|Photo by Carmine di Napoli.|
The Mirage F.1 replaced the familiar delta wing of the Mirage with a swept wing, set at shoulder height and fitted with flaps and slats. This was combined with a low-set slab tailplane. The F.1 did not achieve the enormous sales of the Mirage III, but was nevertheless sold to France, Ecuador, Greece, Iraq, Libya, Marocco, Quatar, Jordania, South-Africa, and Spain. A more advanced version, the F.1E with a M53 engine, lost the NATO fighter competition to the F-16. The Mirage 2000 has replaced the F1 on the production lines, but the Mirage F1 will continue in service for some time.
Type: Mirage F.1C
Engines: 1 * 7200 kg SNECMA Atar 9K-50
Wing Span: 9.32 m
Length: 15.30 m
Height: 4.50 m
Wing Area: 25.00 m2
Empty Weight: 7400 kg
Max.Weight: 16200 kg
Speed: 2740 km/h
Ceiling: 20000 m
Range: 1390 km
Armament: 2 * gun 30mm, 6300 kg payload
Unit cost: 11 million USD
The Dassault Mirage F1 is a single-seat air-superiority fighter and attack aircraft built by Dassault of France. The Mirage F1 was designed as the successor of Dassault's Mirage III and Mirage 5. Unlike its predecessors, it has a swept wing mounted high on the fuselage as well as a conventional tail surface.
The first prototype (the development of which was financed by Dassault itself) first flew on 23 December 1966. The type was officially accepted by the French Air Force in May 1967 when three further prototypes were ordered. With the bigger capacity of the SNECMA Atar 9K-50 turbojet with afterburner the F1 easily outclassed the Mirage III.
Having a smaller wingspan than the Mirage III, the F.1 nevertheless proved to be clearly superior to its predecessor. It can carry up to 40-percent more fuel, has a shorter take-off run, a superior range in lo-lo missions, and better maneuverability.
In order to comply to the French Air Force's requirement for an all-weather interceptor, the first production Mirage F1C was equipped with a Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV mono-pulse radar. The later Cyrano IV-1 version added a limited look-down capability.
The Mirage F1 entered service in May 1973 when the first production version was delivered. Initially, the aircraft was only armed with two 30 mm internal cannon, but in 1976 the R530 medium-range air-to-air missile was released for use. A year later the R550 Magic followed.
The French Air Force initially bought 83 of the original F1C version, the last 13 of which were equipped with the Thomson-CSF Type BF radar detector. The 79 aircraft of the next production run were delivered during the period March 1977 to December 1983. These were of the Mirage F1C-200 version with a fixed refuelling probe, which required an extension of the fuselage by 7 cm.
It served as the main interceptor of the French Air Force until the Mirage 2000 entered service.