Mirage 5BA: Belgium's Delta

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Hello everyone, I would like to suggest the Mirage 5BA, The Belgian version of Dassault’s Mirage 5.

The Mirage 5s were acquired by Belgium in the late 1960s as a replacement for the outdated (R)F-84Fs that were at the time serving the main role of fighter bombers in the Belgian air force. The Mirage was chosen from a selection of different offers, among which the F-5A, A-4E and Draken. Belgium was hoping for a combined purchase with the Netherlands, but that deal fell through, and only Belgium ended ordering the aircraft, with the Netherlands choosing the F-5 instead. A total of 106 and airframes were eventually ordered in 1968. These were divided into 3 main variants the BA, BR and BD. BA was the the fighter-bomber version, BR the reconnaissance model and BD was the twin-seat trainer. All aircraft were manufactured in Belgium by SABCA, while the engines were made by FN. Visually the aircraft only differed slightly from the Original, having a different nose, which did not include the aida radar, but did include a doppler navigational radar. Sources also say that Belgian Mirages were outfitted with American avionics, or “better attack avionics”, but I am not certain on the details of that.
Belgian Mirages were only deployed for frontline service once, during the Gulf war. They were stationed in Diyarbakır, Turkey. 18 Mirages mounted combat air patrols to help protect Turkey against attack from Iraqi forces.
One other curious mission the Belgian Mirages were part of, took place in May of 1982. Four Mirages (3BAs and 1 BD) were sent to an RAF base in West-Germany where they carried out a very short dissimilar air combat training with British Harriers. The British pilots also flew along in the second seat of the Mirage 5BD. This was no ordinary training, the British pilots were receiving a crash course to prepare themselves to face Argentinian Mirages in the Falklands.
Some of Belgium’s Mirages would be the subject of an extensive upgrade program that started in 1988. The resulting aircraft was known as the Mirage MirSip, but that is the subject of another suggestion.
The Mirages would eventually leave Belgian service in the mid to late 1990s, when they were all being replaced by the F-16.

Armament of the aircraft was overall very similar to that of the French Mirage 5s, but differed mostly in one key aspect, the air-to-air missiles. Belgium was also an operator of the American F-104 starfighter, and had acquired AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles to go with that type. Adding an extra type of air-to-air missiles that fulfilled the same role was seen as unnecessary so the Matra Magic was never acquired. The Mirage 5BA served with the AIM-9B followed later by the AIM-9J/P/N model.
Other ordnance types were almost identical to the French model. While I’ve never seen images of the RPK fuel tank-bomb adaptors on the Belgian Mirages, the manual does mention them which means the aircraft are at the very least compatible with them. A2G weapon types that I currently have visual confirmation on having been mounted to the aircraft are the following: Lau32B/A 6 shot rocket pod, mk82 snakeye bombs, BL755 cluster bombs, 250kg samp bombs and 400kg samp bombs. Unlike the French model, it looks like the Mirage 5BA was not equipped with a ballistics computer. While the absence of this is quite bad, Belgian Mirages were later equipped with something that offsets it. A retrofit to the aircraft outfitted them with the Rapport II system. This system consists of an RWR and radar jammer, but also flare and chaff launchers with a total of 50 charges.

ba-26_1.jpg.b3fc04b26aa03c3c84e6226ad0e5

Characteristics:

Crew: 1
Length: 15.55 m
Wingspan: 8.22 m
Height: 4.5 m
Wing area: 35 m2
Empty weight: 7,150 kg
Max takeoff weight: 13,700 kg
Powerplant: 1 × SNECMA Atar 9C afterburning turbojet
Maximum speed: 2,350 km/h at 12,000 m
Service ceiling: 18,000 m
countermeasures: yes, Rapport II system
RWR: yes
CCIP: no

Armament:

  • 2x 30mm DEFA cannons

Air-to-air:

  • 2x AIM-9B
  • 2x AIM-9J/P/N (not sure which model of these Belgium operated)

Air-to-ground:

  • 250kg SAMP bombs
  • 400kg SAMP bombs
  • mk82 Snakeye bombs
  • BL 755 cluster bomb
  • Lau32B/A 6 shot rocket pod

In-game:

The Mirage 5BA is a very similar aircraft to its French counterpart the Mirage 5F, but the minor differences between the two still make the Belgian version a worthwhile addition to the game. The AIM-9J/P/N in combination with the flares/chaff would give it a slightly different playstyle in air matches, while the absence of CCIP would definitely force you to play a bit differently while using it as CAS aircraft. In a way it is a better version of the Israeli Nesher, as it has similar missiles, both lack CCIP, but the Mirage 5BA has the countermeasures as a bonus.

Sources

https://www.belgian-wings.be/dassault-mirage-5ba-basis
Help - Mirage 5BA info - Aircraft Cold War - Britmodeller.com
Avions-Dassault-Mirage-V-Willy-Peters.pdf - Google Drive
https://www.avialogs.com/aircraft-d/dassault/item/55721-u-1-m5ba-manuel-d-utilisation-de-l-avion-mirage-m5ba-partie-planches
Avialogs: Aviation Library - U-1-M5BA - Manuel d'utilisation de l'avion Mirage M5BA - Partie Texte

Images

mirage5bacountermeasures.PNG.9cf14d7aa74

mirage5bamissile.jpg.35d961eedcc630f615e

mirage5baBomb.PNG.c46f448cf0f3d9464b82f9

1744319507_Miragearmamenttrolleymars82RV

rapportII.PNG.cb8019b2461f67d43fe6fe1b3b

1578934917_Miragebomberetardee2RV_zpswoo

7 Likes

France or BeNeLux, both are acceptable. +1

3 Likes

I’m very happy this suggestion is finally here! A mirage 5 with countermeasures is a great addition to the game. BeNeLux would also be great for it.

3 Likes

+1 for France or Benelux, looks great!

2 Likes

Yes please! And add im the BeNeLux tree :)

3 Likes

When was it upgraded with Rapport II?

Contract signed in 1975
First prototype in 1976
Serial adaptation between 1978 and 1989

1 Like

So it’s not just the BRs?

I have found no resource saying that the upgrade was limited to BR models so far