Hobby Master HA1603 French Dassault-Breuget Mirage 2000C Multi-Role Fighter - Cambrai, France, - "Tiger Meet 2003" (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The Mirage 2000 was developed by Dassault-Breuget for the Armee de l'Air as an alternative to the swing-wing Avion de Combat Futur. After the latter was cancelled in 1975 due to its growing cost and complexity, Dassault offered the Mirage 2000 as an alternative. Development of this aircraft would also give the company a competitor to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, which had defeated the Dassault Mirage F1 in a contest for a new fighter for the air forces of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway.
The prototype made its first flight on March 10th, 1978 with test pilot Jean Coreau at the controls. There were four single-seat prototypes, including the initial Mirage 2000 prototype. The first production example flew on November 20th, 1982 and the aircraft went into operational service in 1984. The first Mirage 2000 to go into service was the single-seat Mirage 2000C interceptor. Deliveries began in 1983. The first operational squadron was formed in 1984, the 50th anniversary of the French Air Force. A total of 124 Mirage-2000Cs were obtained by the AdA.
The first 37 Mirage 2000Cs delivered were fitted with the Thomson-CSF RDM (Radar Doppler Multifunction) and were powered by the SNECMA M53-5 turbofan engine. The 38th Mirage 2000C had an upgraded SNECMA M53-5 P2 turbofan engine. The Radar Doppler Impulse (RDI) built by Thales did not enter service until 1987.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Mirage 2000C which participated in NATO's "Tiger Meet 2003" held in Cambrai, France. Only 1,800 pieces produced. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 7.75 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: March 2008
Historical Account: "Tiger Meet" - The NATO Tiger Association or the Association of Tiger Squadrons was established in 1961. Promoted by French Defence minister Pierre Messmer, its role is to promote solidarity between NATO air forces. It is not, though, part of the formal NATO structure.
The USAFE (United States Air Force Europe) 79th TFS (Tactical Fighter Squadron) took the initiative and on July 19th, 1961, they invited No. 74 Squadron RAF and EC 1/12 Squadron of the French Armée de l`air to Woodbridge in England. France was then a full military member of NATO.
As of June 2009, the squadrons included in the Association are 19 full members, 10 honorary members and 3 probationary members, all of which have a tiger as part of its squadron crest. As well as being opportunities for NATO air forces to share ideas and experiences, the ‘Tiger Meets’ are also public relations exercises for NATO. NATO aircraft are often brightly painted with tiger stripes.