IPMS South Africa IPMS South Africa Dassault Mirage

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IPMS South Africa IPMS South Africa Dassault Mirage F1 AZ CZ. The name Dassault has been associated with a number of successful aircraft types the. best known being the Mirage III The Mirage III is Europe s most successful export. supersonic fighter as it was produced for 22 air forces including South Africa. However while an excellent high altitude interceptor the delta design had a number of drawbacks the most. common being the delta generates too much drag in hard dog fights and causes a very high landing speed The high. landing speed of 339 km h 210 mph was the factor which caused Dassault to look at other options Dassault. Aviation embarked on an intensive programme of prototype construction flight testing and research development. which is unequalled in aviation history Some of the designs that emerged were the VTOL Mirage III the French is. considered to have perfected the VTOL concept although the British made it practical in the form of the Harrier. The Mirage F type used conventional swept wings of very thin design and took considerable research development. by Dassault to perfect this very advanced construction The F2 was a double seater and the scaled down F1 being a. single seater was powered by the Atar K with its maiden flight on 27 December 1966 The Mirage G featured. variable sweep wings Dassault Aviation is the only aerospace company to successfully produce both VTOL and. variable swept wing aircraft These four main types were carefully researched and the various advantages weighed. against each other Even politics was entered into the equation and the selection fell on the single seater Mirage F1. often referred to as the Super Mirage powered by the most powerful fighter engine then available in France the. Atar 09K50 Most of these prototypes featured in the hit TV series especially in SA Mirage Today these. prototypes are on display at the Air Space Museum Le Bourget Financially speaking Dassault s decision to settle. for an all French product was a wise one for the Fl was subsequently bought by at least two regimes of which the. Americans heartily disapproved South Africa and Libya South Africa was Dassault s first export market for the F1. and also received a manufacturing license for the F1. SAAF Variants, In October 1971 the SAAF send an evaluation team to France Commandants Lt Col Bossie Huyser and Zach. Repsold evaluated the initial test F1 aircraft The French was suitable impressed by these SAAF Mirage III pilots. who displayed superior airmanship and marksmanship despite flying an essentially new aircraft It was concluded. after the initial evaluation that the F1 was in fact the correct choice for the SAAF SA selected both the CZ which was. very similar to the French CZ interceptor and a unique SA model the AZ for the ground attack role The AZ was. later also exported to Libya with a different component fit. Mirage F1 CZ,The F1CZ is a all weather multi purpose fighter. interceptor Internally the F1 did not offer,improved armament like the Mirage IIIs it was. armed with two 30 mm cannons in its lower front,fuselage but with five strong points under the. wings and belly for armament and extra fuel,tanks However in other ways it was a vast.
improvement on the older Mirages As used in the, SAAF the Fl CZ variant is slightly faster than the. Mirage III family capable of Mach 2 2 under,combat conditions Its endurance for patrol or. http newsite ipmssa za org index2 php option com content task view id 149 Itemid 28 pop 1 page 0 2 of 65 5 23 2008 3 41 10 PM. IPMS South Africa IPMS South Africa Dassault Mirage F1 AZ CZ. high altitude pursuit is triple compared to the A pair of F1CZs of 3 Sqdn in formation over the. earlier aircraft while it has double the radius of Northern Transvaal Northern Province. action when deployed on close support missions at,low altitude It requires 23 less runway for take. off and the maximum approach speed when,landing is 20 lower The F1 s maximum wing. loading is almost double of its predecessor while,slats on the leading edge of its wings have.
enhanced agility in combat As its major combat,aid the F1 carries in its nose an improved. Thomson CSF Cyrano IV multi function radar,system which provides automatic follow up and. fire control for the pilot The familiar pilot,friendly cockpit was improved with everything in. the right place The success of the aircraft is,mainly due to the snug fit and general layout of. the cockpit,In 1974 Cmdt Bossie Huyser received the post to.
oversee the F1 programme Much of the success of,this aircraft type in the SAAF was largely due to. his efforts Soon after SAAF pilots Maj Chris,Lombard Capt Jack Grundling and Capt Mitz. Maj Chris Lombard the first SAAF pilot to fly,Maritz left for France for the conversion course. the F1 in CZ no 201,Together with Bossie Huyser they became the. SAAF s F1 Project team On 2 December 1974,Maj Chris Lombard flew the first sortie in a.
SAAF F1CZ 201 after Cmdt Bossie Huyser in,202 experienced a technical glitch F1 CZ No 200. remained in France to be standardized as this was, the project aircraft and was subsequently the last. F1 CZ delivered to the SAAF in 1977, No 204 was the first aircraft to be locally assembled by Atlas DENEL followed by 205 and later 201 202 203 The. first two F1CZs No 204 Cmdt Bossie Huyser 205 Maj Chris Lombard were flown from Atlas to the newly. formed No 3 Squadron at Waterkloof AFB on April 4 1975 Cmdt Bossie Huyser ensured he flew the first sortie over. SA soil It was however still very much a secret operation at that stage particularly in South Africa. At the bi annual Paris Air Show in June 1975 Dassault displayed a SAAF F1 CZ and the first SAAF F1 AZ but. South Africans had no opportunity of seeing what their money had bought till September that year when some. F1CZs were displayed under armed guard at Waterkloof AFB near Pretoria where photographs for publication. were not exactly welcomed In total the SAAF received 16 F1 CZs with serial numbers from 200 216 Until the. retirement of the F1 CZ in September 1992 the Waterkloof F1s of 3 Squadron provided the Republic s northern. border with its primary knock out punch as part of the Northern Air Defence Sector NADS Two F1 CZs were. always on standby in a special hangar Plug in cords kept their systems gently turning over and their pilots prepared. for action in case the early warning radar network detects suspicious looking blips heading towards the Pretoria. Johannesburg complex If that happens the hangar s door rolls up into its roof and the F1s blast down the runway In. less than a minute they are fast vanishing dots in the northern sky This function has since been taken over by the. http newsite ipmssa za org index2 php option com content task view id 149 Itemid 28 pop 1 page 0 3 of 65 5 23 2008 3 41 10 PM. IPMS South Africa IPMS South Africa Dassault Mirage F1 AZ CZ. Cheetah C of 2 Squadron based at AFB Louis Trichardt now AFB Makhado. Mirage F1 AZ,The SAAF also ordered 32 of the Fl AZ variant. serial numbers 217 249 which is primarily a,ground attack fighter to replace the Mirage.
