The Mirage 2000 has three stations that can carry in excess of 1000 kg. These three
stations are also "wet" which is to say that they carry fuel tanks as well. And therein lies a problem. Whereas the F16 can carry two underwing fuel tanks and two Mk84 bombs (guided or unguided), together with two self-defence
missiles, the Mirage can only carry one centreline fuel tank and the two Mk 84s and two self-defence AAMs. Regrettably, Dassault has done little to remedy this situation. The centreline station could easily carry 2000 litres of fuel and
Dassault have in fact developed oversize tanks for the F1.
The centreline station isn´t alone in being underutilised. Much the same can be said for the outer wing stations. Stressed for 300 kg the only store regularly carried is the
R550 Magic missile which weighs a mere 90 kg. This, in effect, means that if a squadron commander wants to arm his planes with four short range missiles, the planes are limited to a centreline tank with a capacity of 1300 litres. The
Harrier and F15C have been using a twin-rail launcher for years now so it would hardly be an engineering challenge for Dassault. Although the introduction of the MICA missile has eased the situation, some export customers will not be
buying the MICA system.
Mention must be made of the removable braking parachute module. This module, located under the rear fuselage can removed and replaced with a Chaff/Flare dispenser. A simple yet effective solution.