Tag Archives: Mirage 2000

Selfie with stealth: French pilot takes shot while U.S. F-22 Raptor formates on his left wing

selfie with Raptor

A French Mirage 2000 pilot in a cool selfie as a U.S. F-22 stealth fighter formates on his wing during a joint exercise.

The image (a frame of GoPro video) was probably taken during the deployment at Al Dhafra airbase, in the UAE, of U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors.

According to the French pilots, aerial combat with the Raptor is extremely important, regardless of the outcome of the dogfight: training with the F-22 gives French Mirage 2000 the possibility to learn to fight against a superior fighter: “Sometimes a battle begins even before meeting the adversary, when it is necessary to convince themselves that the opponent is not so terrible, and despite the gap of performance, the technological chasm, one is able to get the game.”

Image credit: Groupe de Chasse 1/2 Cigognes

 

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This stunning fighter pilot selfie could be one of the last taken on a Brazilian Mirage 2000

Mirage 2000 selfie

Brazil operates a fleet of 12 Mirage 2000 single and two-seat fighter planes that are used for air-defense purposes.

The Mirages, known as “Jaguars” in the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira – FAB), were obtained from a French Air Force surplus between 2006 and 2008. They are assigned to the 1º Grupo de Defesa Aérea (1º GDA – 1st Air Defence Group), based at Annapolis, in Central-West Brazil, and they will be withdrawn from service by the end of 2013.

For this reason, the cool image taken by an FAB photographer from the backseat of a Mirage 2000B may be one of the last ones shot aboard the French plane.

The Mirage 2000 was to be replaced by the future Brazilian fighter F-X2. However, until a next generation fighter plane is selected (the procurement of a new fighter jet started at the beginning of the 2000s as F-X….), Brazil will replace the Mirages with some upgraded F-5 Tigers.

Image credit: FAB

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South America’s major military exercise kicks off in Brazil

Cruzex 2013

About 90 airplanes and nine helicopters, and more than 2,000 Brazilian and foreign military personnel are currently taking part to Cruzex 2013, South America’s largest military exercise this year.

Hosted by the airbases of Natal and Recife, in the north of Brazil, the international drills organized by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) is attended by the air forces of Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. It could have been even larger if Argentina would not drop out at last moment.

Cruzex 2013 2

Cruzex will last till Nov. 15, providing an opportunity for the participating air forces to train in modern war scenario.

A distinctive feature of Cruzex drills is the media flight arranged by FAB to give photographers the opportunity to shoot a large formation made of several aircraft types taking part in the exercise from the cargo door of a C-130.

Cruzex 2013 3

Image credit: FAB

 

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More NATO Tactical Leadership Programme action photos

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 174

As already explained on a previous post, on Oct. 1 and 2, the Tactical Leadership Programme and Albacete Airbase hosted a Spotters Day during TLP Flying Course 2013/5.

Here are some photographs shot by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito during the event.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 190

Turkish Air Force F-16D from 151 Filo.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 161

Ala 14′s Eurofighter Typhoon.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 146

Swiss Air Force F-18 from FlSt18.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 121

Eurofighter Typhoon from the Italian Air Force’s 4° Stormo.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 108

Polish Air Force’s F-16C Block 52+ from BLT31.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 096

Mirage 2000D from the French Air Force’s EC 03.033.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 141

Mirage 2000C from EC 02.005.

Albacete TLP 2013-5 Spotter Day 059

An Italian Air Force HH-3F from the 15° Stormo. This kind of helicopter is currently being replaced within the Aeronautica Militare by the Agusta Westland HH-139A.

Top photo: Spanish F/A-18 from Ala 46 (all images by Alessandro Fucito).

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Mali Air War: Aerial Refueling Operations

Mirage 2000 refuel

Although it’s in French language, the following video released by the French MoD is quite interesting as it shows the FAF C-135FR refueling ops from N’Djamena, Chad.

The French tanker are quite similar to the U.S. KC-135s. Still, the refueling boom is attached to a basket since FAF planes use the hose and drogue system and get the fuel through a probe.

The footage lets you see the Mirage 2000s and Rafale Air supporting Operation Serval being refueled on their way to the target area in northern Mali.

Mirage 2000 refuel

As happened in Libya, the Mali Air War is suffering from tanker shortage. Even if only a few combat planes are involved in the air strikes, the French Air Force is not equipped with a tanker force capable to sustain a limited amount of attack sorties.

That’s why the U.S. has dispatched some of its KC-135 from RAF Mildenhall and other nations have offered aerial refuelers.

The Italian Air Force has qualified both the French Mirage 2000, Mirage F1CR and Rafale jets as receivers for its Boeing KC-767 during a certification campaign at Mont-de-Marsan: the brand new tanker can now be dispatched to West Africa to support the French air campaign against rebels.

KC-767 qual campaign

Image credit: FAF

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