Mirage IIICJ - 259 - 101 Sqn. IAF - Hatzor AB - Israel - June 1967 - Six Day War
The "Shahak" (heavens), as the Mirage was known in Israel, was the first IAF fighter equipped with air-to-air missiles. The Mirage IIICJ was given the Hebrew name ‘Shahak’ (Skyblazer) due to its very inspirational Mach II performance and highly polished metal finish.
The French-built Dassault Mirage IIICJ (known as “Shahak”, or “Skyblazer”, in Israeli service) was the principal front-line fighter used for Israel’s air campaign in 1967. Specially developed Israeli anti-runway bombs and local modifications to the gunsight made it devastatingly effective in the hands of Israeli pilots for both strike and air combat roles.
IAF Mirages are best known for their conduct during the 1967 Six Day War. Mirages spearheaded the decisive pre-emptive strike against Arab airfields, operation "Moked", decimating Arab air forces, and completely overwhelmed the few enemy aircraft that survived to challenge the IDF. Israel entered with war with 65 airworthy examples and all but 12 participated in the strikes launched on the morning of June 5, 1967. Four by four, the entire IAF fighter inventory descended on Egyptian Air Force bases, destroying the majority of its aircraft on the ground. Mirages, the IAF primary fighter of the war, were tasked with attacking the farthest and best defended air bases: Abu-Sweir, Cairo West, Helwan and more. When operation "Moked" was turned against other Arab nations, Mirages were once again in the forefront of the fighting, attacking Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air bases as well. Having destroyed dozens of enemy aircraft during the first day's activities, 4 Mirages were also lost. More Mirages were lost during the remainder of the war, one of them in a disastrous sortie against Iraq's H3. By the end of the war, Mirages had also shot down 48 Arab fighters, some of those aircraft that had survived the initial strikes. The "Shahak" has also been credited with keeping Lebanon out of the war by downing a Lebanese Hawker Hunter near its border on the morning of June 5.
2. The Kit
This kit is based on the Mirage IIIC that was initially released in 2004. The weekend edition of this kit has been released before though that was almost ten years ago. The kit comes molded in light gray plastic, with a total of 167 parts on eight sprues, plus a small sprue of clear parts. The decals are printed by Eduard and are opaque and in register. In summary, this kit requires some modelling skills to fix the fit issues around the air intakes and the wing-to-fuselage join. However, it is not beyond the skills of the average modeler to fix (or prevent) these issues.
3. The gallery photos for this model