The same Western fighter, born during the Cold War, the Mirage 2000 and the F-16 Falcon are both classified as light fighter, single engine.

The Mirage 2000 was produced by Dassault Aviation, a design using Delta wings typical of Europe. In terms of speed, it is possible to reach a maximum speed of up to Mach 2.2 (equivalent to 2,336 km/h) at high altitude, or it can reach 1,110 km/h at low altitude.

The F-16, manufactured by General Dynamics (currently Lockheed Martin), has a slightly slower speed than the Mirage 2000. The F-16 can only reach top speed slightly above Mach 2 (2,120 km/h), but in return, the F-16 is better than the Mirage 2000 in terms of fuel economy.

In terms of weapons, the Mirage 2000 fighter has 9 hard points and a combat range of 1,850 km. In addition, the Mirage 2000 can also carry tactical nuclear weapons.

Mirage-2000 and F-16 Falcon
Mirage-2000 and F-16 Falcon

In addition to the two 30 mm DEFA 554 revolver cannon used for close-range combat, the Mirage 2000 is also equipped with two Matra 68 mm unguided rocket pods, 18 rockets per pod, to attack ground targets. The Mirage 2000 fighter is capable of launching a wide variety of French-made air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles.

But the F-16’s strong point is its payload capacity. The F-16 also has a total of 9 hard points. In terms of weaponry, the F-16 is superior to the Mirage 2000 fighter. The F-16 is equipped with a better 20mm M61A1 Vulcan 6-barrel rotary cannon, 511 rounds, with a rate of fire up to 6,000 rounds/min. In addition, it can carry a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground missiles, rockets, bombs and electronic jammers.

In terms of Rate of climb, the Mirage wins the F-16 in this case. While the Mirage has a maximum rate of climb of 285 m/s, the F-16 is only 220 m/s. If you compare the sizes of these two aircraft, it explains them all.

The Mirage has an empty weight of 7,500 kg and a maximum take-off weight of 17,000 kg; while the F-16 has an empty weight of 8,570 kg, with a maximum take-off weight of 19,200 kg. The Mirage 2000 can reach a ceiling of 17,000m, while that of the F-16 is 15,000m.

Since the first F-16 took off 45 years ago, 4,500 have been built and does not appear to stop, as there is still demand; hence the F-16 has been extremely successful in terms of sales. Meanwhile, only about 600 Mirage 2000 were built, and France has discontinued production since 2003 because it could not find customers.


  1. First things first : F-16 was shot down by Mirage-2000 (and MiG-21), no Mirage-2000 was ever shot down by another aircraft. Actually, considering that Bill Clinton obtained from India and Porkistan to NOT publish their air-to-air kills for the Kargil war, first, I doubt that if no US-made jets (F-16) had been shot down, he’d had insisted for this… Then, in the years following Kargil, Pakis jumped on any 2nd hand or new F-16s they could get and, how funny, PAF’s inventory stood at 76 F-16s… If I remember well, they ordered new F-16s and culd get about a dozen 2nd hand, mainly Jordan ones… Now, what shot down as many F-16s? Air-defences, MiG-29, MiG-21, Mirage-2000? Go figure! Neevertheless, a MICA-EM may range 20% less than an AIM-120C AMRAAM, it’s no escape zone is 50% bigger

    I’d rather consider buying the Mirage-2000 ex-assembly line to build 200+ “Rafalized” Mirage-2000 “NG” than getting 100 F-16V/21 even at a bargain price through the FMS program or if USA gave me 100 F-35s! The cost of use of 200 Rafales is already similar to the cost of use of 100 F-16s, w. 200 Mirage-2000 w. M88, the cost use would be similar to 50 F-16s, I could even consider to add 100 Rafales for the same annual spending as 100 F-16s… Even if the purchase cost is higher, it’d even be better than having 200 F-35 and 100 F-22… Well, OK, would they give me 100 F-35, I’d take’em, but I’d limit the use at having 10 pilots and only on 2 conditions : having money to dilapidate and the full source-codes.

    Some little corrections or notes :
    – Mirage-2000 operates French, EU, US, Indian, Israeli and Russian weapons.

    – Full Rafale’s combat systems can be installed as an upgrade

    – Operational availabilty over 90% in combat.

