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Taiwanese Mirage 2000 Jets ‘Shoot Down’ Four ‘Chinese’ F-16s in Air Combat Simulation?

The aerial exercise, named "Sky Dragon" (Tien Lung) and organized by the Taiwan Air Force, featured the Mirage 2000 jets representing the Taiwan Air Force, while the F-16s were designated to represent the Chinese Air Force.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — In a simulated air combat exercise conducted last year by the Taiwan Air Force, four Mirage 2000 fighter jets were deployed to engage four F-16 fighter jets.

 The aerial exercise, named “Sky Dragon” (Tien Lung) and organized by the Taiwan Air Force, featured the Mirage 2000 jets representing the Taiwan Air Force, while the F-16s were designated to represent the Chinese Air Force.

Taiwan’s Air Force conducts the “Sky Dragon” exercise annually.

The air combat scenario simulated involved the Taiwanese Mirage 2000s intercepting an incursion by Chinese fighter jets, represented by the F-16s.

According to Taiwanese media reports, the exercise is critical for testing the capability of the Taiwan Air Force to counter threats from foreign fighter aircraft.

Taiwan
Taiwanese Mirage 2000 fighter jets

 

“With effective training and teamwork, all of the F-16s, purportedly belonging to the Chinese Air Force, were successfully shot down while the Taiwan Air Force lost one Mirage 2000,” said Lt. Colonel Zhuang Weibo, as quoted by local Taiwanese media.

 Lt. Colonel Zhuang Weibo is reportedly a member of the 42nd Combat Team of the Taiwan Air Force.

The Taiwan Air Force possesses 60 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets, which were purchased from France in the mid-1990s.

Out of these, 48 are single-seater variants, while the rest are two-seaters.

The Mirage 2000 jets, developed by Dassault Aviation, are equipped with RDY radar that enables them to track eight targets simultaneously and launch four MICA air-to-air missiles concurrently.

F-16V
Taiwanese F-16 Block 70/72 

 

In the 1990s, the Mirage 2000s were arguably the most potent aerial platform available to the Taiwan Air Force, compared to other fighters like the F-5E and Ching-Kuo.

However, the Mirage 2000’s status as the most potent aircraft was short-lived after Taiwan acquired more modern fighter variants and upgraded existing F-16s.

In the middle of last year, Taiwan was reported to be upgrading and modernizing its Mirage 2000 fighters due to anticipated delays in receiving 66 new F-16C/D Block 70 fighter jets purchased from the United States.

Initially, only nine Mirage 2000 jets will undergo upgrades and capability enhancements.

Taiwan
Taiwan’s “Ching Kuo” indigenous fighter jet

 

Taiwan has yet to decide whether to upgrade the Mirage jets due to the “very high” costs involved.

Reports indicate that the Mirage jets are the “most expensive” to operate within the Taiwan Air Force compared to other fighters.

Nevertheless, earlier this year, the Taiwan Ministry of Defense announced it would spend US$328 million (RM1.6 billion) to purchase engine spare parts for its fleet of 200 Mirage fighter jets.—DSA

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