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Dassault Mirage III

Dassault Mirage III

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The Mirage III (miʁaʒ) is a supersonic fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 designed by Dassault Aviation
Dassault Aviation
Dassault Aviation is a French aircraft manufacturer of military, regional and business jets, a subsidiary of Dassault Group.It was founded in 1930 by Marcel Bloch as Société des Avions Marcel Bloch or "MB". After World War II, Marcel Bloch changed his name to Marcel Dassault, and the name of the...

 during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

, being sold to many air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

s around the world and remaining in production for over a decade. Some of the world's smaller air forces still fly Mirage IIIs or variants as front-line equipment today.

Development


The Mirage III family grew out of French government studies began in 1952 that led in early 1953 to a specification for a lightweight, all-weather interceptor
Interceptor aircraft
An interceptor aircraft is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Interceptors generally rely on high speed and powerful armament in order to complete their mission as quickly as possible and set up...

 capable of climbing to 18,000 m (59,040 ft) in six minutes and able to reach Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 1.3 in level flight.

Dassault's response to the specification was the Mystère-Delta 550, a diminutive and sleek jet that was to be powered by twin Armstrong Siddeley MD30R Viper afterburning turbojets, each with thrust of 9.61 kN (2,160 lbf). A SEPR liquid-fuel rocket motor was to provide additional burst thrust of 14.7 kN (3,300 lbf). The aircraft had a tailless delta
Delta wing
The delta wing is a wing planform in the form of a triangle. It is named for its similarity in shape to the Greek uppercase letter delta .-Delta-shaped stabilizers:...

 configuration, with a 5% chord (ratio of airfoil thickness to length) and 60 degree sweep.

The tailless delta configuration has a number of limitations. The lack of a horizontal stabilizer meant flaps
Flap (aircraft)
Flaps are normally hinged surfaces mounted on the trailing edges of the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft to reduce the speed an aircraft can be safely flown at and to increase the angle of descent for landing without increasing air speed. They shorten takeoff and landing distances as well as...

 cannot be used, resulting in a long takeoff run and a high landing speed. The delta wing itself limits maneuverability; and suffers from buffeting at low altitude, due to the large wing area and resulting low wing loading
Wing loading
In aerodynamics, wing loading is the loaded weight of the aircraft divided by the area of the wing. The faster an aircraft flies, the more lift is produced by each unit area of wing, so a smaller wing can carry the same weight in level flight, operating at a higher wing loading. Correspondingly,...

. However, the delta is a simple and pleasing design, easily built and robust, capable of high speed in a straight line, and with plenty of space in the wing for fuel storage.

The first prototype of the Mystere-Delta, without afterburning engine or rocket motor and with an unusually large vertical stabiliser, flew on 25 June 1955. After some redesign, reduction of the fin to more rational size, installation of afterburners and rocket motor, and renaming to Mirage I, in late 1955, the prototype attained Mach 1.3 in level flight without rocket assist, and Mach 1.6 with the rocket.

However, the small size of the Mirage I restricted its armament to a single air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

, and even before this time it had been prudently decided the aircraft was simply too tiny to carry a useful warload. After trials, the Mirage I prototype was eventually scrapped.

Dassault then considered a somewhat bigger version, the Mirage II, with a pair of Turbomeca Gabizo
Turbomeca Gabizo
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9...

 turbojets, but no aircraft of this configuration was ever built. The Mirage II was bypassed for a much more ambitious design that was 30% heavier than the Mirage I and was powered by the new SNECMA Atar
SNECMA Atar
The SNECMA Atar is a French axial-flow turbojet engine built by Snecma. It was derived from the German World War II BMW 003 design, but extensively developed though a progression of more powerful models. The name is derived from its original design group, Atelier Technique Aéronautique Rickenbach...

 afterburning turbojet with thrust of 43.2 kN (9,700 lbf). The Atar was an axial flow turbojet, derived from the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 BMW 003 design.

The new fighter design was named the Mirage III. It incorporated the new area ruling
Area rule
The Whitcomb area rule, also called the transonic area rule, is a design technique used to reduce an aircraft's drag at transonic and supersonic speeds, particularly between Mach 0.75 and 1.2....

 concept, where changes to the cross section of an aircraft were made as gradual as possible, resulting in the famous "wasp waist" configuration of many supersonic fighters. Like the Mirage I, the Mirage III had provision for a SEPR rocket engine.

The prototype Mirage III flew on 17 November 1956, and attained a speed of Mach 1.52 on its seventh flight. The prototype was then fitted with the SEPR rocket engine and with manually-operated intake half-cone shock diffusers, known as souris ("mice"), which were moved forward as speed increased to reduce inlet turbulence. The Mirage III attained a speed of Mach 1.8 in September 1957.

