Military Aviation

AFTER ATAC ANOTHER DEFENSE CONTRACTOR BUYS SURPLUS MIRAGE F1 FIGHTERS FOR AGGRESSOR ROLE

Paramount Aerospace Systems will operate them alongside Mirage F1 fleet that was acquired from the South African Air Force in 2006

South African defense contractor Paramount Group has bought four surplus twin seat Dassault Mirage F1B fighter jets from the French government for aggressor training.

The group’s subsidiary – Paramount Aerospace Systems – will operate them alongside its single-seat Mirage F1 fleet that was acquired from the South African Air Force in 2006.

According to Flight Global, Paramount declines to disclose the purchase price, but says it is a “multimillion-euro” transaction.

No decision on delivery dates or operating locations has been taken, with these governed by potential customer requirements.

As well as aggressor and pilot training, the Mirages will be used to aid maintenance and support instruction.

As we have already reported Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) has bought 63 ex-French Mirage F1 fighters for 21 million euros.

Noteworthy according to ATAC CEO Jeffrey Parker the aircraft will be upgraded with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars to compete in the upcoming U.S. Air Force (USAF) adversary air (ADAIR) competition, which requires almost 150 aircraft to fulfil the service’s red air training needs.

Developed to replace Mirage IIIC interceptors, the F1 was different from previous Mirages since it featured a conventional swept wing and tail surfaces instead of the familiar delta wing.

Like for the Mirage III, several models of the F1 were eventually developed. The F1A was a ground attack version lacking radar; the F1B was a twin stick operational trainer; the F1C was developed into the F1CT attack version and into the F1CR reconnaissance version; the F1E was a multirole aircraft with air superiority and ground attack capabilities and the F1D was the two seater version based on the F1E.

The last Mirage F1s flown by the Armée de l’Air before the aircraft retirement have been the F1CRs and F1Bs from the reconnaissance unit 2/33 “Savoie” based at Mont-de-Marsan.

Photo credit: Jerry Gunner from Lincoln, UK, and Tim Felce (Airwolfhound) via Wikimedia Commons

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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