in PAF service photo album
After their retirement from service in
1987/88 forty eight RAAF Mirages were flown to Woomera for storage. They were
offered for sale for A$100 million. On 15th April 1990 a contract was
signed with Pakistan for fifty aircraft including ground equipment,
engines, drop tanks and spares. (Pakistan Air Force project Blue
Flash-V) The figure reported here was A$36 million however a number of
Pakistani sources state the figure was A$27 million with the payment
spread over seven years at approx. A$3.5 million per year. The ground
equipment and spares package has been described as "a virtual gift".
should be mentioned that India was not at all happy with this deal and
During October 1990 the Mirages were transported by road from Woomera to
Whyalla. Two complete aircraft at RAAF Museum Point Cook (A3-13 and A3-84)
were also transported as well as five incomplete examples from Darwin,
Orchard Hills and Dubbo. In November 1990 they were shipped by sea from Whyalla to
Karachi. From Karachi harbour they were transported on trailers to PAF
Base Masroor. After some dismantling they were flown by C-130 Hercules
to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex
at Kamra. There at the
Mirage Rebuild Factory it was discovered that these ex-RAAF Mirages
were in far better condition than expected and some did not require a
complete overhaul. A new 2P+ inspection was developed for the initial
recovery of thirty three aircraft. Another twelve aircraft had the
General Overhaul and were eventually bought into service, some fitted
with zero timed wings sourced from South Africa.
Of the fifty complete ex-RAAF Mirages acquired forty five eventually entered PAF service
(details below). The remaining five were used for spares.
Thirty two single seat aircraft were later upgraded to ROSE 1
(Retrofit of Strike Element) the last one completed in June 1998.
This avionics upgrade included
multifunction display, HOTAS, HUD, and self
protection systems (RWR, chaff and flares).
Further upgrades include Grifo-M radar and AIM-9L AAMs.
(Sources differ as to if 32 or 33 received the ROSE 1 upgrade. I
believe that only 32 received the upgrade because one aircraft crashed
before it could be upgraded).
The ROSE 1 Mirages (redesignated in PAF service as Mirage IIIEA) were
allocated to No.7 Squadron (Bandits) at Masroor in 1996 and to the Combat
Commanders School (CCS)
at Mushaf in 2003
Seven dual seat aircraft (redesignated in PAF service as Mirage IIIDA)
were allocated to No.22 Squadron OCU and No.5 Squadron (Falcons).
In June 2010
No.5 Squadron re-equipped with F-16s,
(new build aircraft, not the aircraft that New Zealand was to buy which
also went to Pakistan).
Any surviving IIIDA serve with No.15 Squadron (Cobras) at PAF Base
The PAF also acquired the RAAF Mirage Photo Reconnaissance equipment and
four aircraft configured in this role served with No.5 Squadron
In 2004 and 2007 Pakistan acquired 50 Mirages and 150 sealed engines
These aircraft were to be converted to components to extend the
life of the PAF Mirage fleet including the ex-RAAF examples.
However as with the ex-RAAF many Libyan Mirages are flying again.
In 2009 the Mirage IIIEAs started to be equipped with an in-flight
90-583 serving as the prototype.
PAF acquired four
Ilyushin Il-78P Midas tanker aircraft from
Ukraine and plan to equip 30 Mirages for in-flight
In 2016 the upgraded Mirage IIIEAs began
flying with Ra'ad Air Launched Cruise Missiles which are believed to be
capable of carrying a nuclear warhead
There have been many
losses of PAF
Mirages. The list isn't all that specific about which model was
involved. Only two are confirmed as ex-RAAF with only one identified.
There are probably others lost. (Indeed 90-610 ex-A3-110 was lost
in March 2015 and has not yet been included on the list)
With the Pakistan being the world's largest
current user of Mirages (200+ aircraft purchased from France, Australia,
Lebanon, Spain and Libya), holding an extensive spare parts inventory
and operating a dedicated Mirage Rebuild Factory the ex RAAF Dassault
and GAF built Mirages look like they will still be flying well past
their 50th birthdays. A PAF
official said that a
Mirage needs to undergo overhaul after every ten to twelve years
or after every 1800 to 2400 flight hours. A
Mirage is completely overhauled in about one year.
They are expected to remain in PAF service until
replaced by the
JF-17 Thunder in 5 to 10 years time
50 complete aircraft exported
by sea, (48 from Whyalla, South
Australia and 2 from Geelong, Victoria)
40 single seat Mirage IIIO stored at Woomera
-6, -9, -10, -11, -12, -15, -17, -19, -21, -22, -23, -24, -25, -27,
-31, -33, -34, -35,
-38, -39, -49, -53, -54, -56, -60, -62, -65, -68, -71, -73, -81, -83, -86, -87, -88, -93, -96,
seat Mirage IIID stored at Woomera
-103, -104, -108, -110, -111, -112, -113.
7 into service, 1 used for spares.
Plus 2 complete single seat Mirage IIIO taken from RAAF Museum Point
Cook A3-13, -84 where moved by road and then shipped by sea from
32 eventually upgraded
to ROSE 1 standard, 1 crashed prior to
ROSE 1 upgrade. 4 Photo
Recon. conversions, 5 used for spares.
incomplete aircraft/fuselages; A3-7
-78 (Dubbo), -57, -91
Pakistan Air Force
90-5xx, were xx is the last two digits of the RAAF serial.
(I have been informed some may have had 89-5xx but have seen no evidence
90-6xx were xx was the last two digits of the RAAF serial
(Not to be
six dual seat Mirages with 8xx serials.
These are ex-French Air Force IIIBEs.
Their full PAF serial is 96-8xx were the xx is the last two digits of
the construction number ie 96-860 is c/n 260, 96-875 is c/n 275 and so
As can be appreciated PAF
information is scarce and the following list is derived from publicly
Any further information, corrections and comments are welcome.
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