On this day, in 1967, the Mirage 5 made its first flight in Melun-Villaroche piloted by Hervé Leprince-Ringuet.
In the mid-1960s, a new Mirage III derivative was introduced which enjoyed enormous export success: the Mirage 5. On July 9, 1965, the management of the Corporation’s General Technical Department decided on the definition of a Mirage III E with a simplified layout. This low altitude tactical support and patrol aircraft was named the Mirage 5. In place of the radar, the nose cone was to be fitted with the electronic navigation and attack equipment, thereby providing space for extra fuel. More attachment points were provided for external loads, while the booster rocket was removed.
The result was a less expensive aircraft, with 32% more fuel capacity than the Mirage III C and capable of carrying up to 14 bombs, not to mention a wealth of combinatory possibilities with numerous load configurations. A total 517 units have been produced for 11 different countries. The Mirage 5 is Dassault’s most widely exported combat aircraft.
The Mirage III/5/50 family points to France’s high-ranking position among the world’s industrial nations. A total 1 401 Mirage III/5/50, in 90 different versions, have been built since 1958. They have served in 21 countries around the world and clocked a combined 3 million flying hours.