The success of the Mirage III prototype resulted in an order for 10 pre-production Mirage IIIAs. These were almost two meters longer than the Mirage III prototype, had a wing with 17.3% more area, a chord reduced to 4.5%, and an Atar 09B turbojet with afterburning thrust of 58.9 kN (13,230 lbf). The SEPR rocket engine was retained, and the aircraft were fitted with Thomson-CSF Cyrano Ibis air intercept radar, operational avionics, and a drag chute to shorten landing roll.

The first Mirage IIIA flew in May 1958, and eventually was clocked at Mach 2.2, making it the first European aircraft to exceed Mach 2 in level flight. The tenth IIIA was rolled out in December 1959. One was fitted with a Rolls-Royce Avon
Rolls-Royce Avon
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:**** a 1955 Flight article on the development of the Avon...

 67 engine with thrust of 71.1 kN (16,000 lbf) as a test model for Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n evaluation, with the name "Mirage IIIO". This variant flew in February 1961, but the Avon powerplant was not adopted.


Mirage IIIC and Mirage IIIB


At Cazaux airfield near Bordeaux was offered by the French Government. Both French Air Force and Dassault personnel were at the airfield along with the Fairey team. Forty-seven low-level supersonic flights took place over a period of two months. It was no coincidence that Dassault had their engineers at Cazaux as they, like Fairey, were interested in delta wing fighters and during the FD.2s tests they learnt a lot about the characteristics of supersonic delta wings. Two days after the FD.2 had returned home the first Mirage III prototype was rolled out.

As Marcel Dassault, the founder of the company, said in the book 'Mirage, Warplane of the World', "If it were not for the clumsy way in which you tackle things in Britain, you could have made the Mirage yourselves".
The first major production model of the Mirage series, the Mirage IIIC, first flew in October 1960. The IIIC was largely similar to the IIIA, though a little under a half meter longer and brought up to full operational fit. The IIIC was a single-seat interceptor, with an Atar 09B turbojet engine, featuring an "eyelet" style variable exhaust.

The Mirage IIIC was armed with twin 30 mm DEFA revolver-type cannon
DEFA cannon
The DEFA cannon is a family of widely used French-made aircraft revolver cannons firing the standard 30 mm caliber NATO rounds.-Design history:...

, fitted in the belly with the gun ports under the air intake. Early Mirage IIIC production had three stores pylons, one under the fuselage and one under each wing, but another outboard pylon was quickly added to each wing, for a total of five. The outboard pylon was intended to carry a AIM-9 Sidewinder
AIM-9 Sidewinder
The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile carried mostly by fighter aircraft and recently, certain gunship helicopters. The missile entered service with United States Air Force in the early 1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces...

 air-to-air missile (AAM), later replaced by Matra Magic.

Although provision for the rocket engine was retained, by this time the day of the high-altitude bomber seemed to be over, and the SEPR rocket engine was rarely or never fitted in practice. In the first place, it required removal of the aircraft's cannon, and in the second, apparently it had a reputation for setting the aircraft on fire. The space for the rocket engine was used for additional fuel, and the rocket nozzle was replaced by a ventral fin at first, and an airfield arresting assembly later.

A total of 95 Mirage IIICs were obtained by the French Air Force
French Air Force
The French Air Force , literally Army of the Air) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1933...

 (Armée de l'Air, AdA), with initial operational deliveries in July 1961. The Mirage IIIC remained in service with the AdA until 1988.

The French Armée de l'Air (AdA) also ordered a two-seat Mirage IIIB operational trainer, which first flew in October 1959. The fuselage was stretched about a meter (3 ft 3.5 in) and both cannons were removed to accommodate the second seat. The IIIB had no radar, and provision for the SEPR rocket was deleted, although it could carry external stores. The AdA ordered 63 Mirage IIIBs (including the prototype), including five Mirage IIIB-1 trials aircraft, ten Mirage IIIB-2(RV) inflight refueling trainers with dummy nose probes, used for training Mirage IVA
Dassault Mirage IV
The Dassault Mirage IV was a French jet-propelled supersonic strategic bomber and deep-reconnaissance aircraft. For many years it was a vital part of the nuclear triad of the Force de Frappe, France's nuclear deterrent striking force.-Development:...

 bomber pilots, and 20 Mirage IIIBEs, with the engine and some other features of the multi-role Mirage IIIE. One Mirage IIIB was fitted with a fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 flight control system in the mid-1970s and redesignated Mirage IIIB-SV (Stabilité Variable); this aircraft was used as a testbed for the system in the later Mirage 2000.

Mirage IIIE


While the Mirage IIIC was being put into production, Dassault was also considering a multirole/strike
Air interdiction
Air interdiction is the use of aircraft to attack tactical ground targets that are not in close proximity to friendly ground forces. It differs from close air support because it does not directly support ground operations and is not closely coordinated with ground units...

 variant of the aircraft, which eventually materialized as the Mirage IIIE. The first of three prototypes flew on 1 April 1961.

