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  • Dassault Mirage F1 Multirole / Interceptor Aircraft

    The French Dassault Mirage F.1 became one of the most successful fighter designs of the Cold War period.

     Updated: 5/18/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Dassault Mirage F1 was designed to replace the successful Dassault Mirage III series. With a host of new features added to this new aircraft, the Mirage F1 would be a substantial upgrade to the whole Mirage family that would continue in service well into the new millennium. The Mirage F1 was built with capability and a multi-role perspective in mind. The aircraft was designed for high-speed handling with low or high-altitude performance, multi-faceted capabilities in the fighter or strike aircraft role and provide the pilot with some minor conveniences for long sorties requiring short turnaround times. The Mirage F1 served with distinction, particularly in the Greek Hellenic Air Force, where her arrival proved a deterrent to Turkish air space incursions for some 28 years. Over 720 Mirage F1 examples have been produced. The F1 remains one of the most battle-tested aircraft systems of the Cold War.

    The F1 first flew in a Dassault-funded prototype form on December 23rd, 1966, intended as a replacement for the aging Mirage III and Mirage 5 models. Unlike previous Dassault offerings, the F1 did away with the traditional low-mounted, delta-wing configuration and instead was fitted with a high-mounted, swept wing arrangement. The French Air Force liked what it saw in the promising design and selected it for further development in the form of additional prototypes in May of 1967. The French Air Force envisioned the type as an all-weather interceptor capable of handling any of the new generation threats available. The resulting design proved a far better product than the aircraft the F1 was intended on replacing, sporting high-performance, sleek lines and a powerful Cyrano radar system. Production inevitably commenced and full operational status was achieved in May 1973.

    The single engine, high-mounted swept-wing aircraft was powered by a single SNECMA Atar 9K-50 afterburning turbojet 15,785lb engine fed by two side-mounted intakes. The F1 sported a single-seat cockpit positioned in the forward portion of the streamlined fuselage. Amenities such as a self-starter, shaded canopy glass and pressured refueling system provided operators of the aircraft with the advantage of a low maintenance, highly capable aircraft. Further developments (beginning with the Mirage F1C-200) went on to integrate an in-flight refueling probe to which the combat radius was increased substantially. The unique high-mounted swept-wing design coupled with the single vertical tail fin afforded the aircraft the ability to take off and land with a minimal use of runway.

    Standard armament were twin 30mm cannons along with 2 x Matra R530 series medium-range air-to-air missiles. Missiles were initially held under the wings though wingtip rails were later added for the use of Matra R550 Magic and AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles, the latter at the behest of the American-friendly Hellenic Air Force of Greece (operating Mirage F1CG models of their own).

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    Dassault Mirage F1 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1973
    Type: Multirole / Interceptor Aircraft
    National Origin: France
    Manufacturer(s): Dassault - France
    Production Total: 750

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 50.20 feet (15.3 meters)
    Width: 27.56 feet (8.40 meters)
    Height: 14.76 feet (4.50 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 16,314 lb (7,400 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 35,715 lb (16,200 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x SNECMA Atar 9K-50 afterburning turbojet engine developing 15,785lb of thrust.

    Maximum Speed: 1,453 mph (2,338 kph; 1,262 knots)
    Maximum Range: 559 miles (900 km)
    Service Ceiling: 65,643 feet (20,008 meters; 12.43 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 41,931 feet-per-minute (12,781 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 30mm cannons

    Mission-specific ordnance can include any of the following limited up to 8,818lbs:

    AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared air-to-air missile(wingtip mounted).
    Magic infrared air-to-air missile (wingtip mounted).
    R.530 radar-guided air-to-air missiles
    Super 530F radar-guided air-to-air missiles
    Rocket-Launching Pods
    Conventional Bombs
    Exocet air-to-surface missiles
    Armat anti-radiation air-to-surface missile

    Global Operators / Customers

    Ecuador; France; Gabon; Iran; Iraq; Jordan; Kuwait; Libya; Morocco; Spain; Greece; Qatar; South Africa

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    F1 - Base Model Series Designation

    F2 - Two-Seat Strike Fighter; program eventually cancelled in first year of side-by-side development with the F1.

    F1A - Clear-Weather Ground Attack Production Model.

    F1AD - Libyan Export Model of the F1A

    F1AZ - South African Export Model of the F1A; ground attack version.

    F1B - Two-Seat Conversion Trainer

    F1BE - Spanish Export Model of the F1B

    F1BJ - Greece Export Model of the F1B

    F1BK - Kuwaiti Export Model of the F1B

    F1BK-2 - Follow-up Kuwaiti Export Models of the F1B.

    F1BQ - Iraqi Export Model of the F1B.

    F1C - All-Weather Multi-role Interceptor with Strike Capabilities.

    F1CE - Spanish Export Model of the F1C

    F1CG - Greece Export Model of the F1C; 4 x AIM-9P capability.

    F1CH - Morocco Export Model of the F1C

    F1CJ - Jordanian Export Model of the F1C

    F1CK - Kuwaiti Export Model of the F1C

    F1CT - F1C-200 Models that have been updated to F1E standard; tactical ground attack.

    F1CZ - South African Export Model of the F1C; radar-equipped.

    F1C-200 - Long-Range Model of the F1C model; fixed refueling probe; extended fuselage.

    F1CR-200 - Long-Range Reconnaissance Model.

    F1D - Two-Seat Conversion Trainer

    F1JE - Ecuador Export Model of the F1D

    F1DD - Libyan Export Model of the F1D

    F1DDA - Qatar Export Model of the F1D

    F1E - Single Seat Multi-Role / Ground Attack Model for export.

    F1ED - Libyan Export Model of the F1E

    F1EE - Spanish Export Model of the F1E

    F1EH - Morocco Export Model of the F1E

    F1EH-200 - Morocco Export Model of the F1E; refueling probe.

    F1EJ - Jordanian Export Model of the F1E

    F1EQ - Iraqi Export Model of the F1E

    F1EQ-2 - Iraqi Export Model of the F1E; air defense version.

    F1EQ-4 - Iraqi Export Model of the F1E - Multi-role / Ground Attack / Reconnaissance version.

    F1EQ-5 - Iraqi Export Model of the F1E; anti-ship version.

    F1EQ-6 - Iraqi Export Model of the F1E; anti-ship version.

    F1EDA - Qatar Export Model of the F1E

    F1JA - Ecuadorian Export Model of the F1E