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The Dassault Mirage F1 is a military aircraft designed and built by French Dassault as successor of the fighter Mirage III. This fighter differs from the other family aircraft "Mirage" in the shape of its wing on the arrow instead of a delta wing. Version available to recognize and attack the Mirage F1 is considered the supersonic fighter of European second generation more successful, being acquired by the air forces of eleven countries for a total of 700 units built.


Mirage F1 of the French Air Force

The Mirage F1 was developed to be the replacement fighter Dassault Mirage III and Dassault Mirage V. His studies began after the year 1963, when French Air Force requested a study containing the specification of a multifunctional fighter capable of carrying out interception missions at supersonic speed and penetration at low altitude in any time. Also was required to accommodate two basic operational factors : greater autonomy and radius of the mission, and the use of distance shorter runways for take-off and landing, allowing the approach at a speed below 140 knots ( 260 km/h) - all with the lowest possible cost.

The use of delta wing used by the family Mirage fighter pilots demanded that they approached at high speed during procedures for landing, which led Dassault conduct an extensive survey of shape of wings for fighter aircraft. With this, the engineering department of the company Dassault began work on a project called Mirage F3. This project would first reactor equipped with an American Pratt & Whitney TF-106 and would use swept wings at the top of the fuselage with flaps in order to reduce the approach speed for landing. In 1965, three prototypes of a two-seat version called Mirage III F2 are ordered.

The first prototype, using a Pratt and Whitney TF30, made its maiden flight on the day June 12 of 1966. Later this year, has already demonstrated his ability to reach a speed of Mach 2. Meanwhile, Dassault decided to develop a version of a small game with a place and equipped with engine Secma Atar 9K of Mirage IV designating Mirage F1 in 2001. This aircraft made its maiden flight on the day December 23 of 1966. In early January 1967, during its fourth flight, this game has also reached a speed of Mach 2.

Despite the good performance shown by the prototypes Mirage III F2 and Mirage G with variable geometry wings ( first flight occurred on November 18 of 1966), The French Air Force decided to no longer fund these projects, leaving only the design of Mirage F1 which was selected. The first flight of the series took place on February 15 of 1973.

Also in 1973 Dassault decided to build two copies designated for Europe Mirage F1 E and fitted with the SNECMA M53 engine . This model entered the contest for the NATO's standard fighter, that was rejected in favor of the F-16 Fighting Falcon

Entry in Service

The Mirage F1C placed in service for the French Air Force in May 1973, when the first production of these fighters were delivered. Initially they were equipped with two air-air missiles Matra R530 medium-range than the two internal 30mm cannon. Later, in the late '70s, these missiles were replaced by Super 530F, and the rails installed on the wings to house the air-air missiles Matra R550 Magic short range.


  • The Mirage F1 ( Aircraft attack, the only place )

Version daylight raid intended for export, this game came equipped with radar Aida II, sitema retractable refueling system and a navigation and attack radar telemetric time to open. This version could carry more internal fuel than the version Mirage F1 C.

  • Mirage F1 B (Training, two seats)

Version of training needed to be lengthened thirty centimeters to allow installation of a second. Possessed reduced capacity of fuel and was devoid of internal 30 mm cannon .

  • Mirage F1 CR Recognition ( one seat )

tactical and reconnaissance aircraft, was developed to replace the Mirage III R and RD. The gun law was replaced by an infrared sensor . This aircraft owned in the nose of a camera panning ( Omer 40) or vertical viewing ( Omer 33), and is equipped with a new navigation system and attack. He owned a series of pods for external recognition (cameras, radars, etc.). . The prototype made its first flight on November 20 of 1981 and entered service in July 1983. Mirage F1 CR*Mirage F1 CT ( Assault, the only place ) Aircraft from a place of tactical assault, was meant to replace the Mirage and Mirage IIIE 5F. They were equipped with a laser rangefinder added a new radar detector warning system and a new ejection seat . The electrical system was completely replaced with updated electronic board . Was also removed the cannon left permitinfo the installation of two small cameras . The first aircraft entered service in 1992 .

Below are the main differences in each version:

Data Mirage F1C Mirage F1B Mirage F1 and Mirage F1CR Mirage F1CT
Mission Fighter Trainer Fighter Bomber Recoinassance Fighter Bomber
Crew 1 2 1 1 1
Missile air-air short range Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Missile air-air medium range Yes Yes Yes Not Yes
air-ground missile Not Not Yes Not Yes
Internal gun Yes Not Yes Yes Yes
Recognition equipment Not Not Not Yes Not
Cyrano radar Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Inertial Navigation System Not Not Yes Yes Yes

Use in Combat

  • Border War: Mirage F1 jets were used by South Africa during the border war against Angola, between the period 1978 the 1982. Two MiG-21 of Angola were killed by an F1 CZ. At least one Mirage F1 CZ was killed by a land-air missile fired by Angola. This fighter was repaired using parts from one aircraft that were out of service.
  • Iran-Iraq War: Held between the period 1980 the 1988, Mirage F1 was used by Iraq during which we obtained several aerial victories, including against fighters F-4, F-5 and F-14 of Iranian Air Forces. However, several Iraqi Mirage F1 fighters were also killed by Iranian F-14 during that war.
  • Gulf War: During the Gulf War, between the years 1990 the 1991, several Mirages F1 Iraqis were destroyed, many of them still on the ground. Others ended up being refugees in Iran and now part of his arsenal.
  • Battle of the High Canepa: Conflict occurred on the border between Peru and Ecuador during the month of February 1995, a Ecuadorian Mirage F1 shot down two fighters Su-22 belonging to Peru. It is considered the first air combat involving fighters capable of Mach 2 in Latin America.


Current Operators

  • Ecuador

    Mirage F1 flying over a farm

  • Gabon
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Libya
  • Morocco

Former Operators

  • France
  • Spain
  • South Africa
  • Greece
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar


General Caracteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15.30 m (50 ft 2½ in)
  • Wingspan: 8.40 m (27 ft 6¾ in)
  • Height: 4.50 m (14 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 25.00 m² (269.1 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 7,400 kg (16,314 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 10,900 kg (24,030 lb) (clean take-off weight)
  • Max takeoff weight: 16,200 kg (35,715 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1× SNECMA Atar 9K-50 afterburning turbojet
    • Dry thrust: 49.03 kN (11,023 lbf)
    • Thrust with afterburner: 70.6 kN (15,873 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.2 (2,338 km/h, 1,262 knots, 1,453 mph) at 11,000 m (36,090 ft)
  • Combat radius: 425 km (230 nm, 265 mi) hi-lo-hi at Mach 0.75/0.88 with 14 × 250 kg bombs
  • Ferry range: 2,150 km (1,160 nm, 1,335 mi)
  • Endurance: 2 hr 15 min (combat air patrol, with 2 × Super 530 missiles and centreline drop tank)
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,600 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 242 m/s (47,815 ft/min) at high altitude


  • Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) DEFA 553 cannons with 150 rounds per gun
  • Hardpoints: 1 centreline pylon, four underwing and two wingtip pylons with a capacity of 6,300 kg (13,900 lb) (practical maximum load 4,000 kg (8,800 lb)) and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Rockets: 8× Matra rocket pods with 18× SNEB 68 mm rockets each
    • Bombs: various
    • Other: reconnaissance pods or Drop tanks
  • Missiles:AIM-9 Sidewinders or Matra R550 Magics on wingtip pylons, 2× Super 530Fs underwing, 1× AM-39 Exocets anti-ship missile, 2× AS-30L laser guided missiles

See also

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