The Mirage IIIE differed from the IIIC interceptor most obviously in having a 30 cm (11.8 in) forward fuselage extension to increase the size of the avionics bay behind the cockpit. The stretch also helped increase fuel capacity, as the Mirage IIIC had marginal range and improvements were needed. The stretch was small and hard to notice, but the clue is that the bottom edge of the canopy on a Mirage IIIE ends directly above the top lip of the air intake, while on the IIIC it ends visibly back of the lip.

Many Mirage IIIE variants were also fitted with a Marconi continuous-wave Doppler navigation radar radome on the bottom of the fuselage, under the cockpit. However, while no IIICs had this feature, it was not universal on all variants of the IIIE. A similar inconsistent variation in Mirage fighter versions was the presence or absence of an HF
High frequency
High frequency radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. Also known as the decameter band or decameter wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten decameters . Frequencies immediately below HF are denoted Medium-frequency , and the next higher frequencies are known as Very high frequency...

 antenna that was fitted as a forward extension to the vertical tailplane. On some Mirages, the leading edge of the tailplane was a straight line, while on those with the HF antenna the leading edge had a sloping extension forward. The extension appears to have been generally standard on production Mirage IIIAs and Mirage IIICs, but only appeared in some of the export versions of the Mirage IIIE.

The IIIE featured Thomson-CSF Cyrano II dual mode air / ground radar; a radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems. Their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected. The warning can then be used, manually or automatically, to evade the detected threat...

 (RWR) system with the antennas mounted in the vertical tailplane; and an Atar 09C engine, with a petal-style variable exhaust.

The first production Mirage IIIE was delivered to the AdA in January 1964, and a total of 192 were eventually delivered to that service.

Total production of the Mirage IIIE, including exports, was substantially larger than that of the Mirage IIIC, including exports, totaling 523 aircraft. In the mid-1960s one Mirage IIIE was fitted with the improved SNECMA Atar 09K-6 turbojet for trials, and given the confusing designation of Mirage IIIC2.


Mirage IIIR


A number of reconnaissance variants were built under the general designation of Mirage IIIR. These aircraft had a Mirage IIIE airframe; Mirage IIIC avionics; a camera nose and unsurprisingly no radar; and retained the twin DEFA cannon and external stores capability. The camera nose accommodated up to five OMERA cameras.

The AdA obtained 50 production Mirage IIIRs, not including two prototypes. The Mirage IIIR preceded the Mirage IIIE in operational introduction. The AdA also obtained 20 improved Mirage IIIRD reconnaissance variants, essentially a Mirage IIIR with an extra panoramic camera in the most forward nose position, and the Doppler radar and other avionics from the Mirage IIIE.

Exports


The largest export customers for Mirage IIICs built in France were Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 as the Mirage IIICJ and South Africa
South African Air Force
The South African Air Force is the air force of South Africa, with headquarters in Pretoria. It is the world's second oldest independent air force, and its motto is Per Aspera Ad Astra...

 as the Mirage IIICZ. Some export customers obtained the Mirage IIIB, with designations only changed to provide a country code. Such as the Mirage IIIDA for Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Mirage IIIDBR and Mirage IIIDBR-2 for Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Mirage IIIBJ for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Mirage IIIDL for Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Mirage IIIDP for Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Mirage IIIBZ and Mirage IIIDZ and Mirage IIID2Z for South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Mirage IIIDE for Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Mirage IIIDV for Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

.

After the outstanding Israeli success with the Mirage IIIC, scoring kills against Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. Most MiG-17 variants cannot carry air-to-air missiles, but shot down many aircraft with its cannons...

s and MiG-21
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek by Polish pilots due to...

 aircraft and then achieving a formidable victory against Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 in the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of June 1967, the Mirage III's reputation was greatly enhanced. The "combat-proven" image and low cost made it a popular export success.

A good number of IIIEs were built for export as well, being purchased in small quantities by Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 as the Mirage IIIEA and Mirage IIIEBR-2 Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 as the Mirage IIIEBR, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 as the Mirage IIIEL, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 as the Mirage IIIEP, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 as the Mirage IIIEZ, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 as the Mirage IIIEE, and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 as the Mirage IIIEV, with a list of subvariant designations, with minor variations in equipment fit. Dassault believed the customer was always right, and was happy to accommodate changes in equipment fit as customer needs and budget required. Pakistani Mirage 5PA3, for example, were fitted with Thomson-CSF Agave radar with capability of guiding the Exocet
Exocet
The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.-Etymology:...

 anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

.

