Mirage F1 History
In the 1960s Dassault designed the Mirage F1 as a successor for the Mirage III family. Many operators of early variants of the delta-winged Mirage III had complained about the poor field performance and loss of energy in low-level manoeuvring flight. Dassault decided to development a design with a traditional layout for the wing.
In December 1966 the first prototype made its maiden flight. And soon the first variant which was the F1C entered production. The Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) operated the F1C as its main interceptor fighter until the service entry of the Mirage 2000 in 1984.
About 650 Mirage F1s were sold to eleven countries. Especially the F1E strike attack version proved to be a big success on the export market.
In the 1991 Gulf War, the Mirage F1 was operated on both sides. In the 1980s Dassault sold a large number of Mirage F1E and some F1B aircraft to Iraq (designated F1EQ and F1BQ respectively). When coalition forces struck numerous hardened aircraft shelters to neutralize the Iraqi Air Force in support of operation Desert Storm, many of these aircraft were destroyed. Taking part in the coalition was France, supporting air operations with F1CR and F1CT aircraft.
South African Mirage F1AZ
Iraqi Mirage F1BQ