In a recent report by Taiwanese journalist Lu Jiongchang, it was revealed that during a simulated air combat exercise, four Mirage 2000 fighter jets successfully engaged and defeated four F-16 Fighting Falcons. This event took place during the Dragon Exercise, an annual military drill held in Taiwan, which serves as a platform to showcase the prowess of the Taiwan Air Force in countering foreign threats.
The exercise saw Lt. Col. Zhuang Weibo, a member of the 42nd Combat Team of the Taiwan Air Force and the recipient of the 2022 Air Combat King-Mission Leader title, lead his team of Mirage 2000s against a squadron of F-16s. The F-16s were designated as the “Chinese Invader” or “China’s First Army” for this exercise. Despite being outnumbered, the Mirage 2000s emerged victorious with a 4:1 kill ratio.
The Mirage 2000s, which were purchased from France in the late 1980s and first arrived in Taiwan in 1996, were initially brought in to replace the aging F-104 and F-5E/F multirole fighter jets. These aircraft are equipped with RDY radar systems that offer various ground/air combat modes and can track up to eight targets simultaneously while firing four medium-range MICA rockets.
However, despite their capabilities, the Mirage 2000s have been sidelined due to their high maintenance costs compared to the indigenous F-CK-1 Ching-kuo fighter and the American F-16. As a result, Taiwan chose to upgrade its fleet of American and locally produced fighters, leaving the Mirage 2000 as the only major Air Force fighter not to be modernized.