Some customers obtained the two-seat Mirage IIIBE under the general designation Mirage IIID, though the trainers were generally similar to the Mirage IIIBE except for minor changes in equipment fit. In some cases they were identical, since two surplus AdA Mirage IIIBEs were sold to Brazil under the designation Mirage IIIBBR, and three were similarly sold to Egypt under the designation Mirage 5SDD. New-build exports of this type included aircraft sold to Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, Argentina, Brazil, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Spain, Venezuela, and Zaire
Zaire
The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

.

Export versions of the Mirage IIIR were built for Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 as the Mirage IIIRP and South Africa as the Mirage IIIRZ, and Mirage IIIR2Z with an Atar 9K-50 jet engine. Export versions of the IIIR recce aircraft were purchased by Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Colombia, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, and South Africa. Some export Mirage IIIRDs were fitted with British Vinten cameras, not OMERA cameras. Most of the Belgian aircraft were built locally.
Israel

The IDF/AF purchased three models of the Mirage III:
  • 70 Mirage IIICJ single-seat fighters, received between April 1962 and July 1964.
  • Two Mirage IIIRJ single-seat photo-reconnaissance aircraft, received in March 1964.
  • Four Mirage IIIBJ two-seat combat trainers, three received in 1966 and one in 1968.


The Israeli AF Mirage III fleet went through several modifications during their service life.

Over the demilitarized zone on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, a total of six MiGs were shot down the first day Mirages fought the MiGs. In the Six-Day war, except for 12 Mirages (four in the air and eight on the ground), left behind to guard Israel from Arab bombers, all the Mirages were fitted with bombs, and sent to attack the Arab air bases. However the Mirage's performance as a bomber was limited. During the following days Mirages performed as fighters, and out of a total of 58 Arab planes shot down in air combat during the war, 48 were accounted for by Mirages.

In the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the Mirage performed in air to air operations only.

License production


The Mirage IIIE was also built under license in Australia, Belgium and Switzerland.
Australia


While an experimental Rolls-Royce Avon
Rolls-Royce Avon
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines. Cambridge, England. Patrick Stephens Limited, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-163-9-External links:**** a 1955 Flight article on the development of the Avon...

-powered version did not enter production, the Australian government decided that the Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

 (RAAF) would receive the IIIE, albeit a variant assembled by the Government Aircraft Factory (GAF) in Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 from Australian-made components, under the designation Mirage IIIO. The major difference between the IIIE and the IIIO was the avionics installed. The other major Australian aircraft manufacturer at the time, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation was an Australian aircraft manufacturer. The CAC was established in 1936, to provide Australia with the capability to produce military aircraft and engines.-History:...

 (CAC), also in Melbourne, built the SNECMA Atar engine.

GAF produced three variants: the Mirage IIIO(F), which was an interceptor, the Mirage IIIO(A), a surface attack aircraft and the twin seat Mirage IIIO(D), a fighter lead-in trainer. Dassault produced two sample IIIO(F) aircraft, with the first flying in March 1963. GAF completed 48 IIIO(F), 50 IIIO(A) and 16 IIIO(D) aircraft.

All the surviving Mirage IIIO(F) aircraft were converted to IIIO(A) standard between 1967 and 1979. The Mirage was finally withdrawn from RAAF service in 1988, and 50 surviving examples were sold to Pakistan in 1990.

Several examples are preserved in museums around Australia, and at least one is currently under restoration to airworthy condition.
Belgium

In 1968, the Belgian government ordered 106 Mirage 5s from Dassault to re-equip No 3 Wing at Bierset air base. All aircraft but the first one were to be license-built by SABCA in Belgium. Component production at the SABCA Haren plant near Brussels was followed by assembly at the SABCA plant at Gosselies airfield, near Charleroi. The ATAR engines were produced by FN Moteurs at this company's Liège plant.
SABCA production included three versions: Mirage 5BA for the ground attack role, Mirage 5BR for the reconnaissance role and Mirage 5BD for training and conversion.

By the end of the 1980s, a MIRage Safety Improvement Program (MIRSIP) was agreed to by parliament, calling for 20 low-time Mirages to be upgraded. Initial plans included a new more powerful engine, but this idea was abandoned to limit cost. The upgrade eventually included a new state of the art cockpit, a new ejection seat, and canards to improve takeoff performance and overall maneuverability.
A new government canceled MIRSIP however. SABCA, having a watertight contract for MIRSIP, was allowed to complete the update of the 20 aircraft. After completion, the Belgian government sold all 20 at a loss to Chile.
Switzerland

In 1961, Switzerland bought a single Mirage IIIC from France. This Mirage IIIC was used as development aircraft. The Swiss Mirages was built in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 by F+W Emmen (today RUAG
RUAG
RUAG is a Swiss technology company, with its headquarters in Bern. It has production sites in Switzerland , Germany , Sweden , Hungary and Austria .-Structure:The RUAG has following subsidiaries:*RUAG Aerospace RUAG is a Swiss technology company, with its headquarters in Bern. It has production...

