Translated by BabelFish
Within sight of the important export sales whose it was
the object, it appears rather difficult to believe that the F1 Mirage
was chosen by the Air Force afterwards many hesitations and that it in
the final analysis constituted a private initiative of the Dassault
firm. Conceived in order to ensure the changing of Mirage III
and 5, the F1 Mirage is, in spite of its name, very different from its
predecessors. Profiting from a new aerodynamics and a modern
avionics, it constitutes an excellent combat apparatus which was
tested on several occasions in operation by the air forces Iraqi and
Moroccan like by South African Air Force. Used by many countries
all over the world, seven general-purpose and powerful machines form
the reinforcement of several aviations militaires.Au course of the
Sixties, whereas the production of Mirage III reached tops, the Air
Force endeavoured to define a combat machine able to take the
continuation of the plane with delta wing of Dassault. This last
was interested at the time with two futuristic concepts:
vertical takeoff and landing on a side, and aerofoil with
variable arrow of the other. Directing itself initially towards
the plane with vertical takeoff and landing, the French air persons in
charge were interested thereafter in an apparatus with variable
geometry; but, confronted at considerable financial cost and the
inevitable inherent times with the realization of complex apparatuses,
they had to give up these two types of machines. The Air Force
was thus found without successor of Mirage III worthy of this name.
The Mirage G (at the origin Mirage IIIG) with variable geometry was to be propelled by a dual flow jet engine SNECMA TF306 tested on Mirage IIIT. But, because of its configuration in delta, which posed problems of handiness at the low speeds, Dassault selected another apparatus, the F.2 Mirage (at the beginning Mirage IIIF2), to study this flight envelope. Formed of a fuselage of Mirage G and an aerofoil as well as conventional empennage, the F.2 Mirage could, with the eyes of the French air staff, to constitute a good plane of transition between Mirage III and the generation envisaged from combat apparatuses to variable geometry. Dassault, which did not share this point of view, considered that a machine of lower size would be appropriate better for the Air Force and to possible external customers.
On the basis of the study of Mirage IIIE2, a horizontal stabilizer apparatus derived from the planes with delta wing of first generation, the French manufacturer undertook to transform the F.2 Mirage into a single-seater equipped with more powerful a Atar engine. Baptized F1 Mirage, the new plane accomplished its initial flight, in the shape of a prototype, in Melun-Villaroche, December 23, 1966. Less than one month later, the Air Force planned to place order of a hundred specimens of a practically identical version of interception. Having accepted the F1 Mirage in May 1967, the staff of the Air Force asked, in spite of the destruction of the first plane in an accident a few days before, the construction of three other prototypes.
More modern design
Produced in several specialized versions intended for the interception and the attack, the plane ordered in 1967 represented the result of various programs of improvements started since the realization of the first Mirage with delta wing. An aerofoil answering this technology has many advantages: the main thing relates to the relative thickness of its cord (on average 4 %), adapted well to the flight at high speed. Among the disadvantages which presents this formula appear a speed and one pulled up too important in the landing, the impossibility in which is the pilot to fly in a stable way under raised angles of attack, and landing and relatively long takeoff runs.
During the Sixties, the airframe manufacturers were able to build at a reasonable price of the thin traditional aerofoils which profited the desired thickness relative and which could be equipped with devices of lift increasing and operation adapted well to the evolutions with large and at the low speeds. Other external and interior improvements made it possible to reduce by 23 % the 20 % and takeoff run the speed of approach of the F1 Mirage, whose gross weight was however higher 2500 kg than that of the Mirage IIIE and whose wing surface was less important 10 m². The maneuverability of the new plane was higher 80 % compared to Mirage IIIE.
Of entirely metal construction, the aerofoil of the apparatus consists of two torsion boxes made of welded elements mechanically or chemically. Posting an arrow of 47° 30', each wing comprises a setback to two thirds of the leading edge. To increase the bearing pressure on takeoff and the landing, the engineers from Dassault equipped the aircraft with nozzles of leading edges running on all the scale, ordered by means of a hydraulic device by the pilot or dropping automatically in aerial combat. The leading edge of the aerofoil is equipped with shutters with double slit functioning différentiellement and with spoilers on the interior sections, the external sections being occupied by ailerons.
The fuselage semi monoshell is him also of entirely metal construction. The tight stiffeners and panels are welded electrically, whereas the other elements are solidarized by rivets drowned out of titanium. Perforated air-brakes were set up under each of the two air intake, and the horizontal stabilizers are monoblocs. The cockpit, pressurized and equipped with the air conditioning, is equipped with an ejector seat Martin Baker which, when it is actuated, passes through weakened canopy.
The propulsion of the F1 Mirage is ensured by a turbojet SNECMA Atar 9K50, whose push with reheating reaches 7200 kg, whereas Atar 9C3 of Mirage IIIE profits from a push of 6000 kg. The wings shelter structural tanks of 375 L, and the fuselage includes/understands of them four others whose total capacity reaches 3925 L Moreover, the plane can carry tanks external RP35 of 1200 L. The F1-200 version is equipped with a pole of in-flight refueling fixed on the right side of the fuselage, in front of the windshield (the F1B of the Air Force can receive a factitious pole intended for the pilot training to the techniques of the in-flight refueling).
