A few Thiarian Mirage G.8s (and a free preview of part of Thiaria's postwar history, the latter still WIP and subject to changes if necessary)
After Germany had chosen the Mirage F.8 as standard air superiority fighter, Dassault finally received a major order for the Mirage G.8 as well. Thiaria had not been allowed to build airplanes after World War II, and when the restrictions were lifted in 1956 (they could hardly have been upheld after even Germany was allowed to re-arm), their first domestic warplanes were mostly of indifferent performance. Their first service jet fighter (Aigeanta TT-A Tearatoirn) was based upon a 1945 vintage design and served from 1957 till 1965; their improved derivate of the Argentine Pulqui (AerAon TT-B Rabaire) was the first southern American airplane to exceed the speed of sound, but the Thiarians needed till 1961 to achieve that, and the machine remained standard issue for their tactical fighter squadrons till the mid-seventies. After a botched attempt of the CIA to meddle with Thiaria's 1965 elections almost sparked a civil war and eventually brought a radical left government to power in 1966, Thiaria's aviation industry (what was left of it) was nationalized in 1967, and many of their most skilled airplane designers left the country for more lucrative employment. The Soviets supplied some aircraft of their own (most prominently over 100 Sukhoi Su-15 interceptors), but these were unpopular and could not be properly maintained after Thiaria severed her alliance with the Soviets in 1974 in response to their demand that Thiaria joined the Arab oil embargo against the west rather than take advantage of the oil price surge to make some real money. With oil revenues skyrocketing in the mid-1970s, Thiaria embarked upon an ambitious re-armament programme of their Air Force. The ancient Rabaires were in urgent need of replacement, and Thiaria looked for a extremely low-altitude capable strike fighter with a secondary air-to-air capability. With both the USA and the Soviet Union in disfavour, Britain still considered the arch-enemy and their own aviation industry a shambles, only France remained as a supplier, and the Mirage G.8 seemed a logical choice. Even the basic interceptor version had excellent low-altitude performance (they were considerably faster at treetop level as the Mirage F.8, for instance), and after the plane was fitted with terrain-following radar, it was nearly as capable as the upcoming Panavia Tornado. An initial batch of 80 was ordered in 1976, 40 to be delivered whole from France and 40 as kits to be assembled by the newly privatized SCI (Scata Cath-Innealtoireocht), an amalgamate of practically the entire Thiarian defence industry. The Thiarian Mirage G.8s achieved IOC in 1978 and FOC in 1980, and a follow-on order of 80 further machines to be license-produced by SCI was placed in 1979. Deliveries were complete in 1983, and the Mirage G.8 eventually equipped six strike squadrons and two reconnaissance squadrons. They saw intense service in their time; one Squadron deployed to Zaire as early as 1979 during the Katanga crisis, they intensely shadowed both the British and the Argentine fleets during the Falklands war (and were accidentally shot at by both parties, with three machines being lost), they fought against Brazilian aircraft (ironically, these were also Mirages, although older IIIEs) during the First Islas Oventorosas incident in 1984 and played a major part in the reconquest of the Islands in 1995. Unfortunately, the scant experience of the still infant SCI in manufacturing these complex airplanes resulted in structural deficiencies and a rather short service life (the 40 units delivered whole from France were in the best shape when the type was prematurely retired between 1998 and 2002). They were replaced with the Siolpaire, a much smaller, simpler and (relatively) cheaper design which, being designed for carrier operations and having full air-to-air capabilities, were both tougher and more versatile than the venerable swing-wing Mirages. Despite the premature and somewhat unglamorous end of her career, the Mirage G.8 marks the beginning of the period during which Thiaria's military caught up with the most advanced western powers quality-wise after thirty years of incapability.
Fitted for bombing missions, with 8 400kg bombs, 2 Magic AAMs and 2 1.800 liter tanks
Fitted for precision strike missions, with 2 Matra BGL-1000 guided bombs, laser targeting pod, ECM pod, 2 Magic AAMs and 1 1.800 liter tank
Fitted for reconaissance missions, with SCI reconnaissance pod, ECM pod, Jammer pod, 2 Magic AAMs and 2 1.800 liter tanks