 ) (the federal government aircraft factory in Emmen
Emmen, Switzerland
Emmen is a city in the district of Hochdorf in the canton of Lucerne in Switzerland.-Geography:Emmen has an area of . Of this area, 46.6% is used for agricultural purposes, while 18.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 33.3% is settled and the remainder is non-productive . , 18.19% of the...

) as the Mirage IIIS. As did Australia, one French-made aircraft was bought in preparation for license production. Cost overruns during the production led to the so-called "Mirage affair" . In all, 36 Mirage IIIS interceptors were built with strengthened wings, airframe, and undercarriage
Undercarriage
The undercarriage or landing gear in aviation, is the structure that supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land...

. The Swiss Air Force required performance comparable to those of carrier based planes. The airframes were reinforced so the aircraft could be moved by lifting them over other aircraft with a crane. The caverns in the mountains offer very little space to maneuver around parked aircraft. Also, the strengthened frames allowed for JATO assisted takeoffs. The main differences to the standard Mirage IIIE were as follows:
  • New wiring of avionics with U.S. electronics
  • Changed cockpit design with gray instead of black panels
  • New U.S. radar, TARAN-18 from Hughes
  • Use of HM-55S "Falcon" (Swiss designation of the from SAAB
    Saab
    Saab AB is a Swedish aerospace and defence company, founded in 1937. From 1947 to 1990 it was the parent company of automobile manufacturer Saab Automobile, and between 1968 and 1995 the company was in a merger with commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania, known as Saab-Scania.-History:"Svenska...

     in Licence built Robot 27 (Rb27) which is similar to the Hughes AIM-26 "Falcon")
  • Radar warning receiver (RWR) on both wingtips and on the back of the rudder
  • Strengthened structure for use of JATO-Rockets
  • Retractable nosecone for storing in mountain cavern
  • Lengthened nosewheel for storing in mountain cavern
  • Four lifting points for moving aircraft in mountain cavern with a crane
  • Bay at the fin with a SEPR rocket engine to double the velocity for short time or climb to 20 000 m (60 000 ft)
  • US TRACOR AN/ALE-40 chaff/flare dispenser at the back under the end of the engine (fitted with the upgrade 1988)
  • Canards designed and produced by RUAG Aerospace(fitted with the upgrade 1988)
  • New Martin-Baker ejection-seat (fitted with the upgrade 1988)


The Swiss Mirages are equipped with RWS, chaff & flare dispensers. Avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 differed as well, with the most prominent difference being that the Thomson-CSF Cyrano II radar was replaced by Hughes TARAN-18 system, giving the Mirage IIIS compatibility with the Hughes AIM-4 Falcon
AIM-4 Falcon
The Hughes AIM-4 Falcon was the first operational guided air-to-air missile of the United States Air Force.-Development:Development of a guided air-to-air missile began in 1946. Hughes Aircraft was awarded a contract for a subsonic missile under the project designation MX-798, which soon gave way...

 AAM. Also the Mirage IIIS had the wiring to carry a Swiss-built nuclear bomb or French nuclear bomb. The Swiss nuclear bomb was stopped in the preproduction stage and Switzerland did not purchase the French-made bomb. The Mirage IIIS had an integral fuel tank under the aft belly; this fuel tank could be removed and replaced with an adapter of the same shape. This adapter housed a SEPR rocket engine with its liquid fuel tanks. With the SEPR rocket, the Mirage IIIS easily reached altitudes of 20,000 m. The rocket fuel was very hazardous and highly toxic, so the SEPR rocket was not used very often. The Mirage IIIRS could also carry a photo-reconnaissance centerline pod and an integral fuel tank under the aft belly; this carried a smaller fuel load but allowed a back looking film camera to be added. In the early 1990s, the 30 surviving Swiss Mirage IIIS interceptors were put through an upgrade program, which included fitting them with fixed canards and updated avionics. The Mirage IIIS were phased out of service in 1999. The remaining Mirage IIIRS, BS and DS were taken out of service in 2003.

Variants


M.D.550 Mystere-Delta: Single-seat delta-wing interceptor-fighter prototype, fitted with a delta vertical tail surface, equipped with a retractable tricycle landing gear, powered by two 980-kg (2,160-lb) thrust M.D.30 (Armstrong Siddeley Viper) turbojet engines; one built.
Mirage I: Revised first prototype, fitted with a swept vertical tail surface, powered by two M.D.30R turbojet engines, also fitted with a 1500-kg (3,307-lb) thrust SEPR auxiliary rocket motor.
Mirage II: Single-seat delta-wing interceptor-fighter prototype, larger version of the Mirage I, powered by two Turbomeca Gabizo turbojet engines; one built.
Mirage III-001: Prototype, powered by a 4490-kg (9,900-lb) thrust Atar 101G2 turbojet engine, also fitted with a SEPR auxiliary rocket motor; one built.
Mirage IIIA : Pre-production aircraft, powered by a 6.000 kg (13,228 lb) thrust Atar 9B turbojet engine, also fitted with an auxiliary rocket motor; ten built for the French Air Force.

