- How many French do you need to protect Paris?
- No one knows, they never succeeded.
- No one knows, they never succeeded.
The French are fighting it does not matter, but the French equipment is fighting well. Combat aircraft "Dassault Aviation" are distinguished by one major feature: each of the models produced has an amazingly victorious history!
When Soviet and American aircraft manufacturers were forced to "promote" their goods, using loud slogans, political levers, and even completely supply the Allies with rare technology in the form of "fraternal help" and deliberately bad loans, dozens of countries bought all French aircraft continents of the earth.
Reputation did not need the praises and stands of air shows. In terms of the number of wars won and air victories won, Dassault's aircraft did not have competitors throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Whoever sat at the steering wheel of the “Misters”, “Mirages” and “Hurricanes” - the victory was in his pocket.
The real benefit turned out to be more expensive than all political considerations: the French armed everyone who was willing to pay. "Mirages" were bought by pro-Soviet Libya, pro-American Australia, neutral Switzerland, and distant Brazil. And, of course, troubled Israel - it was the Hel-Avir pilots who made a deafening advertisement for French aircraft.
June 5, 1967 for three hours of hostilities Israeli aviation defeated 19 airfields and disabled more than 300 Arab aircraft. Those of the few who managed to rise into the air were again thrown from heaven to earth - Dassault Mister IV, Mirage-IIICJ and MD-450 "Hurricane" seized absolute dominance in the air.
The main character, of course, was the legendary "Mirage". Fighter with a triangular wing, which became a symbol of the rebirth of France from the decline and shame of the past world war.
I saw the "Mirage" - do not turn!
Soviet military advisers recommended the use of the following tactics: a lightning strike from a vantage point and an immediate exit from a battle in the afterburner, using the best thrust-to-hand ratio of the MiG-21. Otherwise, “the manufacturer is not responsible”: Mirage-IIICJ was not inferior in maneuverability to the MiG, while it had the most powerful gun armament (2х30 mm built-in DEFA guns against one 23 mm GSH-23). The smaller thrust-to-weight ratio and the limit on permissible overload (6,7g versus 8,5g in the MiG-21) were compensated for by competent tactics, experience and better training for pilots of the Israeli Air Force.
All this gave a logical result: July 30 1970, during the famous battle over the Sinai desert, Israeli fighters shot down five MiGs under the control of Soviet pilots, without any loss from their side.
Mirage IIIСJ 101 th Israeli Air Force Squadron with marks of 13 won aerial victories
Now it becomes obvious - the designers of "Dassault Aviation" managed to create the most balanced 2-generation fighter. Unlike the French, the Yankees hurried to bet on long-range air combat using rocket weapons - and lost. The level of technology 60-s proved insufficient to translate this idea into reality. Heavy "Phantoms" had a hard time in "dog dumps", where often the winner was a light maneuverable MiG. At the same time, the Soviet approach to building the 2 fighter generation also cannot be considered rational: the RP-21 primitive radar sight (later - Sapphire Radar) and only two short-range SDs - this was clearly not enough.
In contrast to the light fast-moving MiG, “sharpened” for fights at short distances using cannon armament, the French fighter was equipped with an effective missile weapon system:
- Thompson-CTF "Cyrano" radar with an instrumental range of 50 km (in the RP-22 "Sapphire" radar - 30 km, while the real range of both was smaller in 2). In addition to detecting airborne targets, the Cyrano radar had an air-to-surface mode: warning of obstacles exceeding a predetermined height and detecting radio-contrast objects on the surface of the earth;
- Mirage III was one of the first fighters in the world to receive an indicator on the windshield (HUD). The system under the designation CSF97 allowed to reduce the information load on the pilot, who now no longer had to periodically break away from monitoring the air situation and translate his eyes on the dashboard. Fighter piloting was simplified, its effectiveness in air combat and in the attack of ground targets increased;
- three air-to-air missiles, in addition to two standard Sidewinders with IC GOS, the Matra R.511 (or R.530) with a semi-active radar GPS and a powerful 30 kg warhead was suspended on the central ventral node.
Of the other French surprises, the Mirage standard kit included the SEPR 841 multiple activation rocket accelerator (or 844), which used nitric acid as an oxidizer (ordinary kerosene served as the second component). 80 seconds of solid fire! The practical ceiling of the Mirage lay above 22 000 m, the dynamic reached 29 000 meters.
