The Dassault Mirage IIING: An Evolution of the Mirage Fighter Aircraft Series.
The Dassault Mirage IIING was a significant evolution of the Mirage fighter aircraft line, designed to enhance the entire series of Mirage III planes. Developed by the French group Dassault Aviation, the Mirage IIING was a single-seat, single-engine aircraft with delta wings that stemmed from the “Mirage III” series.
One of the major advancements in the Mirage IIING was the incorporation of the fly-by-wire (FBW) control system, which was later utilized in the modern Mirage 2000 attack fighter. Additionally, the aircraft was fitted with new canards positioned above the air intakes on either side of the fuselage, among other improvements. These enhancements were integrated into the existing airframe of the “Mirage 50” development.
The Mirage 50 itself was a derivative of the 1970s Mirage V/5 attack platforms, which retained the excellent characteristics of its predecessor, the Mirage III. The aircraft was equipped with updated avionics, including the Cyrano IV radar, and the SNECMA Atar 09K-50 afterburning turbojet engine to increase its maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and consequently, its warload capacity and rate of climb. Beyond the basic single-seat configuration, Dassault also offered a two-seat model to distribute pilot workload and enhance situational awareness.
With 582 units produced, the Mirage 50 received considerably fewer orders than the Mirage III (1,422 units). Nevertheless, Dassault continued to evolve the series, and additional work led to an advanced form of the Mirage IIIE production model, dubbed the “Mirage III NG” (NG = “Nouvelle Génération” / “Next Generation”).
The IIIE/IIING underwent a complete overhaul of its systems and subsystems, largely borrowed from the Mirage 2000. It featured intake leading-edge extensions and continued to utilize the Mirage series’ characteristics – a single rudder-fin, tricycle landing gear, and delta wing planform. A notable difference in the main aircraft was the higher angle of incidence near the wing roots. Moreover, the Mirage IIING was given in-flight refueling capabilities similar to those of the Mirage 2000. Power was supplied by a SNECMA Atar 9K-50 afterburning turbojet engine, generating 15,873 lb of thrust. Four weapon hardpoints were also introduced (along the fuselage centerline, while retaining the underwing positions) to expand the aircraft’s ordnance-carrying capabilities and tactical value (due to an increase in MTOW).
The first flight of the Mirage IIING (in prototype form) took place on May 27, 1981. However, the market showed limited interest in this “advanced Mirage III,” and the development of this type of aircraft was eventually abandoned, with only one flight-worthy prototype completed for testing. Nonetheless, the work carried out on this aircraft influenced the Mirage III versions sold to Brazil and Venezuela.
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