On this day, in 1960, the Mirage III C made its first flight at Mérignac, with Jean Coureau at the controls.
Designed and built within the framework of the light interceptor program defined by the French Air Force after the Korea war (1950-1953), the Mirage III was a bomber fighter aircraft with a delta wing and a fuselage designed according to the area rule which gave it a distinctive waisted profile. Derived from the first Mirage formula with a Delta wing, the Mirage III is designed at the end 1955.
The Mirage III C was the interceptor version. CSF supervised the coordination of the weapons system. July 7, 1961, saw the first 1/2 Cigognes fighter squadron’s Mirage III C land in Dijon-Longvic airfield. The Mirage III entered operational service with the French Air Force on December 19 that same year, and with it, French fighter pilots entered the days of bi-sonic flight. From December 1962 onwards, four fighter squadrons flying Mirage III C aircraft were in a constant state of alert. One Mirage is ready in 5 minutes, and a second will assist it after 30 minutes.