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The Mirage-F1 was developed in the latter half of the 1960's and entered series production in 1973. The Mirage F-1 prototype made its maiden flight with René Bigand at the controls, 23rd December 1966, at Melun-Villaroche (the Seine-et-Marne region of France). There are several versions: the Mirage-FIC, an all-weather tactical fighter; the Mirage-FIB, a two-seat operational trainer (it began to be delivered to French Air Force units in 1980); the Mirage-FIE, a tactical fighter intended for export to other countries; and the Mirage-FICR, a reconnaissance aircraft.

The Mirage-FIC Tactical Fighter was the basic version optimized for all-weather all-altitude air defense. Later, two new versions (the Mirage F1 CR and the Mirage F1 CT) were used to equip the Air Force when the Mirage III R and III E reached the end of their term. The Mirage F 1 C has a tapered shoulder-wing with a sweepback of 47.5° on the leading edge. The high-lift devices include leading-edge slats, differentially-operating, two-section,double-slotted flaps, ailerons, and two-section spoilers (located on the upper wing surface ahead of the flaps). The fuselage is of a semi-monocoque design. Air brakes are located below on the forward parts of the engine air intakes. The tail unit consists of a vertical keel with rudder and horizontal stabilizer with fully deflecting surfaces. The aircraft's directional stability is improved thanks to two additional vertical fins beneath the tail section of the fuselage. Air pressure in main-wheel tires is 9.1-11.2 kg/cm . A brake parachute is located in the base of the rudder.

The power plant consists of one Atar-9K50 TRDF with a maximum thrust of7,300 kg with afterburning. Fuel is accommodated in fuselage and wing tanks with a total capacity of 4,260 liters. These tanks can be filled in approximately 6 minutes when using a centralized pressure fueling system. To increase flight range up to three auxiliary fuel tanks (one beneath the fuselage and two under the wing) each with a capacity of 1,200 liters can be suspended on the fighter.

It is possible to install a non-retractable fuel receiver of the aerial refueling system on the right side of the aircraft's nose portion. Fighters fitted with this system are designated the Mirage-FlC-200. In January 1980 four such aircraft made a six-hour nonstop flight from the island of Corsica to Djibouti with aerial refueling from a KC-135F tanker aircraft. The route was some 5,000 km long.

Two independent hydraulic systems are used for retracting the landing gear and for operating the aircraft controls. The sources of electrical power are two15 kVA ac generators, with a nickel-cadmium storage battery serving as an emergency source.The Cyrano IV fire control radar in the nose section of the fuselage is the primary element of the electronic equipment. This set permits accomplishing air defense missions throughout the range of the aircraft's flying altitudes. In addition, in the Mirage-FIE fighter the set permits a determination of range to ground targets and penetration of an air defense system at low altitude in adverse weather conditions. The Mirage-FIC also is equipped with two UHF radios, instrument landing equipment, a TACAN radio navigation system and radar identification system. Included in the equipment used for attacking ground targets is a Doppler radar, bombing computer, aircraft position indicator and laser rangefinder-target designator.

The fighter's built-in armament consists of two DEFA 30-mm cannon with a total unit of fire of 250 rounds. Suspended weapons are accommodated on four attachment points beneath the wings and one beneath the fuselage. In addition, the wingtips each have one station for mounting only air-to-air missiles. The maximum weight of external stores is 4,000 kg. The aircraft can carry one or two Matra R.530 or Super Matra R.530 guided missiles (with radar or infrared homing head) for accomplishing air defense missions. They are suspended under the fuselage and beneath the wings, while the Sidewinder or Magic R.550 guided missiles are suspended on the wingtips. Standard versions of a load for attacking ground targets consist of one Martel AS-37 or AS-30 guided missile, 14 250 kg bombs, four 450 kg bombs, and four launchers, each with 18 free-flight 68 mm rockets. Other versions of external stores include three auxiliary 1,200 liter fuel tanks; one 2,000 liter tank under the fuselage; a pod with laser rangefinder-target designator, the AS-30L air-to-surface guided missile or a guided aerial bomb with laser homing head; and pods with ECM equipment or reconnaissance gear including aerial cameras and an infrared linescan.

The Mirage-FIA tactical fighter was the day version of the F1 C with simplified electronic equipment and additional fuel capacity. This version was realized at the request of South Africa as the F1 AZ. The Mirage F 1

The Mirage-FIB Operational Trainer was the two-seat version of the Mirage F1 C. differs from the fighter by the presence of a two-seat cockpit, the absence of built-in cannon, and internal fuel tanks with 450 liters less capacity. This version, initially developed at the request of Kuwait was also acquired by the French Air Force.

The Mirage-F1CR Reconnaissance Aircraft was purchased in early 1979 by the French Air Force command to replace the Mirage-IIIR and Mirage-III-RD. The Mirage-FICR is equipped with two Omera Type 35 and 40 aerial cameras and an infrared set, installed in the forward part of the fuselage. Additional electronics and optics are accommodated in a suspended pod. Its prototypes made the first flight in November 1981 and in 1982 62 air-craft were ordered for the French Air Force, with plans to make them operational in 1983.

The export Mirage F1 E was designed by the Dassault Corporation to fulfil all the missions of the F1C but was equipped with avionics for more precise air-to-ground missions and longer firing distances.

The Mirage F 1 R, optimized for low-altitude day and night reconnaissance, the Mirage F1 R was the export version of the F1 CR used by the French Air Force.

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Page last modified: 05-05-2013 18:42:10 ZULU