Oh you had to ask me to pick between my two favorites. I’m fairly similar in what I like to do, which is mainly ground pound with some A2A. I have to give the nod to the M2000, but with some caveats.
The Mirage does A2G like the A-10A, put the thing on the thing and pull the trigger. It’s not a precision strike AC, has no real foul weather A2G capabilities, and very limited night A2G capabilities. However if you operate it within it’s constraints its effective. It doesn’t handle mixed ordinance loads well (neither does the Viggen), and it’s self escorting only in the sense you can carry A2A missiles and A2G ordinance at the same time.
The Viggen was a dedicated all weather strike AC, though in non-visual conditions we’re back to 1950’s radar bombing. It has limited A2A capabilities and it’s not really made to dogfight. The computer controls aren’t actually all that bad to learn, as you are never going to be carrying a mixed ordinance load. You only need to be aware of the mode and controls for what you are carrying that flight, which isn’t terribly difficult to do. The actual attack interface is again, put the thing on the thing (at .9 mach 50m above the ground…) the vast majority of the time.
Neither AC has the ground attack complexity of the A-10C. Sensors in the Mirage are mainly to calculate slant range on a visually acquired target, or to direct you to the correct spot in the air for the CCRP to decide it’s time. In the Viggen the radar can be used for navigation, INS updates, sea target locating, and even radar directed bombing. However don’t expect anything close to the information fusion you see in modern AC between the sensors and the displays. A flashing circle in your HUD is about all you get in the Viggen to help with target acquisition.
The Viggen is about short range attacks, usually less than 45 minutes mission time, most of it spent at absurdly low level and around mach .8-.9. The Mirage is a high flier, capable of A2A refueling, and can loiter for hours. Both feature good autopilots, and both are designed to use them extensively. The Viggens is a bit more primitive, but is still advanced for it’s time.
The campaigns they come with are both some of favorite for DCS. Each plays to the AC strengths, stair steps the missions, and has appropriate difficulty.
The Viggen reflects the time and place where it was developed, and excels in certain scenarios, while being less than optimal in others. The M2000 is late 20th century design and it reflects the progression. In the A2G realm it is not as capable as the Viggen in certain circumstances (bad weather and low level), however it does have a limited true night fighting capability (still visual but under NVG’s).
I honestly give the edge personally to the M2000, because on the rare days I go feel like going A2A it is VASTLY superior to the Viggen in that arena (aeronautically, capability wise, and ergonomics).