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Mirage III - why only one R530 on the centerline ?

GTX

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I think the combination of pylon space and physical size of the various SARH BVR missiles might play a large part here. If you consider the Mirage III pretty much always needed its wing pylon fuel tank to provide an acceptable operational range this pretty much reduces you to using the centreline unless one does go the Swiss option of using something such as the HM-55/AIM-26B or even AIM-4E/F.

Assuming this, it might also be interesting to do a comparison between the various realistic options at the time the Mirage III was in main operational service (I'm talking about the mid '60s - mid '70s (note that I have only looked at SARH options:

R.530
AIM-7E
AIM-4E
AIM-4F
HM-55/AIM-26B
AIM-9C
Length:3.28 m3.66 m2.18 m2.19 m2.16 m2.87 m
Wingspan:1.1 m1.02 m0.61 m0.61 m0.62 m0.63 m
Diameter:0.263 m0.203 m0.16 m0.17 m0.29 m0.13 m
Weight:192 kg197 kg63.5 kg68.9 kg117.3 kg88 kg
Speed:Mach 2.7Mach 4Mach 3Mach 3Mach 2Mach 2.5+
Max Range:20 km30 km13.8 km13.8 km19 km18 km
Warhead:27 kg30 kg4.67 kg3.9 kg22 kg11 kg
Comment:Realistically, would be limited to single copy on centrelinePotentially 2 carriedPotentially 2 carried2 carried as per Mirage IIISPotential for 2 x SARH + 2 x IR?

Looking at this, one will see that whilst the AIM-7 might provide a better option, the Mirage III would probably still be limited to a single copy on the centreline. Likewise, the Swiss choice of the twin HM-55 probably does provide a good alternate option - I'm surprised more didn't consider the option - Sean can probably explain why (missile performance perhaps?).

EDIT: The only other option might be the AIM-9C SARH version. Perhaps a 'Soviet style' load out of 2 x IR AIM-9s and 2 x SARH AIM-9s could have been considered though using the below image of the Kfir as a guide, one would probably still be looking at giving up the external fuel tanks:

obiXlWUMDGz-85x51OUF3Hvj4is-jIg3mQpIOoqZi5rxcnYjU3fHbUJszoeIJ75pgi5xL4ncdHdONvYFui3-16xMV9Ivc2CZz_zIVorwAg
 
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H_K

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The standard Mirage III wing tanks in the interceptor role were only 500L. The centerline was tank was 1,300L; it was draggier than a pair of wing tanks but should allow for 2 Aim-7s under the wing.

Pic of the tanks below:
 

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Pioneer

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I think the combination of pylon space and physical size of the various SARH BVR missiles might play a large part here. If you consider the Mirage III pretty much always needed its wing pylon fuel tank to provide an acceptable operational range this pretty much reduces you to using the centreline unless one does go the Swiss option of using something such as the HM-55/AIM-26B or even AIM-4E/F.

Assuming this, it might also be interesting to do a comparison between the various realistic options at the time the Mirage III was in main operational service (I'm talking about the mid '60s - mid '70s (note that I have only looked at SARH options:

R.530
AIM-7E
AIM-4E
AIM-4F
HM-55/AIM-26B
AIM-9C
Length:3.28 m3.66 m2.18 m2.19 m2.16 m2.87 m
Wingspan:1.1 m1.02 m0.61 m0.61 m0.62 m0.63 m
Diameter:0.263 m0.203 m0.16 m0.17 m0.29 m0.13 m
Weight:192 kg197 kg63.5 kg68.9 kg117.3 kg88 kg
Speed:Mach 2.7Mach 4Mach 3Mach 3Mach 2Mach 2.5+
Max Range:20 km30 km13.8 km13.8 km19 km18 km
Warhead:27 kg30 kg4.67 kg3.9 kg22 kg11 kg
Comment:Realistically, would be limited to single copy on centrelinePotentially 2 carriedPotentially 2 carried2 carried as per Mirage IIISPotential for 2 x SARH + 2 x IR?

Looking at this, one will see that whilst the AIM-7 might provide a better option, the Mirage III would probably still be limited to a single copy on the centreline. Likewise, the Swiss choice of the twin HM-55 probably does provide a good alternate option - I'm surprised more didn't consider the option - Sean can probably explain why (missile performance perhaps?).

EDIT: The only other option might be the AIM-9C SARH version. Perhaps a 'Soviet style' load out of 2 x IR AIM-9s and 2 x SARH AIM-9s could have been considered though using the below image of the Kfir as a guide, one would probably still be looking at giving up the external fuel tanks:

obiXlWUMDGz-85x51OUF3Hvj4is-jIg3mQpIOoqZi5rxcnYjU3fHbUJszoeIJ75pgi5xL4ncdHdONvYFui3-16xMV9Ivc2CZz_zIVorwAg
Nice work GTX...now this has me thinking in regards to the HM-55 / Aim-26B Falcon... although it's reputation wasn't too 'Jack flash', or am I thinking in terms as a dogfight missile....?

