Inverted over the enemy: Mirage 2000 intercepts F-16 upside down

The first thing the image in this post reminded us is the famous scene of Top Gun (when Maverick turns its F-14 Tomcat upside down to give the finger to a Soviet Mig pilot) and the subsequent talk with “Charlie”:


C: “So, where exactly were you?”

M: “We started up on his six when he pulled through the clouds. I went above him.”

C: “If you were directly above him, how could you see him?”

M: “Because I was inverted.”


The photo was taken by a pilot of a French Air Force Mirage 2000-5F pilot during a training intercept on a Belgian Air Force F-16AM.

Most probably, the Belgian “Viper” did not react at all to the simulated attack by the French fighter jet belonging to the Groupe de Chasse 1/2 Cigognes (that posted the image on their Facebook page): every now and then, NATO and allied air forces take the opportunity to practice interception on military traffic transiting through their airspace of responsibility that agrees to be intercepted for training purposes.

Such close encounters terminate with the identification of the “zombie” and no simulated dogfight takes place, as the “enemy” plane is not involved in any exercise but is simply flying as a General Air Traffic.

Image credit: EC 1/2 French Air Force

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.