgrade two escadrons to Mirage 3000s as a stop gap pending delayed Rafale deliveries and adopted the new all-over grey scheme planned for the Rafales.   This represents a Mirage 3000 of Escadron E.C. 3/2 Alsace in 1999.

 

This whif is built from a 1/72 Italeri 2000D kit with the spine removed and a canopy from I do not know what.  The canards are from an old Imai kit of Thunderbird 1 and the housings for the canard mechanisms are halves of the bombs from the Airfix F-5A kit.  The canopy doesn't sit as nicely as I hoped but it's the best I could find in the spares box.

 

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David

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Very nice idea and modelling!

Im fact much of your story is true for the -5, -9 and -5Mk2 version of the M2000!

 

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