The Mirage IIIO was a single seat all weather fighter bomber aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force. 100 aircraft were built with 98 were constructed under licence in Australia. The first 49 were Mirage IIIO F interceptors followed by 51 Mirage IIIO A fighter bombers with survivors
upgraded to a common standard later.
2 Operational Conversion Unit OCU at RAAF Base Williamtown began receiving the Mirage in 1964 with 75 Squadron becoming the first operational unit to equip with the Mirage fighter in 1965 followed by 76 Squadron in 1966. The first two seater Mirage IIID was accepted by the RAAF at RAAF Avalon on 10 November 1966 followed by a further nine over the next year.
In 1967 3 Squadron became the first unit to equip with the ground attack Mirage. In 1969 77 Squadron re-equipped and became the fourth RAAF Mirage squadron.
Six additional Mirage IIID trainers were delivered from August 1973 to January 1974 and enabled the retirement of the Sabre from operational fighter training.
The Whitlam Government defence cuts led to the disbandment of 76 Squadron in August 1973 with the remaining three squadrons continued operating the Mirage in air defence and ground attack based at RAAF Williamtown and RAAF Butterworth.
Several Mirage aerobatic teams were formed by 77 Squadron with the Deltas in 1971 followed by the Miracles in 1976 and athree-aircraft team of red white and blue aircraft for the 1981 air shows.
As 2 OCU began to transition to the F/A-18 Hornet in 1984 their Mirages were transferred to 77 Squadron ending up with some 40 on its strength making it the largest fighter squadron ever in the RAAF. In March 1986 79 Squadron activated at RAAF Butterworth with 3 Squadrons Mirages when they began conversion to the Hornet. 77 Squadron finally relinquished their Mirages in November 1987 converting to Hornets.
79 Squadron operated the Mirage until disbanding in April 1988 leaving only 75 Squadron at RAAF Darwin and Aircraft Research and Development Unit ARDU at RAAF Edinburgh as the remaining Mirage operators. In early September 1988 75 Squadron flew a formation of Mirages over the east coast state capitals as a farewell tour before the Squadron ceased Mirage operations on 30 September 1988. In October 1988 the remaining 75
Squadron Mirages were ferried to RAAF Woomera. The last RAAF Mirage flight was on 8 February 1989 when A3-101 was flown from ARDU at RAAF Edinburgh to RAAF Woomera to join 47 of the type in storage pending their disposal. In 1990 Pakistan purchased fifty RAAF Mirages including two stored at RAAF Point Cook.