Dassault Mirage IIIS Swiss Air Force
The tasks of a multipurpose fighter were not limited to intercepting air targets. Within half an hour, five technicians could turn the Mirage into an attack aircraft or bomber by installing a suspended cannon container, an extra 340 l fuel tank (instead of a rocket scout), bombs on the ventral pylon, and NAR units on the underwing points of the suspension.
A bright victorious history, high flight characteristics, perfect avionics, a wide range of ammunition, sets of quick-detachable equipment (calculators, PTB, equipment for aerial photography) - all this contributed to the fierce success of Mirage with foreign customers. Some aircraft, on request, could be equipped with an in-flight refueling system. There were special reconnaissance modifications with the “R” index, including the most advanced modification for the French Air Force - the Mirage-IIIRD with a side-looking radar. On the basis of the standard design was created supersonic "Vertikalka" Mirage-IIIV (however, not found success with customers).
The economic factor was also important: the Mirage-III was two times cheaper than the American Phantom (≈1 million dollars versus 2,4 million dollars in 1965 prices of the year). It was also easier to operate and less demanding on the quality of airfields (the pressure in the tires of the chassis wheels was only 5,6 - 9,5 kg / sq. Cm).
The French specifically took care of "our younger brothers." For those who lacked neither intelligence nor talent even to maintain a simple, like a stool, the Mirage-III, its more simplified version of the Mirage-5 was created.
Radar "Cyrano" replaced the primitive station "Aida", the total simplification were other components of the aircraft. Most of the "Mirage-5" was delivered without radar at all - the electronic equipment from the cabin compartment, where the additional fuel tank was located, moved to the vacant place under the nose fairing. The internal fuel supply increased by 32%, the maintenance labor intensity was reduced to ridiculous 15 man-hours per flight hour 1. The result was a cheap and angry means for brutal regional "showdown." The buyers of Zaire, Colombia, Gabon, Libya, Venezuela, Pakistan were also well matched ...
However, the Mirage-5 was not created for third world countries. Initially, the Israeli Air Force showed interest in this machine, requiring an unpretentious strike aircraft to operate in the daytime, in the cloudless sky of Palestine. After the embargo imposed on 1968 in Israel, with the help of Mossad agents, I stole technical documentation for Mirage-5 and set up its unlicensed production under the designation IAI Nesher. At the end of the 70, Israeli cars underwent a major overhaul and were sold to Argentina, changing their name to Dagger. During its long career, the Neshery / Daggeri still managed to fool around in the Falklands, having bombed a dozen ships of the British squadron!
Dagger (Nesher, Mirage 5) Argentine Air Force. In the bow there is a black silhouette of the attacked ship.
The first pre-production Mirage-IIIA took off on May 12 of the year 1958. Serial production continued for 29 years - from 1960 to 1989. Various versions of the fighter were in service with 20 countries of the world. The licensed assembly of the Mirage was conducted in Australia and Switzerland, the unlicensed assembly in Israel (IAI Nesher and IAI Kfir).
Mirage III was the best achievement of Dassau Aviation. But not the only French masterpiece!
It happens that losing a war is a real victory. For one beaten, two non-beat men are given — this is what the events in the South Atlantic have demonstrated, when the Argentine military aircraft nearly defeated the British fleet.
The Falkland Conflict (1982) was a new triumph for French weapons. And let this time the victory went to the enemy, but how beautiful they lost! All the world TV channels bypassed the shots of the burning destroyer Sheffield and the charred bulk of the Atlantic Conveyor helicopter carrier.
The Argentines had only five serviceable Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard and, to them, five Ekoset anti-ship missiles. Five shots. Three hits. Two trophies. Losses from the Argentine side were absent.
It is easy to imagine how events could have developed if all the 14 ordered Super Etendar and 24 AMoX39 Exochet missiles had arrived in Argentina! The British squadron would have fallen in full force in the vast Atlantic.
For the general hysteria around the death of "Sheffield" no one paid attention that the rocket hit the target did not explode. However, the reliability of fuses has always remained a sore subject for ammunition developers. The Falkland events once again raised the tarnished status of the French aviation industry to heights: orders for the Exochet anti-ship missiles fell like a horn of plenty.
"Dassault Breguet Super Etendar" Navy of Argentina
Of no less interest was the carrier itself - the Super Etendar supersonic fighter-bomber (the "Etendar" from French - the "battle flag"). The world's first specialized carrier of anti-ship missiles among tactical aircraft. Powerful radar "Agava", supersonic speed, in-flight refueling system, ground-based and carrier-based - there were plenty of trumps.
Fighter-bombers of this type are still in service with the naval forces of France and Argentina. The French "Super Etendary" periodically operate from the deck of the aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle"; the last time they went to battle in 2011, during the NATO operation against Libya.