    – Mirage-2000 can carry the ASMPA… A 300 kilotons thermonuclear Mach-3 cruise missile is not really a thing you call a tactical nuke while people will end with 100% of their body burnt at 3rd degree more than 7km from ground zero!!! Such thing is a city-buster!

    – At 7.5t empty (7.8kg for Mirage-2000-9), you still can consider Mirage-2000 a light combat aircraft (usually : up to 8t empty). At 8.573t, F-16 enters the medium-weight family with 8-12 tons.

    – Actually, the fuel consumption of F-16 ain’t really better : F-16 is also heavier with a more powerful engine and so you have to provide more thrust. Since both have a 3200L fuel tank, in fact, Mirage-2000 needing less thrust ends burning a little less fuel than a F-16 using the F100-PW-220 (it’s really tiny). But since many F-16s have been upgraded or built with even more powerful F100-PW-229 (129.7kN), F110-GE-129 and even more on the Emirati ones with the enormous F110-GE-132 at 145kN afterburner thrust.
    Note that it’d just take 6 months of work to fit the Rafale’s M88 (which can be made in any thrust up to 115kN) into the Mirage-2000 and validate it… From there the empty weight would fall to 6.9t, 1200L of internal fuel could be added while the payload could absolutely reach the 7.7t of the F-16…
    It has another advantage : Mirage-2000’s M53 is ALREADY a modular engine, therefore, it greatly eases maintenance, therefore, I highly doubt that Mirage-2000 reaches the official USAF hourly cost of $22,514 for F-16 (and I suppose it’s on ‘military thrust’ = dry thrust : no matter the aircraft, once afterburner is on, the fuel consumption goes bonkers : a F100-PW-229 burns 25.65 tons of fuel/hour full afterburner to push a F-16 at Mach2. The M53 will just burn 19.95t/h to push a Mirage-2000 at Mach 2.2 and if a 115kN M88 was used, since it can be made with up to 100kN dry thrust, it’d be 8t/h to push the M-2000 at Mach 2.2 in supercruise!!!!
    The M-2000’s M53 production has been stopped in 2009. Spare parts can still be ordered until 2030.

    – France didn’t discontinued the Mirage-2000 production due to lack of orders : Dassault decided to switch to a Rafale-only production, exceeded by the habitual Indian never-ending hard negotiations with France while they never do this with the Russians! India was willing to purchase 126 Mirage-2000, Dassault smply proposed them to move the assembly line to India, India decided to start the MMRCA competition instead. Well, I love India but trade negotiations with Indians are a nightmare to give an idea, just to add the cheap Elta AESA radar, an IRST and better ECM on Tejas, HAL rose the price per unit from $23M to $67M, it took 3 years to Indian govt to have them cut the cost per unit to $39M… BUT… The HAL company is 85%+ state held! In any other country, govt would had fired the CEO, and considering building an aircraft at HAL costs 2.7x more than… elsewhere, even in countries with manpower 10x more expensive than in India. HAL wanted $192 millions flyaway cost to license-build a Rafale. They receive the Su-30s in kits for $21.4M, at the end of assembly line, Indian tax payers pay $76M/unit…
    Another fact is that Mirage-2000 was introduced in 1986. Without post cold-war budget cuts, Rafale could had been introduced as soon as 1996 or 1997… Moreover, within 5 years of M-2000’s production start, the USSR felt, so, the need for jet fighters seriously slowed too.
    Then, you know, countries don’t buy forcefully the best aircraft available : many believe (wrongly) that buying US military gear will buy them US protection…
    The US real plan in case of Soviet invasion of western Europe was… Dunkirk v2.0, in other words, they planned to flee! Seriously, does anyone believe that USA would have traded DC, NYC and LA for Brussels, Rome or Madrid in a nuclear exchange with the Soviets? What prevented the Soviet invasion was the 452 French city-busters of 500-1200 kilotons aimed at all Warsaw Pact’s cities and the French launch procedure taking less than 2 minutes.
    Just consider a flying turd like the F-104 Starfighter : it sold about twice better than the Mirage-III, meanwhile, 11,496 MiG-21 and 2400+ Chengdu J-7 were built…

    – One thing for sure : ordering F-16 in 2021 is an as good decision as ordering a MiG-15 or F-86 in 1967…

    – Since the dismantled assembly line is stored in crate, it’d be feasible to restart the Mirage-2000 production, thus, this would require to adapt the M88 and surely to pass a BIG order (no less than 200).
    To be frank, a Mirage-2000NG using Rafale’s baked-in radar absorbent materials + SPECTRA for active stealth and OSF-IT stealth-buster, RBE-2/AESA, full canards, Meteor, MICA-NG, M88 in 98-115kN, 1200-1500L additional internal fuel, etc, etc, would be really tremendous. The payload would even be on par with a F-16. Having the assembly line moved could kickstart an aerospace industry for the buyer.

