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Dassault Mirage 4000


High-Altitude Interceptor / Low-Altitude Penetrator Aircraft


France | 1979



"Built upon the successful Mirage 2000 framework, the Dassault Mirage 4000 failed to find any takers during the 1980s and was therefore limited to a single, flyable prototype."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/07/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
With an eye towards developing a low-altitude penetrating fighter-bomber and long-range interceptor based on their successful Mirage 2000 airframe, Dassault of France drew up plans for the Mirage "4000" as a private venture endeavor to compete against the likes of the American McDonnell Douglas F-15 "Eagle". Overall the design mimicked the form and function of the its parent model but stood as a dimensionally larger offering. The aircraft continued the Dassault standard of using delta wing mainplanes, a single vertical tail fin, and semi-circle air intakes straddling the fuselage sides. After completion of the prototype form, the aircraft recorded its first flight on March 9th, 1979.

The Mirage 4000 set about to create a different aircraft type from the previous Mirage 2000. The original was a multirole fighter carrying a single turbofan engine, nine weapons hardpoints, and restrictive views to the rear due to the raised fuselage spine. Its speed reached over 1,500 miles per hour at high altitude (with reduced performance at lower flight envelopes) with an attainable service ceiling nearing 59,000 feet. The Mirage 4000, as a larger and heavier platform, carried a twin, side-by-side engine configuration aiding performance, maximum attainable altitude, climb-to-altitude, and over-battlefield survivability. The raised fuselage spine was done away with and a "bubble-style" canopy took the place of the original - offering much improved vision out-of-the-cockpit. Clean, sharp lines in the new product continued the Dassault approach to combat aircraft of the Cold War period (1947-1991).

The engine pairing became 2 x SNECMA M53-2 afterburning turbofans outputting 18,740lb of thrust each. This drove the aircraft to speeds of 1,520 miles per hour with an attainable altitude of 66,000 feet. Later, in its development life the aircraft was re-engined with the M53-5 turbofan of 19,378 lb thrust (x2).

Dimensionally, the Mirage 4000 exhibited a length of 18.7 meters, a wingspan of 12 meters and a height of 5.8 meters. Its empty weight stood at 29,000lb. Comparatively the Mirage 2000 held an overall length of 14.3 meters, a wingspan of 9 meters, and a height of 5.2 meters.

While armament was never fitted, it is assumed that the large airplane would have fielded short-, medium-, and long-range Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs) as well as Air-to-Surface Missiles (ASMs), guided munitions, and conventional drop bombs across its eleven hardpoints. Provision for fuel drop tanks would also have been included. Internally, the aircraft was set to carry 2 x 30mm DEFA cannons for close-in work.

One of the key customers originally targeted in the Mirage 4000 program was Saudi Arabia. However, the nation eventually settled on the American F-15 as their primary multirole attack platform leaving the Mirage 4000 initiative with no prospective buyers - even locally with the French Air Force already committed to the Mirage 2000.

The single, flyable prototype Mirage 4000 was all that was realized as the program faced termination during the 1980s. However, this airframe was later to prove influential in the development of the Dassault Rafale 4th Generation Fighter as it was used to evaluate composites in aircraft construction, trial Fly-by-Wire digital control, assess computer aided design and the like. It was also re-engined, once again, to carry the M53-P2 turbofan engine that benefitted the Rafale's development.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Dassault Mirage 4000 High-Altitude Interceptor / Low-Altitude Penetrator Aircraft.
ORIGINALLY: 2 x SNECMA M53-2 afterburning turbofan engines developing 18,740lb of thrust each.
Propulsion
1,519 mph
2,445 kph | 1,320 kts
Max Speed
65,617 ft
20,000 m | 12 miles
Service Ceiling
1,243 miles
2,000 km | 1,080 nm
Operational Range
55,000 ft/min
16,764 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Dassault Mirage 4000 High-Altitude Interceptor / Low-Altitude Penetrator Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
61.4 ft
18.70 m
O/A Length
39.4 ft
(12.00 m)
O/A Width
19.0 ft
(5.80 m)
O/A Height
28,660 lb
(13,000 kg)
Empty Weight
44,092 lb
(20,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Dassault Mirage 4000 High-Altitude Interceptor / Low-Altitude Penetrator Aircraft .
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Dassault Mirage 4000 family line.
Mirage 4000 - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Dassault Mirage 4000. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Dassault Aviation - France
National flag of France

[ France (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 1600mph
Lo: 800mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (1,519mph).

Graph Average of 1,200 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Dassault Mirage 4000
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
INTERCEPTION
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Dassault Mirage 4000 High-Altitude Interceptor / Low-Altitude Penetrator Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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