Alas, the “Battle Standard” did not gain much success in the international arms market. In addition to the above-mentioned Argentina, the remarkable fighter-bomber interested only Saddam Hussein - in the beginning of the 80-ies. The Iraqi Air Force leased five French Super Etendars.
The reason for the weak export of the Super Etendar is in no way connected with shortcomings in its design. Specialized deck missile was not bad. But the French firm "Dassault" could offer customers something more interesting.
The rumble of aircraft engines, gushing blood, sand crunching on the teeth and shooting to the blue in the face - the war became his home.
The massacre in Western Sahara, the civil war in Angola, the Ecuadorian-Peruvian conflict Alto Senep, the child-Libyan war, the eight-year Iran-Iraq massacre, the Gulf war, the fighting of the Greek and Turkish air forces over the Aegean Sea, and again Libya, where during the civil war, the F1 Mirages were already used by both sides.
That was another masterpiece by Dassault, which absorbed the richest experience of the French aircraft industry. The old Mirage-III was revived in a new look: the classic layout, the new modification of the proven Atar-09C TRD, the modern version of the Cyrano radar (IV, IVM or IVMR) with new features and an increased detection range. Digital avionics, new precision weapons and high thrust-to-weight ratio. Combat radius doubled. Duty time in the air has tripled!
The F1 Mirage was adopted by the Air Force in 14 countries of the world. By the end of the twentieth century, multi-purpose fighter-bombers of this type were gradually superseded by the more modern Mirage-2000; nevertheless, the air forces of five states still continue to operate this legendary air-hit killer with their hands in the blood.
One of the strongest episodes in the combat career of the F1 Mirage is related to the events of the “tanker war” in the Persian Gulf: 17 May 1987, a single Iraqi Air Force fighter-bomber shot the American warship USS Stark.
The frigate lost 37 man of his crew, the total damage from the attack amounted to 142 million dollars. The Iraqi Mirage was able to escape retaliation without hindrance, hiding from F-15 interceptors in the airspace of its country. Vive la France!
In high tech glamor
Outside the XXI century. Dassault continues to amaze the world with its achievements.
The French are in no hurry to join the race to create the best fighter of the "fifth generation". Instead, they, without further ado, brought the Rafale multi-role fighter to perfection and won the “tender of the century” for the supply of 126 fighters for the Indian Air Force.
It is not known for certain whether the “Rafale” is the most elegant among all modern fighters. Disputes on this account have been going on for a single year. But one thing is certain: the French fighter-bomber is one of the most high-tech production aircraft of the 4 + generation (pluses can be put up to infinity).
We have before us the next reincarnation of the Mirage-III - the classic French “tailless” with GIP, which advantageously combines high flight characteristics and the most modern avionics.
Thales RBE2 AA radar with active phased array antenna (AFAR), aircraft voice control system and integrated Optronique Secteur Frontal (OSF) optoelectronic aiming system (OSF) - few of Rafal's competitors boast such equipment. Next is the “gentleman's kit” of any modern fighter, performed at the highest technological level: the SPECTRA threat warning system, coupled with an active jam station; secure data exchange channels, Damocles sighting containers, AREOS reconnaissance equipment containers and any other quick-release equipment upon customer’s request. 14 suspension units, combat load weight up to 9,5 tons!
The widest range of weapons: “Rafale” is able to carry and use almost any precision weapons created on both sides of the ocean. Laser guided bombs such as Peyway, Storm Shadow cruise missiles, AASM high-precision ammunition family, MICA and Meteor air-to-air missiles, Exocset anti-ship missiles, all the way up to ASMP-A missiles. Cannon armament has not been forgotten - on the fighter, the 30 mm gun with 125 ammunition shells is installed on a fighter.
The young plane managed to acquire a solid combat experience that any of his peers would envy: business trips to the Afghan mountains, bombing Libya, shooting black guys in the African jungle (Operation Serval, Mali, 2013).
An excellent pedigree made itself felt: a year ago, the video of the Rafal training battle and (oh, horror!) F-22 "Raptor" leaked to the Internet. On the frames it is noticeable, as the Frenchman confidently hangs on the tail of the Raptor, the result of 4: 1 in favor of Rafal.
The old rule is still in force: "I saw the" Mirage ", do not turn!"
PS The company Dassault was named after one of the leaders of the French Resistance, Paul Blok - the brother of the founder of the company Marcel Blok. His underground name was Char d'Assault (from Fr. "tank").
Deck version of Dassault Rafale M