Versions of F1
Thanks to the system of maintenance automated SDAP, which makes it possible to carry out in track, a very short time (less than one about fifteen minutes), the complete checking of the systems of navigation and armament, the F1 Mirage profits from an important operational capacity. The fuelling, which is carried out by means of a device functioning by gravity, takes hardly six minutes. As for the alarm system GAMO, it was conceived to permanently maintain the apparatus in a state of immediate takeoff. This system arises as a small autotracté vehicle which ensures the supply of the electrical currents adapted for the pre-heating of the systems of navigation and with armament, provides for cooling with the radar, is used for the conditioning of the cockpit and comprises a telescopic arm articulated at the end of which a parasol protecting the pilot in alarm from direct solar radiations is. When the signal is given, this last does not have any more but to start the engine, which involves the retraction of the parasol as well as the stop of the air conditioning and the cooling of the radar.
The first of the versions of the F1 Mirage to enter in service was the interceptor any time F1C, whose principal sensor is the radar of fire control system Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV, usable at all the altitudes and in all the flight fields. The other embarked electronics components on board this model are an autopilot SFENA 505 and one collimator head high CSF, which presents at the pilot the data of flight and information concerning the control of the shooting. The version of export Mirage F1E, as for it, is equipped with a radar Cyrano IVM of a more advanced technology, working in modes cartographic, of telemetry and continuation.
Able to carry out missions of interception and prohibition, Mirage F1E also profits a platform from inertial navigation Kearfott 40, a calculator of navigation and attack ESD 182, and from a cathodic collimator head high VE120. The customers who would wish it can equip their aircraft with a Doppler radar of navigation and a laser rangefinder. Mirage F1E of series should not be confused with a plane which stole for the first time with an engine SNECMA M53 in December 1953 pennies same designation. In this case, the letter E meant Europe, the apparatus having been realized for its participation in a competition which opposed it in particular to General Dynamics F-16, within the framework of what one called the market of the century. Proclaimed victorious, Fighting Falcon was going to be acquired by Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. A particular mention must be also made alternative of Mirage F1E produced on behalf of Iraq under the denomination of F1EQ5. Instead of the Cyrano radar, this model is equipped with Thomson-CSF Agave adapted to the maritime attack, which allows the Super Standard besides, on which it is also assembled, to detect objectives against which from the missiles anti ships AM.39 Exocet can be drawn.
On its side, Mirage F1A is a version of simplified attack profiting from a capacity while carburizing more important but equipped with equipment fewer. The principal characteristics of this model are the absence of the Cyrano radar, which gives to the nose a conical configuration, and the installation, in a low-size radome, of a telemetric radar ESD Aïda 2. Optimized for the operations of days and not having of very wide capacities of interception (it can equipped with missiles for homing head for infra-reds), the F1E carries a system of weapons specialized for the attack on the ground which is composed of a Doppler radar of navigation ESD, of a sighting device to Thomson-CSF laser, of a power station of inertial navigation SFIM, of a screen with ravelling chart, a collimator high head Thomson-CSF 129 and of two calculators, Thomson-CSF and Crouzet. Mirage F1A can detect a target apart 5 km and carry out an automatic race of bombardment in its direction.
It is to answer a request of the Air Force concerning the realization of an apparatus intended to take the continuation of Mirage IIIR that Dassault produced Mirage F1CR. This apparatus is characterized by a radar Cyrano IVMR and a power station of inertial navigation ULISS 47, which confers to him a very high degree of accuracy for reconnaissance missions as of the secondary capacities of attack. Recognizable with the careenage of its camera compartment, located in front of the caster of nose, Mirage F1CR can be equipped with a panoramic camera OMERA 40 and a system of sweeping to infra-reds SAT Super Cyclops. Four nacelles of sensors can installation under the fuselage, and the Air Force considered the acquisition of device HAROLD, with a camera with long range (1700 m), and system RAPHAEL.
Options of armaments
As it did for the preceding lines of the Mirage, Dassault places at the disposal of the users of F1 a vast panoply of weapons, of which guns DEFA-553 of 30 mm supplied at a rate of 135 shells each one. As for the F1B, it can be equipped, where necessary, guns out of nacelles. The offensive load of 6300 kg which the plane can carry is distributed on pylons of fuselage and aerofoil, and the points of fastener located at the ends of the wings are occupied by missiles Matra R.550 Magic. On mission of aerial combat, these machines are supplemented by two Matra R.530 or super 530. French the F1 Mirage are primarily employed for tasks of interception, but the version of recognition has secondary capacities of attack. The apparatuses intended for export can be equipped with 14 bombs of 113 or 227 kg, or of eight anti-runway weapons Durandal of 363 kg, or even, with the choice, of four bombs in Beluga bunches, two LGB and a designator with laser, or a missile Aérospatiale AS.30L and an anti-ship machine Exocet.
The production intended for the Air Force includes/understands 168 specimens of the Mirage F1C, including 83 Mirages F1C-200 equipped with a pole of in-flight refueling, 20 two-seater Mirages F1B of drive and 43 Mirage F1CR of recognition. Entered in service since 1973, Mirage F1C equips eight squadrons integrated in the command air with the forces of air defense (CAFDA), while Mirage F1CR is useful in the 33e squadron of recognition. Moreover, 18 Mirages F1B and three Mirages F1C are used by the squadron of hunting 3/5 Comtat-Venaissin, based with Orange, for the drive, the transformation and the training of the instructors. The principal customers of the F1 Mirage are: Ecuador, Greece, Iraq, Jordan, it, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, South Africa and Spain.
The Mirage F1 Morrocans were engaged with the combat for the first time against the forces of Polisario, starting from the end of the Seventies, in the old Spanish Sahara. At least three of these apparatuses were cut down by missiles ground air. South Africa, as for it, used its F1 Mirages against Angola and Mozambique. More recently, Iraq engaged of the planes of this type armed with Exocet against the Iranian oil installations.