Based on experience gained during the Korean war (1950-53), French authorities drew up specifications for a light interceptor. This definition was rapidly assimilated into a program for a light tactical bomber that could also fulfil an air superiority mission. At the same time, NATO published its requirements for the LWTSF (Light Weight Tactical Strike Fighter). In response, the Dassault company presented its Mirage and Etendard [pronunciation : é-tan-dar , meaning: standard, any kind of war sign, banner - the standard was something fixed and motionless during the battle, to which troops would rally].
To meet the needs of both national and NATO programs, Dassault carried over the aerodynamic design of its Super-Mystère, applying it to smaller aircraft equipped with power plants that could reach transonic speeds without afterburners. This led to the design of the Mystère XXII (Etendard II), Mystère XXIV (Etendard IV) and Mystère XXVI (Etendard VI), developments which were remarkable for improving lift so that take-off and landing became possible at reduced speeds.
The Etendard IV M was the first naval aircraft developed by Dassault. The Etendard IV M made its maiden flight 21st May 1958 at Melun-Villaroche (the Seine-et-Marne region of France). The wings of the aircraft are mid-mounted, swept-back, and tapered with blunt tips there are sawtooth in the leading edges. There is one turbojet engine inside the body. There are semicircular air intakes below the canopy and a single exhaust. The fuselage has a long, pointed nose. The body bulges at the air intakes and tapers to the rear. There is a bubble canopy well forward on the nose. The dorsal spine extends from the cockpit to midbody. The tail is large, swept-back, and tapered tail fin with curved tip. The flats are low- to mid-mounted on the tail fin, swept-back, and tapered with blunt tips.
Between 1961 and 1965, the French Navy took delivery of 69 Etendard IV M's and 21 Etendard IV P's. The Etendard IV M continued in service in the French Navy until July 1991. These aircraft logged a total of 180,000 flying hours and made 25,300 carrier landings. Even today, there are still several Etendard IV P's and IV PM's in service.
The 11F fleet is the oldest of the naval aviation formations. His past is most prestigious. Dissolved again on 18 April 1962 it was reconstituted on 1 April 1963 and receives new Etendard IV M. She made the first landing on the aircraft carrier Foch in September 1963. On 2 May 1967, she left Hyères to inaugurate the new base of Landivisiau from where she regularly embarks on the aircraft carriers Clemenceau and Foch. In 1978, she reached the first Super Etendard and specializes in sea and land assault day and night. As of November 27, 1995, the 11F fleet was transformed into a Modernized Super Etendard (SEM).
The 17F fleet is located on the Landivisiau naval aeronautical base (BAN). It is the first training of the on-board aviation to have been endowed with the Super Standard Modernized (SEM). The flotilla 17F was born on 17 April 1958 on the Hyères BAN. Originally equipped with Corsair F4U7 , the flotilla is intended for the operational training of young pilots of on-board aviation assault. It became operational in November 1959. It quickly proved itself in the theaters of operations of Algeria and Tunisia. It was dissolved in n1962. The 17F was reborn on 10 January 1964 on Etendard IV. The 17F receives its first Super Etendard (SUE) on 5 September 1980.
With the aircraft carrier Foch and Clemenceau, the Super-Etendard is involved in various operations conducted by France: Olifant (Civil War in Lebanon in 1983 and 1984), Prometheus in 1988 (Iran-Iraq War), Shepherd's Purse in 1989 ( Lebanon), Iraq Alert in 1991 (Iraq), Balbuzard and Salamander (former Yugoslavia) from 1993 to 1995, Trident (Kosovo) in 1998-1999. Then it from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle as the Super-Etendard modernized continues his brilliant career: Heracles and Agapanthus (Afghanistan) from 2001 to 2010 or Harmattan (Libya) in 2011. Qualified as nuclear-capable since 01 January 1985, the 17F made the first operational firing of an ASMP missile on 10 October 1988 from the aircraft carrier Foch. In June 1989, the 11F received the ASMP nuclear missile which reinforced its strategic role.
The Super-Etendard was replaced by the naval version of the multi-role combat aircraft Rafale at the beginning of the 21st century.
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