Dassault Mirage 3 NG
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Dassault|
Utilising the proven airframe of the Mirage IIIE, Dassault undertook a thorough-going modernisation of equipment and systems to produce the Mirage 3 NG which flew as a prototype on 21 December 1982. Introducing features intended to endow it with much improved air combat performance and survivability in air-ground operations, the Mirage 3 NG (the suffix signifying Nouvelle Generation) had non-retractable swept-back foreplanes, or canards, and highly-swept wing root leading edge extensions. It possessed a fly-by- wire control system derived from that of the Mirage 2000, provision for in-flight refuelling, a SNECMA Atar 9K-50 turbojet affording a full afterburning thrust of 7200kg, an advanced nav/attack system and optional forward-looking sensors, such as a modernised Cyrano IV radar, a laser rangefinder or Agave dual-role radar. Maximum take-off weight was increased by comparison with the Mirage IIIE or 5, four lateral stores stations were introduced on the fuselage, and performance improvements included (by comparison with the IIIE) a 20-25% gain in take-off distance, 40% in time to altitude, a 3050m increase in supersonic ceiling, a three-minute improvement in intercept time and comparably impressive gains in acceleration, instantaneous turn rate and combat air patrol time. No production order was placed for the Mirage 3 NG and only one prototype was tested.