The Mirage III is a supersonic fighter aircraft designed by Dassault Aviation during the late 1950s, and manufactured both in France and a number of other countries. It was a successful fighter aircraft, being sold to many air forces around the world and remaining in production for over a decade. Some of the world's smaller air forces still fly Mirage IIIs or variants as front-line equipment today.
The prototype Mirage III flew on 17 November 1956, and attained a speed of Mach 1.52 on its seventh flight and Mach 1.8 in September 1957. The success of the Mirage III prototype resulted in an order for 10 pre-production Mirage IIIAs.
The first Mirage IIIA flew in May 1958, and eventually was clocked at Mach 2.2, making it the first European aircraft to exceed Mach 2 in level flight.
The first major production model of the Mirage series, the Mirage IIIC, first flew in October 1960. The IIIC was largely similar to the IIIA, though a little under a half meter longer and brought up to full operational fit. The IIIC was a single-seat interceptor, with an Atar 09B turbojet engine, featuring an "eyelet" style variable exhaust.
The Mirage IIIC was armed with twin 30 mm DEFA revolver-type cannon, fitted in the belly with the gun ports under the air intake. Early Mirage IIIC production had three stores pylons, one under the fuselage and one under each wing, but another outboard pylon was quickly added to each wing, for a total of five. The outboard pylon was intended to carry a AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile (AAM), later replaced by Matra Magic.
A total of 95 Mirage IIICs were obtained by the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air, AdA), with initial operational deliveries in July 1961. The Mirage IIIC remained in service with the AdA until 1988.
Source: Wikipedia, "Dassault Mirage III", available under the CC-BY-SA License.