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A similar inconsistent variation in Mirage fighter versions was the presence or absence of an HF antenna that was fitted as a forward extension to the tailfin. On some Mirages, the leading edge of the tailfin was a straight line, while on those with the HF antenna the leading edge had a forward extension. A good number of were built for export as well, being purchased in small quantities by Argentina, Brazil, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, and Venezuela with their own subvariant designations, and 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.
One particularly interesting variation was the Pakistani "Mirage 5PA3", which was the only Mirage variant designed to carry the AM Exocet antiship missile, and was appropriately fitted with the Thompson-CSF Agave maritime targeting radar in place of Cyrano radar. The Mirage won out on its superior ability to operate from austere airfields and its multirole capabilities. The SEPR booster rocket was not obtained, the space being used for a fuel tank. The first 12 machines were provided by Dassault as knockdown kits, with the next 25 featuring French-built fuselages, the rest of the aircraft being of Australian origin.
The last 79 were mostly of Australian origin. CAC built major subassemblies including engine and the flight surfaces, while GAF built the rest and rolled out the completed aircraft.
Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 Pitot Tube
Initial flight of a Aussie Mirage was in March A few of the Mirage III0 A attack fighters were converted to a reconnaissance configuration, with a single film camera shooting down out of the bottom of the nose displacing the Cyrano radar. The radar nose could be refitted if desired. The Mirage was finally withdrawn from Australian service in , with 50 surviving examples sold to Pakistan in Many of the Mirages were auctioned off for display in museums. Most of the Belgian aircraft were built locally. Since the weather over the Mideast is clear and sunny most of the time, the Israelis suggested deleting all-weather avionics normally stored behind the cockpit from the standard Mirage IIIE to reduce cost and maintenance, and replacing the lost avionics with more fuel storage for the attack mission.
In September , the Israelis placed an order for 50 examples of the new aircraft.
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The first Mirage 5 flew on 19 May It looked much like the Mirage III, except it had a long slender nose that extended the aircraft's length by about half a meter, making it arguably the most elegant of the Mirage delta series. The pitot tube was moved from the tip of the nose to below the nose in the majority of Mirage 5 variants, providing a distinctive recognition feature.
Like its predecessors, the Mirage 5 was fitted with twin millimeter DEFA cannon, and could lift a warload of 4 tonnes 8, pounds. It featured two more stores pylons, fitted at the rear junctions of the fuselage and wings, for a total of seven pylons. Any pretense of fitting the SEPR rocket engine was abandoned.
This measure did no good, as the Israelis started the war anyway two days later. The Mirages continued to roll off the production line, even though they were embargoed,. A year later the batch was complete and the Israelis had provided final payments, but they still couldn't get their hands on the aircraft. In late , the Israelis, who had pilots in France testing the aircraft, requested that the aircraft be transferred to Corsica, in theory to allow them to continue flight training during the winter.
The French government became suspicious when the Israelis also tried to obtain long-range fuel tanks and canceled the move. The Israelis finally gave up trying to get the aircraft and accepted a refund. The 50 aircraft built for the Israelis eventually found their way into the hands of the AA, under the designation of "Mirage 5F". While the Mirage 5 had been originally oriented to the clear-weather attack role, with some avionic fits it was refocused to the air-combat mission.
As electronic systems became more compact and powerful, it was possible to provide the Mirage 5 with increased capability, even though the rear avionics bay had been deleted. Reconnaissance and two-seat versions of the Mirage 5 were sold, with the designation "Mirage 5R", and "Mirage 5D" respectively. However, a little consideration of the differences between a Mirage III and a Mirage 5 quickly shows that these designations were simply for marketing purposes. There was no clear dividing line between the configuration of a Mirage III reconnaissance or trainer version and that of a Mirage 5 equivalent, and in fact they were one and the same in many cases.
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A total of Mirage 5s was built. The Israelis also built their own copy of the Mirage 5, under the name "Nesher", discussed in more detail in the next chapter. Some Neshers were supplied to Argentina. The Argentines took heavy losses in their Mirage and Nesher fleet during the Falklands war in , and as a measure of solidarity the Peruvians transferred ten of their Mirage 5s to Argentina to help make good their losses.
The main feature of the Milan was a pair of pop-out foreplanes in the nose, which were referred to as "moustaches".
Dassault Mirage III
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 non-retractable moustaches. One of these prototypes was nicknamed "Asterix", after the internationally popular French cartoon character, a tough little Gallic warrior with a huge mustache.
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 moustaches 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.
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The Milan concept was abandoned in , while work continued on achieving the same goals with canards. The uprated engine gave the Mirage 50 better take-off and climb characteristics than its predecessors. While the Mirage 50 also incorporated new avionics, such as a Cyrano IV radar system, it did not prove popular in export sales, since the first-generation Mirage series was becoming obsolescent.
South Africa received a small quantity of the type, and Chile ordered a quantity of Mirage 50s, receiving both new production as well as updated Armee de l'Air Mirage 5s.