Mirage IIIE/DBR- The center of Brazil defender 

by  Marcelo Ribeiro © 2003

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An historical summary about the only “Mach 2” fighter, that serves the Brazilian Air Force:
It's quite impossible that somebody interested in the aviation, has never heard about the Mirage fighters. This name, is a real legend inside the world military aviation, and Brazil is surely, one of the countries, that turned out to be marked by this aircraft's history.

In 2002, after continuous 30years services, the FAB Mirage IIIEBR/DBR, is, undoubtedly, one of the most important aero weapons in Latin America. In Brazil, the F-103E/D- as it's officially called by the FAB- is engaged in defending the country central region and its Capital City.

Since its arrival to Brazil, in October 1972, they were based in the Anapolis Air Base at Goias state, next to Brasilia. The Mirage(s) IIIE/D from the FAB, are nowadays, the spine of the 1° GDA group.



When becoming operational by the early´70s, the Mirage(s) IIIDBR together with their two seater brothers, were assigned to the recently created 1° ALADA, also based in Anapolis, This unit would be responsible of the maintenance, equipment and flights of the new F-103E/D that belonged to the Brazilian Air Force. At that time, the MirageIII had an insuperable reputation compared with other western fighters, especially owing to the fact that happened a few years before, when the Israeli Mirage III and their pilots, had become famous as terrible fighters, during the Six Days War, in 1967.

Emblema de la 1era. ALADA


Those first Mirage IIIE/DBR arrived to the country with a whole aluminium finishing, and with red areas over the engine air intakes, behind the canopy and on the wings. This paint scheme was used until the early ´70s (however, at the end of the ´80s, some aircrafts painted with this scheme could still be seen).

In the first purchase, 12 single-seaters Mirage IIIEBR, and 4 double-seaters IIIDBR were received.

The period in ALADA didn’t last long and, on April 11th 1979, the squadron structure was changed, emerging then, the 1° Air Defence Group that still exists today.

The aircrafts gradually received a new air superiority, two grey tones paint scheme, and new markings. As time passed, more Mirage III fighters were restored to the FAB because some units had become useless. So, besides the 16 fighters that had been purchased in the ‘70s, 9 single-seaters and 6 double-seaters were received.

Nowadays, the F-103 Mirage III/DBR are still operative in Anapolis. Meanwhile, the aircrafts are expected to be flying until 2005. For their substitution the FAB developed a F-X Program, that is in its ultimate stage of studies, and, will have to decide which will be the next fighter that will continue the history of the “Jaguars” from the Planalto Center of Brazil, during the 21st century.

Badge of the ALADA

Used schemes

The first paint scheme the Mirage IIIE/DBR used, at the beginning of the ‘70s. The aircrafts were aluminium with red marks in the air intakes, behind the cockpit, on the wings. Besides, they carried the First defence wing (1° ALADA) badge, in its tail; the national colors in the rudder and the Mirage IIIEBR original marking on the front fuselage area.


After leaving behind the aluminium scheme, the FAB used the first air superiority two grey tones paint scheme in the MirageIIIE/DBR. The red markings were almost removed (however, nowadays they have the same markings on the wings), the green and yellow on the tail, decreased; and a Jaguar head was applied on the tail, as badge. That scheme was used from the early ‘80s towards the end of the decade

During the ‘80s, the Mirage from the FAB would also receive a new markings scheme. The colors would not change, but the 1st GDA marking on the fuselage rear lateral was replaced with the FAB star. By that time, “canards” were added over the engine air intakes of the MirageIII from the FAB. This scheme was the one used until the beginning of the following decade.

In the early’90s, the Mirage markings suffered a notable change, keeping the grey(s), but with white and bigger marks. The “An” (Anapolis) marking, which was the air base the aircraft belonged to, was added to the tail. The aircrafts registers were also added together with the “FAB” marking. The national colors showed in rectangles on the rudder, where the“F-103E” marking (the FAB denomination for the Mirage(s) IIIE) was also displayed. On the tail extreme a jaguar drawing was added. Besides, the legend “Forca Aerea Brasileira” was marked on the fuselage, while the name “Mirage IIIEBR” reappeared marked on front lateral of the aircraft.

During the same decade, the white markings were replaced with black applications more appropriated for the “low visibility” conception which was being adopted by other Air Forces around the world. The markings location was nearly the same, they were just repainted black. The “Mirage IIIE” marking was removed. This scheme is the one used by the FAB until nowadays.

In 2003, a few changes in the aircrafts paint could be seen, but they didn't show the “AN” on the tail.


The double-seaters Mirage IIIDBR had the same scheme paint story as the single-seaters. At the moment, the Mirage(s) IIID from the FAB, has the last scheme that has been explained above.


(All profiles are Marcelo Ribeiro da Silva –2003 copyrights)

Charts of colors

Here, you'll have three references tables with the colors the Mirage(s) IIIE/D of the Brazilian Air Force have used. The first shows the FS reference. The second indicates also the FS colors, but considering a visual perception so as to make them suitable for modelling purposes.

This visual reference takes into account the weathering and worn out look the official paint suffered. The last contains the commemorative painting colors the MirageIII used, to celebrate the 30 years services in Brazil.

Colors for the MirageIII from the FAB- Oficial colors.

Source: OTMA-FAB


Color FS (Federal Standard)
Alumilac (Aluminum) FS-17178
Azure Grey FS-36118
Light Grey FS-36293

Colors for the Mirage III from the FAB- Proper colors suitable for modeling purposes.

Source: FCM Decals.


Color FS (Federal Standard)
Alumilac (Aluminum) FS-17178
Azure Grey FS-25109
Light Grey FS-36622

Colors for the FAB Mirage IIIEBR 30 years commemorative.

Source: FCM Decals.


Color FS (Federal Standard)
Gloss Black FS-27038
Gloss Green FS-27875
Gloss light yellow FS-13655
Light mid blue FS-36375

The 1° ALADA badge

This badge was used in aircrafts until the creation of the First Air Defence Group by the end of the ’70s and the beginning of the ‘80s.

The 1° GDA badge

1° GDA badge, The Jaguar Squadron. Nowadays, this badge is applied on the MirageIII left lateral, over the engine air intake.

Interesting links about the Mirage III

Mirage IIIEBR -  Web site of Mr. Rudinei Dias da Cunha  

Mirage IIIEBR - Web site of the FAB  

Mirage IIIEBR website "Portal Militar", of Cesar Ferreira  

Mirage III - Histoire d'un Chasseur delta

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