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Thrifty at 50: How the Pakistan Air Force keeps ageing Mirages flying

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posted on May, 2 2018 @ 04:24 AM
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This is a pretty interesting article with lots of beautiful photos of Mirage's being repaired in Pakistan. The freshly painted Mirage is a beautiful aircraft.


The sprawling complex at Kamra, west of Islamabad, reverberates at the thundering take-off of a Mirage Rose-1, the latest ageing fighter jet to have been gutted and reassembled by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Fifty years after Pakistan bought its first Mirages, many planes in the venerable fleet are still being patched up, overhauled and upgraded for use in combat, years after conventional wisdom dictates they should be grounded.

www.dawn.com...


According to Wikipedia, the PAF has the following Mirage's.

Combat AIrcraft:
Mirage 5 --- 5EF/F/PA --- x90
Mirage III --- IIIEP/OF/RP --- x90

Trainer Aircraft:
Mirage 5 --- 5DPA2 --- x90
Mirage III --- IIIBE/D/DP --- x90

Different Wikipedia articles give different numbers, so I welcome corrections.


edit on 2/5/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 2 2018 @ 04:41 AM
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I gotta be honest, I don't like that airplane. I don't know if they still fly them, but the Italians brought their F104's to TLP in Belgium in 99 I think it was. That was cool as those things were from the 60's and still going strong. They had just put a little GPS receiver on top...reminded me of something on my car!

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 05:04 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

Very cool article with some very cool pictures. It would seem from the pictures at least that the project is being handled with care. If this project is handled correctly I see no reason why this airframe can’t keep going. I mean we keep old cars going though those are not nearly as complicated as a freaking jet lol. But with the know how and time I am sure it can and will be done.



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: Allaroundyou

If this project is handled correctly I see no reason why this airframe can’t keep going.

Because if you read the last part of the article, despite the careful rebuild process reliability is only slightly better, and I would be surprised if they would survive long against a modern 4th Gen. Attrition is also seeing the force eaten away year by year. Pakistan needs a new airframe so they can retire the Mirage fleet. What that is, what they need and what they can afford are difficult to judge. I doubt they will rely solely on the JF-17 though.



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz
They always were a pretty looking aircraft. I remember seeing them operational at RAAF Williamtown in the 80's. Makes you wonder doesn't it C0bzz how many ex RAAF Mirage III's are still flying in Pakistan Air Force colours.



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: thebozeian

According to this site:


Single seat; 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 of that myself)

Dual seat; 90-6xx were xx was the last two digits of the RAAF serial
(Not to be confused with the 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 on.)


www.adf-serials.com...

So the aircraft at the top of first article I linked (90-538) and the aircraft towards the bottom (90-583) are ex-RAAF.

From Wiki:


In 1991, the PAF bought 50 Australian Mirage IIIO/D. 45 of the 50 Dassault Mirage III fighters received from Australia were found to be suitable for service with the PAF, 12 of them were overhauled at PAC and made operational. After being inspected, the remaining 33 were selected for upgrade under Project ROSE. 33 of the ex-Australian Dassault Mirage IIIO/D aircraft of the PAF were modified to ROSE I standard. The cockpit was modernized with a new head-up display (HUD), "hands on throttle and stick" (HOTAS) controls, new multi-function displays (MFD) and radar altimeter and a Sagem nav/attack system. New navigation systems, including an inertial navigation system and GPS system, were also installed. Defensive systems upgrades consisted of a new radar warning receiver (RWR), electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite and counter-measure dispensing system, dispensing decoy flares and chaff to confuse enemy missiles and radar.

en.wikipedia.org...


They even added A2A refueling equipment to them...


Yeah, wonder how many are left.

Part of me wishes we got the Mirage 2000 instead of the Hornet. And the Rafale instead of the Super Hornet.

Also looks like I will be in Paris for Bastille day....
edit on 2/5/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 02:13 PM
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Interesting read.

I am surprised the air-frames have anything left to them and haven't been over stressed over the years. Nice find.

I am also surprised that the F-104S were in service to 2004.. did..not..know that.. that was very cool as well.



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 03:10 PM
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Pakistan is replacing all Mirage with the JF-17 which is pretty equivalent, if not better than the Mirage. Same single engine.

Pakistan is still using F-16.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 05:30 PM
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originally posted by: Grimmley
Interesting read.

I am surprised the air-frames have anything left to them and haven't been over stressed over the years. Nice find.

I am also surprised that the F-104S were in service to 2004.. did..not..know that.. that was very cool as well.


I read that it was the engines and landing gear that took all of the stress during regular flight. Just about everything can be stripped down and replaced.

Like that quote from Trigger in "Only Fools and Horses" - "I've used the same brush for the past 20 years. Only had the replace the brush four times and the handle six times".



posted on May, 2 2018 @ 06:58 PM
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In normal level flight at cruise an aircraft isnt stressed much at all.Most of the forces that occur to an air frame are at take off and landing cycles and at High G maneuvers.



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 01:30 AM
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originally posted by: Grimmley
I am also surprised that the F-104S were in service to 2004.. did..not..know that.. that was very cool as well.


The S was something else. They used to embarrass USAF F-4's all the time. Even new Eagle drivers at Bitburg.



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 04:31 AM
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originally posted by: thebozeian
a reply to: C0bzz
They always were a pretty looking aircraft. I remember seeing them operational at RAAF Williamtown in the 80's. Makes you wonder doesn't it C0bzz how many ex RAAF Mirage III's are still flying in Pakistan Air Force colours.


There is definitely one, it stands guard at the gate!



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 05:53 AM
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a reply to: Forensick



One outside RAAF base Edinburgh



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 05:53 AM
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Ooops double .
edit on 3-5-2018 by hutch622 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: stormcell

I was thinking more on the actual frame itself not so much the easily replaceable parts, tho I am no air frame and power plant tech in any way shape or form lol.



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 01:58 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

That would have been entertaining to watch lol



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: Forensick
Yes I have seen it quite a few times, there is also another in the RAAF museum inside. There also used to be one outside the Orchard Hills armament depot in western Sydney but I think it might not be there anymore. There is still talk of at least one being returned to flight worthy status as a flying museum piece, not sure how that project currently stands though.



posted on May, 3 2018 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: hutch622
Ahh yes, I remember when that bird was still flying with the RAAF ARDU flight. There was a lovely pic of it flying inverted at low level on the cover of Australian Aviation magazine in the mid to late 80's. I think that might be the last Australian built Mirage actually, 115 rings a bell.



posted on May, 4 2018 @ 04:03 AM
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There is still talk of at least one being returned to flight worthy status as a flying museum piece, not sure how that project currently stands though.

Apparently...



posted on May, 4 2018 @ 04:12 AM
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a reply to: thebozeian

I remember them being in Woomera in the 80s , testing the weapons or systems the f18s were going to be using or something along those lines . We would be coming back from the range head and they would give us our own little sonic boom experience . Spent more time looking in the rear vision mirrors than the road ahead .



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