- Kit manufacture: Kinetic
- Scale: 1/148
- Type: Mirage IIIS
- Extras used: Matterhorn Circle Decals, Master Model Pitot Tube
- Paints and colours used: AK Xtreme Metal; Tamija, Mr.Hobby Color, Vallejo, Flory Wash, Oils,
- Kit No: 48058
I grew up with this beautiful aircraft wich was based in Emmen, the home base of the Patrouille Suisse.
Basically the Mirage IIIS is an E airframe with some little modifications to make it mountain going. The dimensions of the Mirage IIIE were simply too high and too long to enable the Operation from the mountain bases and the caverns. The external changes are a longer nose gear fork to lift the nose and lower the tail while towing the aircraft into the caverns and the radar nose had to be foldable. The inside of the aircraft was a very different story.
Dassault build two prototypes Mirage IIIS 'sans electronique'. J-2301 made its maiden flight on December 13"', 1963 and the second aircraft on January 8"', 1964. After delivery to F +W, the components of the TARAN System were built in Step by Step into the second prototype J-2302, The first flight with the new radar System took place on April 20", 1964 at the hands of Dassault fest pilot Jean Coureau.
After 47 flights, J-2302 was dismantled and shipped to Holloman Air Base, New Mexico where Hughes Electronics had a facility. The task was to bring the Hughes TARAN System to perform as specified under the contract. With the TARAN System also came the Hughes HM-55S / AIM-26B Falcon. The Integration testing of the TARAN System lasted for two years and required 295 test flights including numerous live firings. The Holloman Mirage returned to Switzerland August 20'^ 1966. The whole process was a huge technological step forward for Switzerland, advancing into the top rankings of the air forces. This however had ha fantastic price tag and the Order of 100 aircraft had to be reduced to 36 Mirage IIIS. Probably, the Mirage IIIS was the finest equipped Mirage of all Mirage lll's and remained in Service for 33 years. The cold war has melted. Looking backwards it may feel unbelievable, that the leading men of those days have made a 'nuclear ready' aircraft possible for a small country like Switzerland. The Mirage IIIS never fired a shot in anger. After testing in Holloman, J-2302 remained with the GRD (Gruppe für Rüstungsdienste) or the former KTA. It's most noticed role was as the test aircraft for the C70 canards for the Mirage IIIS & RS during 1984 until 1986.
(Text by Matterhorn Circle next the Decalsheet)
Location: Lucerne CH
On The bench: 1/48 Airfix Westland Lynx, 1/48 Eduard Harrier GR Mk.7, 1/32 Tamiya Mustang P-51 Swiss Version, 1/8 Revell Jaguar E-Type, 1/8 Pocher Rolls-Royce Ambassador 1933, 1/8 Pocher Fiat F-2 130 HP Racer 1907, Kittyhawk F-35B Lightning II, 1/48 Tamiya F-16 C/N Aggressor, 1/48 Tamiya Mustang P-51B