Mirage IIIB : Two-seat tandem trainer aircraft, fitted with one piece canopy, also fitted with radio beacon equipment, lacks radar; 59 built for the French Air Force.
  • Mirage IIIB-1 : Trials aircraft.
  • Mirage IIIB-2(RV) : Inflight refuelling training aircraft.
  • Mirage IIIBE : Two-seat training aircraft for the French Air Force, similar to the Mirage IIID; 20 built.
  • Mirage IIIBJ : Export version of the Mirage IIIB for Israeli Air Force; five built.
  • Mirage IIIBL : Export version of the Mirage IIIB for Lebanese Air Force.
  • Mirage IIIBS : Export version of the Mirage IIIB for the Swiss Air Force; four built.
  • Mirage IIIBZ : Export version of the Mirage IIIB for the South African Air Force; three built.


Mirage IIIC : Single-seat all-weather interceptor-fighter aircraft, equipped with a Cyrano I radar, powered by a 6000-kg (13,228-lb) thrust Atar 9B-3 turbojet engine, fitted with an auxiliary rocket motor in the rear fuselage, armed with two 30 mm cannons, plus one Matra R530
Matra R530
The Matra R.530 is a French medium to short range air-to-air missile.It was available in IR and SARH as the main armament of the Mirage III which was able to carry a single missile in the centerline, the Mirage F1, which carried 2 under the wings, and the F-8 Crusader in the French Navy...

 and two AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles; 95 built for the French Air Force.
  • Mirage IIIC-2 : One aircraft fitted with an Atar 9K-6 turbojet engine.
  • Mirage IIICJ : Export version of the Mirage IIIC for the Israeli Air Force; 72 built.
  • Mirage IIICS : One evaluation and test aircraft for the Swiss Air Force; one built.
  • Mirage IIICZ : Export version of the Mirage IIIC for the South African Air Force; 16 built.


Mirage IIID : Two-seat trainer version of the Mirage IIIE.
  • Mirage IIID : Two-seat training aircraft for the RAAF. Built under licence in Australia; 16 built.
  • Mirage IIIDA : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the Argentine Air Force; four built.
  • Mirage IIIDBR : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the Brazilian Air Force; four built.
  • Mirage IIIDRR-2 : Refurbished and updated aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force. Two ex-French aircraft sold to Brazil in 1988.
  • Mirage IIIDE : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the Spanish Air Force; six built.
  • Mirage IIIDL : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the Lebanese Air Force; two built.
  • Mirage IIIDP : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the Pakistan Air Force; five built.
  • Mirage IIIDS : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the Swiss Air Force; two built.
  • Mirage IIIDV : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the Venezuelan Air Force; three built.
  • Mirage IIIDZ : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the South African Air Force; three built.
  • Mirage IIID2Z : Export version of the Mirage IIID for the South African Air Force, fitted with an Atar 9K-50 turbojet engine; 11 built.


Mirage IIIE: Single-seat all-weather fighter-bomber, strike aircraft, powered by an 60.80 kN (13,668-lb) thrust Atar 9C-3 turbojet engine, fitted with a Cyrano II radar and an avionics bay behind the cockpit, equipped with a Doppler radar
Doppler radar
A Doppler radar is a specialized radar that makes use of the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance. It does this by beaming a microwave signal towards a desired target and listening for its reflection, then analyzing how the frequency of the returned signal has been...

 and a TACAN navigation system; 183 built for the French Air Force.
  • Mirage IIIEA : Export version of the Mirage IIIE for the Argentine Air Force; 17 built.
  • Mirage IIIEBR : Export version of the Mirage IIIE for the Brazilian Air Force; 16 built.
  • Mirage IIIEBR-2 : Refurbished and updated aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force. Four ex-French aircraft sold to Brazil in 1988.
  • Mirage IIIEE : Export version of the Mirage IIIE for the Spanish Air Force; 24 built.
  • Mirage IIIEL : Export version of the Mirage IIIE for the Lebanese Air Force; 10 built.
  • Mirage IIIEP : Export version of the Mirage IIIE for the Pakistan Air Force; 18 built.
  • Mirage IIIEV : Export version of the Mirage IIIE for the Venezuelan Air Force; seven built.
  • Mirage IIIEZ : Export version of the Mirage IIIE for the South African Air Force; 17 built.


