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Modern What-if: A revival of the last Mirage?

HeavyArmor

Trust me, I'm a Tech-Priest
Author
In reality, the last of the Dassault Mirage, Mirage 4000 was a 1979 private venture cancel in the early 1980s due to lack of domestic interest (as the French Air Force wishes to focus on the Mirage 2000), and Export potential (competition with the more mature American F-15 Eagle, Saudi Arab choosing other fighters, and fall of the Shah of Iran).



But what if, Bored Omnipotent Being wants to play a game with you?

What if, you were send back to 1st of March, 1979 (about a week before the first flight of the Mirage 4000 prototype) to revive the Dassault Mirage 4000, and make it remain relevant via upgrades, retrofits and further development variants up to late 2010's-era (or even better, late 2020's), what would you have done? and how would you have done that?

In aid of your task, B.O.B. provides you with 70 metric-tons of Gold and 70 metric tons of Silver bullion (rough calc estimate 1.15 billion USD at 1979 value), but no uptime technical information will be provided.





Edit: Curious as to what @Rufus Shinra would have done?
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
First of all, my personal hope would be that this plane remains export-only, to make sure the Rafale program doesn't get erased for Mirage 4000 purchases, considering how Rafale managed to be lightning in a bottle when it comes to fighter jet design. With this in mind? The first possibility would be to go the Lockheed way and to outright corrupt the relevant foreign officials, like with the F-104 Starfighter. Without it, then it comes with politics, like with all fighter jets: as the F-35 proves it well, you can sell an overpriced lemon as long as you can push with enough political pressure.

This option being out, I guess the best option for the 4000 to win the initial contract with Saudi Arabia and to become a staple of non-aligned countries is to focus on radar development. Pushing Thomson-CSF to design a large-size PESA radar and a missile radar head are the points which could make the 4000 stand out like crazy from the rest of the crowd. The big issue, though, was that 4000 was trying to go in the same class as F-15 and Su-27, which very few countries could afford, most of them being closely linked to the US or USSR, so customers would be scarce. Add to this that, unlike now, our radar technology wasn't on the level of the US' or the Russians', and we ended up with a heavy fighter that just didn't fit the requirements of most potential customers.

Final option: get India to buy th... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, no, sorry.
 

Eliar

Well-known member
well considering Greece still has Mirage 2000s as working interceptors I believe the 4000 woukld be well received and a few squadrons would be purchased.

Like the duck said for small countries far more things are in play when purchase of armaments are in play.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
well considering Greece still has Mirage 2000s as working interceptors I believe the 4000 woukld be well received and a few squadrons would be purchased.

Like the duck said for small countries far more things are in play when purchase of armaments are in play.
The big issue is that the performances - and thus cost - would be quite too high for most countries usually buying French planes, as most of the richest countries were pressured like crazy by US/USSR. For a country like Greece, Mirage 2000 was doing the job more than well enough, being the only plane that got an AtA kill on a F-16, after all, so why would they buy a 4000?
 

Eliar

Well-known member
The big issue is that the performances - and thus cost - would be quite too high for most countries usually buying French planes, as most of the richest countries were pressured like crazy by US/USSR. For a country like Greece, Mirage 2000 was doing the job more than well enough, being the only plane that got an AtA kill on a F-16, after all, so why would they buy a 4000?
Political capital.

Our navy is a hodge podge of french,german, italian ships purchased every time Greece wanted to git good with our EU friends.

The same would definately apply for planes as well so F 16s and mirage 4000s woukld definately be on the menu, until the economic collapse of 2008 at least.
 
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