Dassault Mirage IIIE “Ardennes” (50-ANS) №491: French ground attack aircraft

The Dassault Mirage IIIE is the all-weather ground attack version of the famous Mirage III aircraft series. Compared to the prior Mirage version (Mirage IIIC, of which you can see two examples alongside for comparison), the aircraft has a fuselage lengthened by about 30 cm.

This improved the internal tank capacity, and enabled the installation of improved avionics ensuring its all-weather ground attack capability. Its nose is fitted with two radar, one Cyrano II for air-to-air mode and one NRAC-4A for air-to-ground capabilities. The aircraft is armed with two 30 mm cannon and can carry a variety of ordnance, including tactical nuclear bombs.

The first flight of this type took place on the 5th of April 1961 and was followed by two other prototypes. Then the French air force order 225 aircraft of which 40 were sold to other armies. The Mirage IIIE was introduce in the French air force in 1964. Between 1973 and 1991 was used as a taclical nuclear bomber before to be replaced by Mirage 2000 N. The last French Mirage IIIE was withdrawn from use in 1995.

Made in France

First flight: 1961

Production: 593

Engine: SNECMA Atar 09C-3

Speed: 2469 km/h

Range: 760 km

Weight: 7050 kg

Old wings (Toulouse)

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