Mirage IIIO: Single-seat all-weather fighter-bomber aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force. Built under licence in Australia; 100 built.
Mirage IIIR: Single-seat all-weather reconnaissance aircraft, fitted with five cameras and an infra-red package. 50 built for the French Air Force.
  • Mirage IIIRD : Single-seat all-weather reconnaissance aircraft for the French Air Force, equipped with a Doppler navigation radar; 20 built.
  • Mirage IIIRJ : Single-seat all-weather econniassance aircraft of the Israeli Air Force. Two Mirage IIICZs converted into reconnaissance aircraft.
  • Mirage IIIRP : Export version of the Mirage IIIR for the Pakistan Air Force; 13 built.
  • Mirage IIIRS : Export version of the Mirage IIIR for the Swiss Air Force; 18 built.
  • Mirage IIIRZ : Export version of the Mirage IIIR for the South African Air Force; four built.
  • Mirage IIIR2Z : Export version of the Mirage IIIR for the South African Air Force, fitted with an Atar 9K-50 turbojet engine; four built.


Mirage IIIS: Single-seat all-weather interceptor fighter aircraft for the Swiss Air Force, fitted with a Hughes TARAN 18 radar and fire-control system, armed with AIM-4 Falcon and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. Built under licence in Switzerland; 36 built.
Mirage IIIT: One aircraft converted into an engine testbed, it was fitted with a 9000-kg (19,482-lb) SNECMA TF-106 turbofan engine.
Mirage IIIX: Proposed version, announced in 1982, fitted with updated avionics and fly-by-wire controls, powered by an Atar 9K-50 turbojet engine. Original designation of the Mirage 3NG.

Mirage 5/Mirage 50


The next major variant, the Mirage 5, grew out of a request to Dassault from the Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force
The Israeli Air Force is the air force of the State of Israel and the aerial arm of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28, 1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence...

. The first Mirage 5 flew on 19 May 1967. It looked much like the Mirage III, except it had a long slender nose that extended the aircraft's length by about half a metre.
The Mirage 5 itself led directly to the Israeli Nesher
IAI Nesher
The Israel Aircraft Industries Nesher is the Israeli version of the Dassault Mirage 5 multi-role fighter aircraft...

, either through a Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

 (Israeli intelligence) intelligence operation or through covert cooperation with AdA, depending upon which story is accepted. (See details in the Nesher article). In either case, the design gave rise to the Kfir
IAI Kfir
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-made version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.-Background:...

, which can be considered a direct descendant of the Mirage III.

Milan


In 1968, Dassault, in cooperation with the Swiss, began work on a Mirage update known as the Milan ("Kite
Kite (bird)
Kites are raptors with long wings and weak legs which spend a great deal of time soaring. Most feed mainly on carrion but some take various amounts of live prey.They are birds of prey which, along with hawks and eagles, are from the family Accipitridae....

"). The main feature of the Milan was a pair of pop out foreplanes in the nose, which were referred to as "moustaches". The moustaches were intended to provide better take-off performance and low-speed control for the attack role.

The three initial prototypes were converted from existing Mirage fighters and had fixed canards referred to as "moustaches". One of these prototypes was nicknamed "Asterix
Asterix
Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo . The series first appeared in French in the magazine Pilote on October 29, 1959...

", after the internationally popular French cartoon character, a tough little Gallic warrior with a huge moustache.

A fully equipped prototype rebuilt from a Mirage IIIR flew in May 1970, and was powered by the uprated SNECMA Atar 09K-50 engine, with 70.6 kN (15,900 lbf) afterburning thrust, following the evaluation of an earlier model of this new series on the one-off Mirage IIIC2. The Milan also had updated avionics, including a laser designator and rangefinder in the nose. A second fully equipped prototype was produced for Swiss evaluation as the Milan S.

The canards did provide significant handling benefits, but they had drawbacks. They blocked the pilot's forward view to an extent, and set up turbulence in the engine intakes. The Milan concept was abandoned in 1972, while work continued on achieving the same goals with canards.

Mirage 3NG



Following the development of the Mirage 50, Dassault had experimented with yet another derivative of the original Mirage series, named the Mirage 3NG (Nouvelle Génération, next generation). Like the Milan and Mirage 50, the 3NG was powered by the Atar 9K-50 engine. The prototype, a conversion of a Mirage IIIR, flew in December 1982.

The 3NG had a modified delta wing with leading-edge root extensions, plus a pair of fixed canards fitted above and behind the air intakes. The canards provided a degree of turbulent airflow over the wing to make the aircraft more unstable and so more maneuverable.

