Entrusted to Dassault Aviation after being repeatedly postponed, the modernization of 55 Mirage 2000D implemented by the 3rd Fighter Wing [basée à Nancy] will soon take a new step, with the declaration of full operational capability of the new standard of this fighter-bomber, in service since the beginning of the 1990s.
In detail, this operation consisted in increasing the ammunition carrying capacity, integrating a CC422 30 mm cannon pod and replacing the Magic II air-to-air self-defense missiles with Infrared MICAs. [IR]. In addition, the human-machine interface has been reviewed, with modernized avionics, touch screens and new software.
On this point, a published photograph by the Air & Space Force [AAE] when the first Mirage 2000 RMV arrived at Mont-de-Marsan, where it was to be handled by the 1/30 “Côte d’Argent” Fighter and Experimentation Squadron and the Center of Expertise military air force [CEAM]intrigued more than one… insofar as one saw there the logo of the operating system Microsoft Windows being displayed on a large screen intended for the navigator-officer weapon system [NOSA].
So far, not much has been said about this new Mirage 2000RMV software. However, the latest issue of Air Actualités provided some details about them. Thus, four in number, they were all developed in-house, by the “Software Engineering” department of the little-known Operational Information Systems and Cyber Defense Squadron. [ESIOC] which, based in Mont-de-Marsan, has been entrusted with four missions, including the development of computer programs for operational purposes, the implementation and support of the latter, the fight in cyberspace and the enhancement of data by artificial intelligence.
The development of these computer programs intended for the Mirage 2000D was carried out in close coordination with the 1/30 Côte d’Argent, according to the AGILE method. [qui met l’accent sur la collaboration entre des équipes auto-organisées et pluridisciplinaires avec leurs clients, ndlr].
“We first collect the needs of functional managers in their jargon. Then we need to translate their requirements into a computer language, either as text or as a diagram. [logigramme]. We have to think about all the possible scenarios that can result from a click,” explains an ESIOC analyst officer in the pages of Air Actualités.
In detail, three User Applications [AU] embedded systems and mission preparation software have been designed, “tailor-made”, by this unit. Thus, LEO [pour Logiciel intégré opérationnel de navigation] has been installed on the head-down display [VTB] forward of the cockpit, while LIANE [Logiciel intégré d’aide à la navigation embarquée] operates on a tablet attached to the pilot’s thigh. As for the NOSA, it uses MONKEY [Système intégré de navigation et de gestion des équipements]which “turns” on “a large twelve-inch touch screen in the back seat”.
These three AUs work in a network, allowing the pilot and the NOSA to share the same image of the tactical situation. [SITAC] in real time [terrains amis/ennemis, cibles, zones d’attente, etc]. “The added value is that in the event of a change, we can update everything in real time”, notes Captain “Yurick”, a Mirage 2000 RMV pilot, quoted by Air Actualités.
LION, MONKEY and LIANE are supplied with information by the PANDA mission preparation software [Programmation des applications de navigation des données aéronautiques]also developed by ESIOC.
“The cards and points are not native to LION, LIANE and MONKEY. Before the flight, we have to create them on PANDA, then, through a reinforced hard drive, we inject them into the on-board software, directly from the plane”, explains Captain Yurick.
In addition, PANDA is also used for debriefing, all mission data [transmissions radio, images prises par les nacelles, trajectoires, etc…] being forwarded to him.
As Air Actualités points out, the development of weapon systems is generally the responsibility of manufacturers. But ESIOC “has been able to demonstrate its usefulness with software designed by and for Airmen. […] A unique internal know-how which brings unequaled flexibility and responsiveness to on-board computing, allowing it to adapt continuously and quickly to the new needs of the forces,” he concludes.