Dassault has revealed a Mirage 2000AT advanced trainer proposal designed to teach students to operate modern weapons systems in complex tactical environments.

Claude Martin, Dassault test pilot and international marketing consultant, says the Mirage 2000AT is the result of a review which considered the requirements for teaching pilots to fly fighters with modern systems, including glass cockpits, to prosecute multiple targets simultaneously and perform air-to-air and air-to-ground roles during the same mission.

Dassault believes the solution is for students to fly more hours on high-performance basic trainers such as the Embraer Tucano before progressing to the Mirage 2000AT, eliminating the advanced trainer stage. The turboprop trainer would be used for basic flying skills and the 2000AT for operational flying.

Although the Mirage 2000AT would retain the Mirage 2000-5Mk2's glass cockpit, controls and systems, the radar, electronic warfare and other combat equipment would be removed, says Martin.

This would reduce procurement costs by 20-25%, although he still acknowledges that the Mirage 2000 is an expensive training aircraft. To counter the cost argument, Dassault has only offered the proposal to France, India and the United Arab Emirates, which have large Mirage 2000 fleets.

Most savings, however, come from flying more turboprop trainer hours, using the Mirage 2000AT to reduce operational training on the frontline fleet, and by eliminating an advanced trainer logistics chain. This would reduce the overall training system costs, predicts Dassault.

A Link 16 datalink would be used to transmit target information to the aircraft to drive an on-board radar simulation, which would allow the pilot to be trained against multiple and varied air and ground targets without the expense of providing real targets. Weapons training would also be through the on-board modelling. The instructor in the rear seat or on the ground (via the datalink) would control the mission scenarios.

Martin says the target and weapons simulations already exist in Dassault's ground facilities, making the Mirage 2000AT a "low cost, low risk development" that would take around three years to develop once an order is placed.


Source: Flight International