    It could be a great idea e.g. for the Philippines, as well as considering an order of 144 or 180 Rafales at the same time : The Philippines have several islands under PRC illegal occupation. Their military are absolutely under-budgetized : the GDP is $367bn => on par with Israel, while they only spend $4.3bn for the military (1.17% of the GDP) and 2 years ago, they only were spending 0.9%. At 2% of GDP, this would mean $7.34bn/year: they can afford to buy 2 Rafale squadrons a year, at 2.5%, with 9.175%, they could afford to get more serious, moreover, having a ‘rafalized’ Mirage-2000 in production, and so would it be for both Gripen-C or Tejas, there is a HUGE export potential since the annual cost of use would be of less than $3M/unit or about $50M per squadron, even Brunei could consider to operate a full squadron, would Timor Leste consider a 2% of GDP spending, they could operate a dozen, Mongolia or Nepal could fund 2 squadrons, etc etc…
    Having a dual fleet would be the best fit : the Philippines despite a land area on par with Italy, they’re extended over 1950km N/S and 1120km E/W, even 1500km if Spartly islands are included. Using the small airfield on Itbayat isl. would perfectly allow Rafale strikes on Beijing, using the BrahMos or SCALP w.o. need for an air-tanker. The whole coastal area can be attacked and even in a 500km depth, so can be the oil supply or all the sea shipping (90% of exports). Thanks to SPECTRA, sneaky attacks can be led : if e.g. Duterte decides to spread some napalm on contested islands, especially if there are multi-claims… BTW, there are funny thing on market, e.g. a Serb Grad rocket (122mm) ranging 52km when land launched, and the Russian laser-guidance Ugroza kit is reputed very cheap and fits on S-5, S-8, S-13 aerial rockets as well as on… Grads… The TALIOS pod allows laser targeting+visual identification from 70km and provides the Russian codes too… creating custom pods for 7, 14 or 21 Grads could be nice, allowing to deal with MBTs, small ships, any kind of land targets, you may even consider hitting the rudder of big container-ships or oil-tankers w.o. collateral damages.
    Custom racks for SPICE-250 in order to carry significant numbers could be interesting too

    Completing with a M88-fit Mirage-2000/Tejas/Gripen-C with 1000L+ additional internal fuel would provide a “point defense” for a lower cost thus retaining serious strike capabilities.
    Operating a Rafale squadron of 18 costs a little less than $100M/year (F-16 : $200M, S-Hornet: about $207M, MiG-29/35 : about $235M) while a single engine LCA loaded w. M88 would cost about $50M/squadron.
    Having 10 squadrons of each would cost $1.5b a year, in terms of cost of use, at least it would be tight, it’d be sustainable for the Filipino actual tiny budget of $4.3b, while with 2% of GDP=$7.34b, it’d be comfy : around 20% of a mil budget in the use of fighter jets is really OK!

