Tag Archives: Dassault Mirage F1

Albacete’s NATO Tactical Leadership Programme Spotters Day

On Oct. 1 and 2, the Tactical Leadership Programme and Albacete Airbase organized a two-day Spotters Day during TLP Flying Course 2013/5.

With nearly 400 spotters attending the event, it has was the largest spotter day organized since the TLP moved from Florennes to Albacete.

Sea King

The FC 2013/5, which was the last course of the year, saw the participation of several assets from Spanish Air Force, Swiss AF, French AF, Polish AF, Turkish AF, Italian AF and the RAF.

Mirage 2000N

As a side note, the Spotters Day was one of the last non operation daily flights of the Spanish Mirage F1 which are in the process of being stored for the sale.

Mirage SpAF

Nicknamed ‘La abuela’ (Grandmother) by the Spanish fighter jocks, the Mirage F1 is being gradually replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Typhoon landing

Image credit: Alvaro Muñoz-Aycuens

 

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[Video] French Air Force Mirage F1 air-to-air firing campaign

The following cool video shows the Mirage F1 jets of the Escadron de Reconnaissance 2/33 “Savoie” of the French Air Force from Mont-de-Marsan involved in their last air-to-air firing campaign from Solenzara airbase, in Corsica.

The FAF Mirage F1CR jets operating out of Bamako, Mali, have been involved since the beginning in Operation Serval, the French Air War in West Africa.


Dernière campagne de tir air-air pour les… di armee-de-l_air

Whilst the French Air Force is currently using the plane as a reconnaissance and attack platform in the Mali Air War, the Spanish Air Force plans to decommission the Dassault Mirage F1 in 2013.

Mirage F1

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Spanish Air Force to decommission Mirage F1 fleet in 2013

Whilst the French Air Force is currently using the plane as a reconnaissance and attack platform in the Mali Air War, the Spanish Air Force is about to decommission the Dassault Mirage F1.

The Chief of the Spanish Air Force Staff (JEMA), Air General Francisco Javier García Arnaiz, recently reported that this year they would “eliminate three systems,” those that already have substitutes: the C-212 Aviocar and Fokker F-27 in the SAR Service, and the Mirage F1 fighters.

In the latter case, the Eurofighter will replace it completely when it reaches the initial operational capability in the 14th Wing Air Base in Los Llanos (Albacete).

The acquisition of the French fighters by Spain in 1972 was due by the constant interference of the United States regarding the use of Spanish Air Force’s U.S. military equipment, especially in the case of the F-86 Sabre and T-33 Shooting Star jets in the conflict of Sidi Ifni (Morocco). With the acquisition of the Mirage F1, the Spanish government marked the end of dependence on diplomatic vetoes.

In 1975 a 1st batch of 15 Mirage F1 C(E) arrived to Los Llanos Air Base in Albacete. Designated C.14, the planes were assigned to 141 Squadron, the first of the newly created 14th Wing.

The F1 C was an all-weather interceptor, equipped with a Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV monopulse radar and a limited secondary ground attack capability. Initially, the aircraft was armed with two internal DEFA 553 30mm cannons and Matra R530 medium-range air-to-air missiles.

The Spanish Air Force’s Mirage F1 CE suffered modifications that allowed integration with American AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

In the second half of 1976 a 2nd batch of planes arrived and two years later a final 3th batch which included 6 two-seater F1 BE and 24 of the most advanced single-seat F1 EE was delivered.

The F1E had an upgraded equipment with a new computer data, Head-up Display (HUD), SAGEM-Kearfott inertial platform, digital computer updated Cyrano IV radar and a fixed refuelling probe.

With this new batch, Spanish Air Force could create the 142 Squadron. The most advanced F1EE went to  the 46th Wing based in Gando, Canary Islands.

In all, Spain has acquired 91 Mirage F1. 73 units initially purchased (45 F1 CE, 22 F1 EE and 6 F1 BE) plus 5 second hand units purchased from France and 13 second hand units also purchased to Qatar.

Mid-’90s, 51 single-seaters and 4 double-seaters were upgraded to F1 M version. They had a number of improvements including intelligent 26″ HUDs with integrated radar, HOTAS system, modernized Cyrano IVM radar for accurate ground-attack capability in four different modes, Night Vision Goggles compatibility, inertial navigator Sagem ULISS 47 and AIM-9 JULI Sidewinder compatibility among others.

Mirage F1 SpAF Tiger

Image credit: NATO Tiger Association / Spanish Air Force

From August 2006, Spain dispatched three Mirage F1 M fighters to Lithuania’s First Air Base in Zokniai/Šiauliai International Airport for a 4 months deployment as part of NATO’s 10th “Air Police” patrol mission within Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia’s territorial airspace, being scrambled twice to intercept undisclosed intruders.

Nicknamed ‘La abuela’ (Grandmother) by the Spanish pilots, the Mirage F1 has been an active member of the annual NATO Tiger Meet since 1986. From this year, the state-of-the-art Eurofighter Typhoon will take that role within the 142 Squadron.

El Lince Analista for TheAviationist.com

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One year after defecting from Gaddafi's regime, Libyan Air Force Mirage F1s bid farewell to Malta

Feb. 21, 2011 – Feb. 22, 2012: one year after defecting to Malta, the two Libyan Mirage F1s returned to Libya.

Wearing the roundel and flag of Free Libya, the two aircraft, that had performed engine runs  in the last weeks, followed by a high speed taxi on RWY 05/23 at Malta International Airport on Monday, departed from runway 31 and performed a flypast to bid farewell to the Maltese Islands before heading south toward Libya.

The pilots that brought the Mirages back home, were Col. Alial-Rabti and Col. Abdullah al-Salheen, the same that had defected from Gaddafi last year.

Interestingly, the radio callsign used by the Mirage flight was both “Eagle Formation” and “Libyan Air Force 217” with the latter paying tribute to the day the revolution started: Feb. 17 (2-17).

Thanks again to Brendon Attard for the images in this post.