Although it made its first flight in 1978, the Dassault Mirage 2000 remains a vital part of Dassault's product line and marketing strategy. The French manufacturer is pushing the aircraft hard at the show, hoping for key orders from Brazil and Greece.

The aircraft remains in production, and continues to sell steadily in competition with aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-16 and Saab JAS39 Gripen. The latest deliveries were to the United Arab Emirates, which is receiving 32 new Mirage 2000-9s, the model described by Philippe Pardessus, head of the Bader 21 programme, as "the highest performance, multirole oriented airplane in the Mirage 2000 family", an aircraft that "will be similar to the latest-generation Rafale airplanes".

Other customers refer to aircraft built or converted to this standard as the Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2.

Thirty Mirage 2000-8s of the UAE air force are being converted to the same standard, 28 of them at Al Dhafra air base in the UAE, following two prototype conversions (one single-seater and one twin-sticker) which are being modified at Istres in France.

Greece is expected to follow the UAE's lead and mount a similar indigenous upgrade of 10 of its Mirage 2000s. Newbuild aircraft to Mirage 2000-9 standards are being offered to Brazil as the Mirage 2000BR.

Source: Flight Daily News