    Some ideas for the Philippines :
    I’d highly recommend them to let down the land army and have only Marines, and since they already use the Bronco, to start building a Bronco-NG with two 2000hp Ardiden 3TP turboprops, and a small Williams FJ44-4 turbofan (or maybe smth with a little more thrust on the back like the OV-10B(Z) had a J85. The Giat 30M791 weights 120kg and has a up to 2500rpm rate of fire, this would be perfect for a gun turret. 1400 shells weight 560kg, 2000 would weight 800kg. Note that the CN-235 cargo aircraft has 6t payload with only 2x 1750hp… Nowadays, you have interesting very light ceramic armour that can take more punishment than the A-10’s. modern materials are more tough then turboprops are twice as efficient as turbofans at low altitude. The 1948 AJ Savage aka A-2 had 2x 2400hp and a 20kN J33 and could be pushed to 758km/h and was freaking heavy…Here you have the advantage of being able to loiter like an UCAV, carry the payload of an A-10, the gun may shoot only 2 thirds of A-10’s rpm, the turret would keep it on target and the Bronco has proven efficient for COIN against Filipino Islamist guerilla… Such an aircraft would fill in the job of the A-10, the AH-64, AC-130, Su-25 and most of subsonic strike aircraft while being very STOL and able to operate from grass or dirt airstrips, since an OV-10T cargo version was planned, it may even be modular with a central pod to compare with the room of a Do.228 or Dash-7… Such an asset could so be used for CAS, COIN, strike aircraft, mar-pat, ASW, ASuW, small cargo, since there are smaller yet powerful radars, eventually in the E-2’s role as well as a JSTAR, ELINT/SIGINT/COMINT, do S&R, MedEvac and even operate from LHDs, it may even carry a Daisy-Cutter in cargo config, it’s be more survivable than any chopper with a lower hourly cost than any AH-64…
    The export potential, as well as for a LCA fit with the M88 engine, would be enormous. Tyler Rogoway shares my advice that a Bronco with more powerful engines would be fantastic, I just take it one step further than him
    Another formidable aircraft that would be useful and may be a huge success would be a Bréguet Br.941 “NG” : the only way to be more STOL than this is a MV-22… A “NG” one with 4x 2000hp should be able to carry 12t payload while keeping the 27t MTOW and so taking off in 180m and landing in 120m at MTOW with a stall speed under 90km/h and so operate from LHDs too, replacing the E-2, C-2, S-2, MV-22 as well as P-3 Orion, C-27, CN-235, C-295, An-24/32, etc while you may create regional airlines with no airports and go where even a Twin-Otter can’t.
    At the same time, building UCAVs needs little investments, just consider some Rutan designs like the Long-EZ or the Cozy that can even be built at home, both India and P0rkistan made armed UCAV versions of the Long-EZ, and actually, there are variants with super-extended range of the aircraft, then… The Cozy is a heavier Long-EZ for 3 or 4 passengers. Two Venezuelan brothers built a twin engine version with concentric propeller blades of their own… Another thing you see more and more in DIY light civilian aviation are… conversion of cars’ diesel engines that are freaking efficient (and any diesel engine can use kerosene with just a little tuning). Cars engines are damn cheap compared to dedicated aircraft ones. Packing two converted Renault/Nissan K9K dCi (up to 110hp) used on Twingo would induce an impressive reliability, so would it be for their more powerful R9 (118-178hp). Nothing common with the Lycoming O-235 or O-360 on Long-EZ or Cozy which are from the 50’s, such engines can cross the 100,000-150,000 hours of use with near zero maintenance (!). Even in terms of civilian aviation, a Cozy can be made as cheap to buy+use as common affordable sedans…

    Another easy to produce thing : Iran and NoKo produce copies of the Kh-55/Kh-55SM cruise missile, thus they have to manage to procure engines illegally. The Philippines would have no issues at getting the MicroTurbo TRI from the French, which perfectly fits the Kh-55 and is very cheap ($50-100k depending on version). IMHO, considering the 70’s tech of the Kh-55SM, it’s feasible to deliver it for $250-300k/unit, modified cheap cellphones can even be considered for terminal guidance.

    Another thing, Filipino shipyards are sick of lack of orders while being able to build 400m long container-ships for $138M, see the CGA-CGM’s Antoine de St. Exupéry class. They could simply come with STOBAR aircraft carriers for cheaper than dirt and with the M88/115kN, Rafale-M as well as Tejas-M would absolutely be able to operate from a 245.5m, which would be easy to get from the Mistral-class of LHDs since the design is modular, moreover, there’s absolutely be room for a 150x27m two stories hangar, more than what the Nimitz-class has… The new gen of Siemens nuclear turbines with 60% efficiency even make nuke propulsion cheap : the €150M French K15 ending with 90mWe for 150MWth, this is enough for three 27MW Mermaid pods = 110,160 hp. The De Gaulle CVN uses two K15 and only has 83,000 shp. The new K22 provides 220MWth=> 132MWe. By sacrificing the dock-well, you can even consider putting the reactor on rails, then, rather than taking months to reload uranium rods, simply exchange reactors within hours, or drop the reactor at sea in case of meltdown… Note that 90MWe can provide electricity to 15,000-20,000 houses and 132MWe to 22,000-30,000…