As you'd most probably already appreciate GTX, interesting from an RAAF perspective, 'a RAAF delagation travelled to the Swiss Air Force Headquarters in Berne for discussions on possible Mirage developments, particularly in the Hughes TARAN radar/missile field. Approval was sought and obtained for the visit and a team of four flew to Switzerland. The Swiss were also very interested in a Rolls Royce [Avon] engine fit and indicated that they wouldb beglad to go along with such a development if Australia did likewise.'
(source: M. R. Susans, 1990. The RAAF Mirage Story).

I'm under the impression that the Australian government/RAAF selection of the Mirage IIIO(F) was intended to intercept and shoot down Indonesian, and to a lesser extent Soviet and PRC bomber's, as opposed to fighters. Hence two HM-55 / Aim-26B Falcon might might have suited this role better , especially when compared to one R530 missile.


Regards
Pioneer
 
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Pioneer

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The standard Mirage III wing tanks in the interceptor role were only 500L. The centerline was tank was 1,300L; it was draggier than a pair of wing tanks but should allow for 2 Aim-7s under the wing.

Pic of the tanks below:
Thanks again H_K for your input.
In the RAAF's perspective, and that's what I'm personally thinking, I'd think the need of all three droptanks would be paramount, in terms of operational range requirement.
Saying that, I like your analogy to gain Aim-7 capability!!

Regards
Pioneer
 
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Pioneer

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So I'm still searching this Mirage III issue of beyond visual range armament.. As het Swiss were inclined to use a two x four rocket cluster of RATO boosters for quick take off's, I'm wondering, going by the attached pictures, these RATO packs do appearthey utilise the same hardpoints as used for the two HM-55 / Aim-26B Falcon or are they attached elsewhere?

Another couple questionof if I may -
Was this RATO booster arrangement unique to Swiss requirements and modification, or was it an option for all potential customers purchasing the Mirage III/5?

I assume these RATO packs get jettersoned after take off?

Regards
Pioneer
 

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Archibald

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Well the Mirage III had rockets, but not RATO and not like this. The SEPR-841 / 844 was a big pack going on the centerline and used to fly above 60 000 ft.

The Swiss RATO packs looks more like the Mirage IV own RATO pack.
 

Pioneer

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Yes, thank you for your reply Archibald, I should have written 'presides the removableSEPR-841 / 844 pack'.
I think you're right in regards to the seemingly similar Mirage IV RATO packs!

Regards
Pioneer
 

dan_inbox

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Well the Mirage III had rockets, but not RATO and not like this. The SEPR-841 / 844 was a big pack going on the centerline and used to fly above 60 000 ft.

The Swiss RATO packs looks more like the Mirage IV own RATO pack.
The Swiss Mirage III rockets were for shorter-steeper take-offs (bases at bottom of Alpine valleys with high summits ~all around) and would have been long jettisonned at the time of intercept, whereas the French SEPR was for for use precisely during the intercept final phase.

See the background surroundings of Sion air force base, in the Rhône valley. Gotta clear those...
Swiss Dassault Mirage IIIRS jato Sion 1997.jpg
 

galgot

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Indeed strange to have these jettionnable RATO rockets for fast and steeper takeoff , say for an interception mission, if it occupies the point to be use for the Falcons for that interception...
So it would be, interception from deep down the valley, RATOs, guns and Sidewinders only ?
 

dan_inbox

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Note that my photo shows a III RS, recce, so not meant for interception anyway.

My understanding is that at the time of the canards upgrade, in case of war the plan was more for the ground-based air defenses to do the A-A intercept, while the Mirage IIIS would do the A-G punishing.
 

dan_inbox

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A bit OT, the pict is too nice not to post.
Indeed beautiful photo. In the original shape, before the 1988 canards. And with the SEPR optional pack fitted.

AFAIK J-2314 has been sold to a restaurant (Runway 34), de-canarded and put on display there.

Note that they don't punch off the RATO bottles
That video was shot at a display, Air97 in Sion. It'd be poor publicity to drop hot bottles on the spectators... (besides expensive)
 

GTX

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The High Performance Aerial Target System (HIPATS) - the banner was supposed to be deployed from the pod in flight then towed back to base and dropped.
The system was developed in Australia but never went into use.
 

galgot

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Thks. Nice part when the chase two seater makes a barrel roll and the back seater says "whooohoo" :p

Btw, interesting that these external tanks with the three fins are the supersonic droppable ones made in Israel. Had a discussion with someone else about that...
The French supersonic external tanks are not droppable and have no fins, they sit further in front on their pylons too. Like on the MIIIS in the photo upper on this page.
 
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