Avionics were completely modernized, leveraging off the development effort for the next-generation Mirage 2000 fighter. The Mirage 3NG used a fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 system to allow control over the aircraft's instabilities, and featured an advanced nav/attack system; new multimode radar; and a laser rangefinder system. The uprated engine and aerodynamics gave the Mirage 3NG impressive performance. The type never went into production, but to an extent the 3NG was a demonstrator for various technologies that could be and were featured in upgrades to existing Mirage IIIs and Mirage Vs.

After 1989, enhancements derived from the 3NG were incorporated into Brazilian Mirage IIIEs, as well as into four ex-Armée de l'Air Mirage IIIEs that were transferred to Brazil in 1988. In 1989, Dassault offered a similar upgrade refit of ex-AdA Mirage IIIEs under the designation Mirage IIIEX, featuring canards, a fixed in-flight refueling probe, a longer nose, new avionics, and other refinements.

A total of 1,422 Mirage III/5/50 aircraft of all types were built by Dassault. There were a few unbuilt variants:
  • A Mirage IIIK that was powered by a Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan was offered to the British Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

    .
  • The Mirage IIIM was a carrier-based variant, with catapult spool and arresting hook, for operation with the French Aéronavale.
  • The Mirage IIIW was a lightweight fighter version, proposed for a US competition, with Dassault partnered with Boeing
    Boeing
    The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

    . The aircraft would have been produced by Boeing, but it lost to the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter
    F-5 Freedom Fighter
    The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic fighter aircraft, designed and built by Northrop...

    .

Balzac / Mirage IIIV



One of the offshoots of the Mirage III/5/50 fighter family tree was the Mirage IIIV vertical take-off and landing (VTOL
VTOL
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft is one that can hover, take off and land vertically. This classification includes fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors...

) fighter. ("IIIV" is read "three-vee," not "three-five"). This aircraft featured eight small vertical lift jet
Lift jet
A lift jet is a jet engine angled to provide an aircraft with aerostatic lift instead of thrust...

s straddling the main engine. The Mirage IIIV was built in response to a mid-1960s NATO specification for a VTOL strike fighter.

Mirage III ROSE



Project ROSE (Retrofit Of Strike Element) was an upgrade programme launched by the Pakistan Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...

 to upgrade old Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 aircraft with modern avionics. In the early 1990s the PAF procured 50 ex-Australian Mirage III fighters, 33 of which were selected after an inspection to undergo upgrades. In the first phases of Project ROSE the ex-Australian Mirage III fighters were fitted with new defensive systems and cockpits, which included new HUDs, MFDs, RWRs, HOTAS controls, radar altimeters and navigation/attack systems
Nav/attack system
A nav/attack system is a generic term for an integrated suite of sensors and navigation equipment that allow a military aircraft to locate and attack specific ground targets with a high degree of precision....

. They were also fitted with the FIAR Grifo M3 multi-mode radar and designated ROSE I. Around 34 Mirage 5 attack fighters also underwent upgrades designated ROSE II and ROSE III before Project ROSE was completed. The Mirage III/5 ROSE fighters are expected to remain in service with the PAF until replacement in the mid-2010s.

Operators


(retired) (retired 1988, 50 sold to Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

) (retired) 20/8 MirageIIIE/D (retired 2005) (retired 2006)
    • Colombian Air Force
      Colombian Air Force
      The Colombian Air Force or FAC is the Air Force of the Republic of Colombia.The Colombian Air Force is one of the three institutions of the Armed Forces of Colombia, charge according to the 1991 Constitution of the work to exercise and maintain control of Colombia's airspace to defend the...

       (retired 2010) (retired) (retired) (sold to Pakistan
      Pakistan
      Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

       in 2000) (sold to Pakistan
      Pakistan
      Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

       in 2004)(scheduled to be replaced with JF-17 in 2015) (retired 2007) (retired 2008) (retired in 1991, sold to Pakistan in 1992) (retired) (retired 2007)

Specifications (Mirage IIIE)



Notable appearances in media


The Mirage fighter aircraft series is featured in the popular French comic
Comics
Comics denotes a hybrid medium having verbal side of its vocabulary tightly tied to its visual side in order to convey narrative or information only, the latter in case of non-fiction comics, seeking synergy by using both visual and verbal side in...

 Tanguy et Laverdure
Tanguy et Laverdure
Les Aventures de Tanguy et Laverdure is a Franco-Belgian comics series created by Jean-Michel Charlier and Albert Uderzo, about the two pilots Michel Tanguy and Ernest Laverdure, and their adventures in the French Air Force.-Publication history:...

. The stories were made into the 1967–1969 French TV series
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 Les Chevaliers du Ciel, and a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 feature film Les Chevaliers du ciel
Les Chevaliers du ciel
Les Chevaliers du ciel is a 2005 French film directed by Gérard Pirès about two air force pilots preventing a terrorist attack on the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris...

(international title Skyfighters) in 2005, in which the Mirage 2000 is flown instead.

See also


External links