Mirage IIIS: Alpine Delta

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Mirage IIIS

Introduce

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The Mirage IIIS is an improved variant suitable for the Swiss Army based on the Mirage IIIE. The Mirage IIIS later received the C.70 upgrade, and the variant that received the C.70 upgrade will be discussed in another suggestion later.

History

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Switzerland has strengthened its air force by introducing D.H.112, Hawker Hunter, etc., but the limitations of subsonic aircraft were clear, and the project to introduce supersonic aircraft soon began. Saab 35, G.91, F-104, Mirage IIIC, and F-11F-1F participated in this project, of which the Mirage was ultimately selected. However, the Swiss military deliberately ignored the additional costs to account for inflation and understated the amount of money it would spend on spare parts. This decision will soon have major political repercussions. Switzerland was deciding which radar to mount on its new fighter: TARAN-18, Cyrano II, or AIRPASS, but Dassault warned that integrating TARAN-18 into the Mirage IIIC would incur significant additional costs. However, this warning was ultimately ignored, and the radar to be mounted on the new fighter was decided to be TARAN-18. However, the TARAN-18 did not fit the Mirage IIIC’s radome, and the Mirage IIIE, which had a larger radome, had to be adopted.

The Swiss military wants to acquire 100 Mirage IIISs and has asked Congress to grant additional funds to convert the Mirage IIIC to the Mirage IIIE. However, the Congress flatly rejected it, and in the end only 57 units were introduced, down from the existing 100 units. This incident was later called the Mirage Scandal.

The Mirage IIIS used little French armament. It used the AIM-9, designated Flz Lwf LL 63, as a short-range air-to-air missile, and the Flz Lwf LL 64 (HM-55S) and Flz Lwf LL 64/79 (AIM-26B) as medium-range air-to-air missiles. And for air-to-ground armament, it used SNORA rockets, Swiss-made unguided bombs, and French-made Flz Lwf LB 66 (AS.30) air-to-ground missiles.

The Mirage IIIS received the C.70 upgrade starting in 1988, installing equipment such as canards and RWRs. You can read stories about ‘C.70 Upgrade’ Here (Mirage IIIS C.70 Suggestion)

Technical Data

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Specification

Length: 15.27m
Width: 8.22m
Height: 4.5m
AUW: 6.7t
MTOW: 12t
Engine: Atar 09C-3 (4,300kgf ~ 6,000kgf)
Radar: Taran-18 Radar System
Countermeasures: N/A

Armaments

Offensive Armament
ㅤ2 × Flz Kan 65 (DEFA 552A)

Suspended Armament
ㅤ2 × Flz Lwf LL 63
ㅤ2 × Flz Lwf LL 63/75
ㅤ2 × Flz Lwf LL 63/80
ㅤ2 × Flz Lwf LL 63/90
ㅤ2 × Flz Lwf LL 63/91
ㅤ2 × Flz Lwf LL 64
ㅤ2 × Flz Lwf LL 64/79
ㅤFlz Lwf LB 66
ㅤ24 × SNORA Rocket
ㅤ2 × 450kg Panzerbombe
ㅤ2 × 450kg Sprengbombe

Others
ㅤ2× 500L Drop Tank
ㅤ730L Drop Tank
ㅤ1,100L Drop Tank
ㅤRATO System
ㅤSEPR 841

Picture

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https://youtu.be/RMsDfCngnVI?si=ZkunOcOoa0gDfLYv


image_20230414phd9058

Source

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  • Ausgemusterte Mittel der Schweizer Luftwaffe
    Flugzeuge, Helikopter, Flab - Hugo Freudiger (04.06.2022)
  • Geschichte der Schweizer Luftwaffe - Hugo Freudiger (18.04.2016)
  • Militärische Kennungen der Luftfahrzeuge
3 Likes

Not correct: SEPR is the auxiliary rocket engine replacing the “souite arrière” tank in the rear fuselage. The RATO’s are used for short take offs.

Also, I’d leave away the bombs: Technically it was possible to carry them, but afaik that was never practiced or intended at all.

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Is there any evidence that it was not equipped with a bomb? If so, please provide it to me. Thank you.

I can ask my contacts… = )

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Another question I have is, is it incorrect information that there are 8 SEPRs? As far as I know it is a detachable RATO that can be mounted instead of cannons.

No, the SEPR is the rocket motor which could be fitted into the place where normaly an additional fuel tank is stored:

It was used to boost speed at high altitude for intercept missions.

To mount the SEPR the rear under-fuselage fuel tank as well as the canons needed to be removed/replaced with equipment and chemicals. This is also represented in WT for the Mirage IIIC and IIIE, btw.

Using the SEPR at low altitude was not allowed, and one of my friends who was test pilot on the Mirages in Switzerland told me the story of when he had to abort a SEPR sortie, and instead of burning it off at altitude, decided to do so right over the airbase. They were NOT happy with him…

The RATO’s (or JATOS, as they are often mistakenly called, even by the Swiss Air Force, haha!) were rocket cannisters mounted in two sets of 4 canisters below the fuselage.

As I understand it, they were not intended to be used to allow the Mirages to quickly take off on missions (because they actually had to be loaded very light on fuel and zero weapons for the RATO’s), but would only be used to get the Mirages away from a partially destroyed runway, to then quickly dislocate to another, still operational/undamaged airbase.

Never saw a SEPR used in my time (as they were only done at very high altitude), but saw a handful of RATO take-offs, which were always a favorite at air shows in Switzerland…

Video | Facebook

(Note the aircraft in the video is actually the R-2109 AMIR which is still owned by the Mirage Verein Buochs. This aircraft is the one I depicted as semi-historical skin for the Milan, which then even got added to the Market!

Many a happy hour I spent around and in that aircraft when I was working in the club…

2 Likes

Already said yes to the upgraded IIS C.70, so might as well go ahead and say yes to this one as well