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The Defence Ministry might be on the lookout for a new Air Superiority Fighter (ASF) aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) but it is not going to be the US F-16. According to a senior official in the ministry, the government has zeroed in on Mirage 4000, manufactured by Dassault Bréguet of France.
The Mirage 4000 was a prototype jet fighter developed by Dassault Aviation as a twin engine version of their Mirage 2000. Both planes have a lot in common, including their engines (SNECMA M53-2), their Delta shape wings and their semi-circular air intake. The plane first flew in 1979.
The plane was financed as a private venture by Dassault, possibly with Saudi Arabian money. The Mirage 4000 was comparable in size to the US F-15 Eagle. It was designed to be used as an interceptor. In the early 80s, Dassault, not having any clients, pulled out of the program. The only prototype moved to its final residence at the Paris Air & Space Museum in 1995.