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MD.454 Mystère IV
Dassault Mystère IVA preserved at the Musée de l'Air.
Role Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer Dassault Aviation
First flight 28 September 1952
Primary users French Air Force
Indian Air Force
Israeli Air Force
Produced 1953-1958
Number built 411
Developed from Dassault Mystère
Variants Dassault Super Mystère

The Dassault MD.454 Mystère IV was a 1950s French fighter-bomber aircraft, the first transonic aircraft to enter service in French Air Force.[1]

Design and development

The Mystère IV was an evolutionary development of the Mystère II aircraft. Although bearing an external resemblance to the earlier aircraft, the Mystère IV was in fact a new design with aerodynamic improvements for supersonic flight. The prototype first flew on 28 September 1952, and the aircraft entered service in April 1953. The first 50 Mystere IVA production aircraft were powered by British Rolls-Royce Tay turbojets, while the remainder had the French-built Hispano-Suiza Verdon 350 version of that engine.

Operational history

French Mystère IV As at Bitburg Air Base (Germany), early 1960s

Israeli Mystère IVs saw action during the Arab-Israeli Wars and were joined by the French Mystères for the Suez crisis.


France was the main operator of the Mystere IV and at the peak usage operated 6 squadrons. Most of the aircraft were purchased under a United States Offshore Procurement contract and many were returned to US custody after they were retired.[2] In April 1953 the United States government and the United States Air Force placed an order for 223 aircraft to be operated by the French.[2]

The new Mystere IVs were used in the 1956 Suez Crisis and continued in use into the 1980s.[2]


On 30 October 1956 the Mystere IV gets its first kill when eight aircraft were in combat with 12 Egyptian Air Force MiG-15s. The Mysteres shot down one MiG and damaged a second. In the following days two Mysteres engaged four Egyptian De Havilland Vampires and destroyed them all.


India procured 104 of aircraft in 1957 and it was used extensively in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. On 16 Sept 65 a Mystere IVA shot down a Pakistani L-19. On 7 September 1965 an Indian Mystere shot down a Pakistani Lockheed F-104 Starfighter in a raid over Sargoda. The Mystere pilot Devayya was later awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously 23 years after the battle.[3] During the campaign Mystère IVs also destroyed Pakistani aircraft on the ground including four F-86F, three F-104 and 2 Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports.[4]

The phasing out of the aircraft started soon after the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War; though it saw further action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, it was completely phased out of the Indian Air Force by 1973.


Mystere IV
Prototype powered by a Rolls-Royce Tay 250 engine
Mystere IVA
Production fighter-bomber, 421 built, first 50 with the Rolls-Royce Tay 250 the remaining 371 with a French derivative of the Tay, the Hispano-Suiza Verdon.
Mystere IVB
In addition to production Mystère IVA, Dassault developed an upgraded Mystère IVB with either Rolls-Royce Avon (first two prototypes) or SNECMA Atar 101 (third prototype) afterburning engine and a radar ranging gunsight. Six pre-production aircraft were built but the project was abandoned in favour of the promising Super Mystère.
Mystere IVN

The only Mystère IVN in flight.

Dassault also proposed a two-seat all-weather interceptor version called Mystère IVN. The aircraft was equipped with the AN/APG-33 radar in an arrangement similar to North American F-86D Sabre Dog, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet, and armed with 55× 68 mm Matra rockets in a retractable belly tray. The first prototype flew on 19 July 1954. AdA eventually decided to purchase Sud Aviation Vautour and F-86K Sabre for the interceptor role but the Mystère IVN prototype continued to fly for several years as a testbed for radar equipment.


Dassault Mystère IV MD 454


Specifications (Mystère IVA)


Data from The Complete Book of Fighters[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 12.89 m (42 ft 312 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.12 m (36 ft 534 in)
  • Height: 4.60 m (15 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 32.06 m² (345.1 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 5,860 kg (12,919 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 8,510 kg (18,100 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 9,500 kg (20,944 lb) [7]
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza Verdon 350 turbojet, 34.32 kN (7,716 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: 1,110 km/h (600 knots, 690 mph) at sea level
  • Range: 915 km (494 nmi, 570 mi)without external tanks,[7] 2,280 km (1,231 nmi ,1417 mi) with external tanks[6]
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 m (49,200 ft) [7]
  • Rate of climb: 40 m/s (7,874 ft/min)


  • Guns:30 mm (1.18 in) DEFA cannons with 150 rounds per gun
  • Rockets: 55 air-to-air rockets in retractable pack[8]
  • Bombs: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) of payload on four external hardpoints, including a variety of bombs, rockets or Drop tanks

See also



  1. Swanborough, Gordon; Green, William A. (2001). An Illustrated anatomy of the world's fighters: the inside story of over 100 classics in the evolution of fighter aircraft. Osceola, WI: MBI Pub. pp. 196. ISBN 0-7603-1124-2. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Orbis 1985, pp. 3605-1608
  3. Maha Vir Chakra Recipients
  4. B. Harry (2 September 2006). "IAF COMBAT KILLS - 1965 INDO-PAK AIR WAR". Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  5. Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 16.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Green and Swanborough 1994, p. 149.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 15.
  8. Bridgman 1955, p. 139.


  • Aloni, Shlomo (March/April 2005). "Swept-Wing Backbone: Mystère IVAs in Israeli Service". pp. pp. 12–23.. ISSN 0143-5450. 
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1955). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1955–56. New York: The McGraw-Hill Book Company. 
  • Donald, David; Lake, Jon (editors) (1996). Encyclopedia of world military aircraft. AIRtime Publishing. ISBN 1-880588-24-2. 
  • Green, William; Swanborough, Gordon (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. New York: Smithmark. ISBN 0-83173939-8. 
  • Kopenhagen, W (editor) (1987). Das große Flugzeug-Typenbuch. Transpress. ISBN 3-344-00162-0. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 

External links

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