    Filipinos could also take inspiration from Incat and Austal. The Incat HSC Francisco catamaran does a 58 knots (107km/h), it’s 99×26.94m big, the HSC Francisco runs on two 22MW turbines (59840hp)
    … actually, I’d prefer trimarans for stability. The Austal 118m trimaran has a 28.2m beam, this is an area on par with many destoyers or cruisers, she’s powered by 4x 9.1MW turbines (49,504hp). If Korean destroyers have 128 VLS, here you can consider stuffing 200 or more even added with 80 C-Dome (Iron-Dome) cells the OTO-Melara 76mm with guided shes and 4-6 Oerlikon Skynex turrets, RHIBs and torpedoes can be carried under the hull

    There’s also a new gen of US nuclear piles of 25MWe the size of a septic tank said costing $25 millions, so, if such type of ferry design would have pretty limited range using fossil fuel, nuclear power is no more expensive. Actually, a single of these piles can easily power a Scorpène-class submarine even making room for more torpedoes/missiles… At $450M a Scorpène AIP, now you can have a Scorpène SSN for less than $500M and likely to be able to reach 30 knots dived…

    Thanks to the impressive shipyards built in the Philippines that are totally under-used because… PRC is killng the container-ships market by proposing such vessels for $128-130 millions, the Philippines could easily posit themselves on the military market if they enter a win-win agreement with France whose foreign policy is neither positive with a unipolar world with either USA or China as single global hegemon, or with a Cold War v2.0 bipolar world. This is why France backs Indian bid for a permanent seat at the UNSC as well as being positive with the idea of making Indo-Pacific nations able to defend themselves by their own means rather than having to become vassals to some super-powers. It’s not USA that empowered Israel, actually, hadn’t France made ’em a nuke power, Nixon would had let Arabs doing a Shoah v2.0 in 1973, except that… When IDF took out the TELs from their caves and started to mount the nuke warheads on the tips of the missiles straight under the eyes of US spy-sats, Kissinger called Sadat that he’d better back as Israel was about to go nuclear. The DoS did a tremendous mistake by not letting TW becoming a nuke power, I think that since India is not NPT and PRC made P0rkistan nuclear, India should do proliferation on Taiwan : this is Beijing’s worst nightmare.

    Nevertheless, the Philippines have serious potentials with their shipyards : on one side, they can use these to provide serious navy-vessels to the whole Indo-Pacific area, this would help containing PLAN as well as preventing USA to use US-Navy as a bully too while developping its own industry and becoming able to fund a significant air force and also develop its aerospace industry, moreover with products having huge sales potentials : a Mirage-2000NG or Tejas w. M88/RBE-2AESA/OSF-IT/Meteor/extended range, as well as a Super-Bronco even more interesting than A-10+AH-64, a NG reboot of the Br.941 as well as a Cozy twin engine UCAV or a Kh-55SM ranging 3000km made affordable… Actually, the accelerated military build-up of PRC can be challenged for a fraction of its expenses : the way to go is not to become a near pear, it’s to make any action ending imposed with a cost so big that staying idle and go on doinf business the peaceful way would be the only rational choice. I mean that if even Brunei can operate two squadrons of Tejas/M88 or Mirage-2000NG, each being able to carry up to 18 Meteor LRAAMs and 4 MICA-NGs or three BrahMos-NG, 8 Meeors and 4 MICA-NGs, for sure, they can’t win against PLAN on the long run, but with a single mission of such LCAs launching 108 BrahMos-NG against the Lioning aircraft carrier, then within a few hours repeating it on the Shandong, it can hurt really bad, in CAP, the A2A beast load I described means 648 Meteors and 144 MICA-NG per sweep of the 2 squadrons. Even once PLA has 4 aircraft carriers and 8 LHDs, with a capability to perform 11 missions per 24h with 95% availabilty, the M88 makes even a little air force a real challenge. Note that during the 6 Days War, Soviet jets could perform one mission per 24h while the Mirage-III could do 4… Israel had only 4 squadrons, some Arabs believed that France was helping since Mirages were everywhere : for sure, they had the operational capability of 16 squadrons of MIGs!


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