The Dassault Mirage F1 is a French fighter and attack aircraft designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It was developed as a successor to the popular Mirage III family.
During the 1960s, Dassault commenced development of what would become the Mirage F1 as a private venture, alongside the larger Mirage F2. Work on the F1 eventually took precedence over the costlier F2, which was cancelled during the late 1960s. The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) took interest in the fledgling fighter to meet its requirement for an all-weather interceptor aircraft. Accordingly, initial production units were equipped with the Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV monopulse radar.
During the latter half of 1974, the Mirage F1 entered service in the French Air Force. Shortly thereafter, the type was deployed as the main interceptor of the French Air Force, a capacity which it continued to serve in until the arrival of the Mirage 2000. It later transitioned to an aerial reconnaissance role. In July 2014, the last French Mirage F1s were retired from service.
Powered by a single SNECMA Atar 9K-50 turbojet engine, which provided about 7 tonnes-force (69 kN; 15,000 lbf) of thrust, and armed with an array of French and American-sourced armaments, the Mirage F1 has been operated as a light multipurpose fighter and has been exported to around a dozen nations.
The type has seen action in a large number of armed conflicts involving several of its operators, including the Western Sahara War, the Paquisha War, the Cenepa War, the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War, the South African Border War, the War in Afghanistan, the Chadian–Libyan conflict, the 2011 military intervention in Libya, and the Northern Mali conflict.
Although sources differ, and no official record exists, somewhere in the region of 726 Mirage F1s of all variants and trainers were manufactured during its run between 1966 and 1992. It was succeeded in production by the Dassault Mirage 2000.
First flight 23 December 1966