Mirage F1AZ and FICZ Information

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The Dassault-Breguet Mirage F-1

  • Power plant: One SNECCMA-Atar 9K-50 turbo jet with 11 090 lb (5 035 kg) static thrust or 15 000 lb (6 810 kg) with afterburner.
  • Wingspan:27’6.75 (8,40m)
  • Length: 49’2.5 (15m)
  • Max Speed: Mach 2,2 @ 40 000′(12 000m)
  • Max range: 400 miles (640 km)

The Dassault-Breguet Mirage F-1 is the natural successor to the delta-winged Mirage III fighter aircraft and features an impressive array of improvements on its predecessor. The most obvious change from the earlier Mirage III is a conventional wing lay-out with high-lift devices which improve combat maneuverability by some 80 per cent and significantly improve take-off and landing performance.

Although its maximum pursuit speed is similar to that of the Mirage III, its patrol endurance is three times that of its predecessor.
Development of the F-1 may be traced back to the mid 60’s when Dassault designers recognizing the limitations of tailless delta wings, began to experiment with various improvements on the Mirage IIIE.

The result was two designs, eventually designated Mirage F and Mirage G, The former with traditional fixed swept wings and the latter with Pratt & Whitney TF-306 turbofan to meet a French Air Force requirement, and, as a private venture, the smaller F-1 with a Snecma-Atar turbojet.

The prototype F-2 was announced a few months later, on 23 December 1966.
The French Air Force eventually selected the smaller F-1, and production of the interceptor version commenced in February 1973, with entry into the Armée de l’Air Squadron Service in May that year.

The first export customer for the Mirage F-1C was the SAAF who took delivery of the first 16 in 1975.
The Mirage F-1CZ, like its predecessor, has as its only internal armament two 30 mm DEFA 5.52 cannon, each with 135 rounds. The improved and powerful all-weather Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV radar is the principle feature of the Mirage F-1C, but provision has also been made for the addition of electronic countermeasure pods.

In its interceptor role, a Mirage F- 1CZ may typically carry two Matra R 530 radar-guided air to-air missiles on underwing pylons as well as Armscor V3B Kukri infra-red homing air-to-air missiles. To extend the aircraft’s radius of action, an external fuel tank may be fitted to the ventral station.

The F-1A is a simpler, clear-weather derivative of the Mirage F-1C interceptor, optimized for the ground attack role, according to Cmdt Kobus Toerien, an experienced F1-CZ pilot. It was developed in parallel with the F-1C and is aimed at the same market as the Mirage 5. The Mirage F-1A appealed to the SAAF since most potential attack missions would be flown in clear weather, and as a result it chose this version as its principle F-1 variant. The first of the F-1AZ’s was de-. livered to 1 Squadron in 1975.

The F-1AZ, like its F-1C interceptor, contemporary offers a marked improvements over the earlier Mirage IIIE in the attack role through a twofold increase in combat radius. Instead of ultra expensive Cyrano IV radar system of the F-1C, the F1A has a smaller EMD A1DA 2 ranging radar unit which permits the aircraft to operate clear-weather interceptor missions with air-to-air missiles such as the V3B.

The A1DA radar is rather small and as a result a retractable air-to-air re-fuelling probe can be housed in the nose. The principal ground-attack armament on both the F-1CZ and the F1-AZ consist of a variety of air-to-ground bombs, each with eighteen 68 mm SNEB unguided missiles.

The Mirage F1-AZ is also the delivery platform for one of Armscor’s latest innovations, the 450 kg CB-470 cluster bomb, four of which may be fitted to the wing pylons of the aircraft.