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In the 1960s Dassault designed the Mirage F1 as a successor for the Mirage III family. Many operators of early variants of the delta-winged Mirage III had complained about the poor field performance and loss of energy in low-level manoeuvring flight. Dassault decided to development a design with a traditional layout for the wing.

In December 1966 the first prototype made its maiden flight. And soon the first variant which was the F1C entered production. The Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) operated the F1C as its main interceptor fighter until the service entree of the Mirage 2000 in 1984.

About 650 Mirage F1s were sold to eleven countries. Especially the F1E strike attack version proved to be a huge success on the export market.

In the 1991 Gulf War, the Mirage F1 was operated on both sides. In the 1980s Dassault sold a large number of Mirage F1E and some F1B aircraft to Iraq (designated F1EQ and F1BQ respectively). When coalition forces struck numerous hardened aircraft shelters to neutralize the Iraqi Air Force in support of operation Desert Storm, many of these aircraft were destroyed. Taking part in the coalition was France, supporting air operations with F1CR and F1CT aircraft.

Unlike most other successful aircraft in the Mirage series, the F1 has a conventional layout instead of a delta-wing design. It is powered by one SNECMA Atar turbojet. The Mirage F1 started its career as an all-weather interceptor designated F1C. The F1C main armament was the Super 530 air-to-air missile. The Mirage F1B is a tandem two-seat variant of the F1C designed for training.

The Mirage F1E was a dedicated strike and attack aircraft which incorporated upgraded systems, including radar. Dassault also designed a two-seat version of the F1E for training, designated F1D.

South Africa ordered a radarless variant for the attack role. This variant was designated F1A and was also sold to Ecuador and Libya. The variants delivered to South Africa were designated Mirage F1AZ and F1CZ for the interceptor variant. Likewise did the Iraqi export aircraft receive the designation F1EQ and F1BQ for the trainers.

The F1CR was an upgraded F1C interceptor for the reconnaissance role. The other upgraded variant of the F1C was the F1CT, which is an advanced tactical combat aircraft.


Technical Specifications

 

Powerplant:

one 70.21 kN (15,873 lb st) SNECMA Atar 9K-50 turbojet

 

Dimensions:

length 15.23m (49 ft 11½ in); height 4.50m (14 ft 9 in); wing span (over tip missiles) 9.32m (30 ft 10 in)

 

Weights:

take-off 'clean' 10,900 kg (24,030 lb); Max Take-Off Weight 16.200 kg (35,714 lb)

 

Performance:

max level speed at 12,000m (39,370 ft) Mach 2.2 or 2350 km/h (1,460 mph); service ceiling 20,000m (65,615 ft)

 

Armament:

two internal DEFA 553 30mm cannons with 135 rounds per gun; up tp 4000 kg (8,818 lb) of ordnance, including guided bombs, retarded/free fall bombs, cluster bombs, ASMs, rocket launchers, ECM pods, up to three drop tanks, Magic/Magic 2 AAM, Super 530 AAM, carried on seven external hardpoints.


DASSAULT - BREQUET MIRAGE F-1 GALLERY

Role: Interceptor, fighter-bomber
Origin: France
Builder: Dassault Aviation (later Dassault-Brequet Aviation)
Variants: A/AZ, C/CR/CT/CZ/CE, B/BQ, D, E/EQ
Operators: France, Ecuador, Greece, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Labia, Morocco, Qatar, South Africa, Spain