Mirage IIIO in Australian Service

By the mid-1950s the RAAF started to consider a replacement for the Australian produced CAC Sabre. A joint evaluation team from the Departments of Air and Supply toured Europe and North America in 1960 to consider Australia’s options.

At the top of the list was the American Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and the French Dassault Mirage III.  In March 1961, following an intensive sales effort by the French, the Mirage was chosen as the first supersonic fighter for Australia. An order for thirty was placed, with subsequent orders seeing the number increase to 100 Mirage IIIO fighter-bombers and sixteen Mirage IIID two-seat operational trainers.