IIIEZ In 1975 Capt Andre van der Heever was,appointed to start the F1 AZ project With Capt. Gawie Winterbach they became the first F1,students and attended the course at 3 Sqdn A few. CZ flying hours later they left for France to, attend the first of the technical courses on the AZ. On 7 October 1975 Capt Gawie Winterbach flew,the first AZ sortie by a SAAF pilot in No 216. During March 1976 the first AZs arrived at Atlas,On 24 March 1976 Capt Gawie Winterbach flew.
the first AZ sortie over SA again in 216 This was Mirage F1 AZ with vapour trails at the wing. followed by Andre van der Heever in no 217 All tips Note the different nose profile as compared. the F1s were shipped by sea and then by road to the CZ. transport to Atlas for assembly except no 239,247 The last nine aircraft were flown from. France to SA by C130s from 28 Sqdn, to prevent delivery refusal due to the rapidly approaching arms embargo against SA The F1AZ is visually. distinguished by a slender conical nose due to the removal of the sophisticated ultra expensive Cyrano IV radar. system The aircraft features an integrated ground attack system with two on board computers which enable the. pilot to identify a target 5 km away and then provide him with all the data he needs to home in on it after which the. system automatically releases the bombs at the right moment However the range finding ability of the EMD AIDA 2. radar unit permits the Mirage F1AZ to operate combat and visual interception missiles such as the MATRA R 550. However these aircraft also used the locally developed helmet mounted sight This enables the pilot to make of bore. attacks without having to manoeuvre until the optimum firing position South Africa subsequently emerged as one of. the pioneers and leaders in helmet mounted sight technology The SAAF was also the first Air Force to fly the helmet. sight operationally Main avionics is moved from behind the cockpit to the nose The instrument boom is attached on. the underside of the nose out of the way of the AIDA radar. Remaining space is taken up by an additional fuel tank behind the. cockpit and a retractable refueling probe in the nose In addition. the South African F1 AZs are fitted with a laser range finder. under the nose This stealth device provides the attack computers. with target info without the emission of radar signals The F1 AZ. remained South Africa s primary ground attack aircraft. throughout its service life with the SAAF Although supplemented. in later years by the Cheetah C, The F1AZs started arriving in 1976 and were allocated to No 1. Squadron then still flying Sabre Mk6s out of Air Force Base F1 AZ refuelling from a 24 Sqdn Buccaneer. http newsite ipmssa za org index2 php option com content task view id 149 Itemid 28 pop 1 page 0 4 of 65 5 23 2008 3 41 10 PM. IPMS South Africa IPMS South Africa Dassault Mirage F1 AZ CZ. Pietersburg which it shared with 85 Advanced Flying School No 1 Squadron handed its Sabres over to 85 AFS and. moved to Waterkloof there to operate its F1 AZs in such discreet manner that they were not revealed to the general. public until another air show was held at Ysterplaat and Waterkloof in February 1980 to celebrate the SAAF s 60th. anniversary The Mirage F1AZ was the last new aircraft type delivered to South Africa. Mirage F1 AZ CZ in the Border War,Top photo 1 Sqdn H Potgieter. The United Nations special committee on apartheid expressed fears that France was giving South Africa a military. potential that many African states would be unable to match for several decades In 1981 the South West Africa. Peoples Organisation SWAPO declared France the enemy of Africa and said the jets would be used against. Zambia Tanzania and the black people of South Africa. This propaganda never materialised but,fortunately for South Africa France had enough.
backbone to supply the SAAF with the F1 For, South Africa found itself suddenly all alone in the. late 70 s on a troubled continent and against the,Communist supported regimes in Angola The. conflict intensified to the point where the Mirage F1. types where deployed against Angola from 1978 On,6 July 1978 Capt Steve Ferreira flew a 2 Sqdn. Mirage III R2Z on a photo recce mission into F1 AZ with 4 Mk 81 bombs and two under wing. Zambia Capt Andre van der Heever accompanied fuel tanks This configuration was typical during the. him in a F1 AZ This was the first operational sortie early deployment to the operational area. flown by the F1 and was unopposed From 3,November 1978 the F1s regularly deployed to the. http newsite ipmssa za org index2 php option com content task view id 149 Itemid 28 pop 1 page 0 5 of 65 5 23 2008 3 41 10 PM. IPMS South Africa IPMS South Africa Dassault Mirage F1 AZ CZ. operational area On 14 March 1979 Capt Tinkie,Jones became the first 3 Sqdn pilot to fire his.
weapons in anger since WWII while attacking a,ground target On 6 November 1981 a F1CZ flown. by Maj Johan Rankin shot down the first Mig 21, This was the first confirmed air air victory for the. SAAF since World War II Even more remarkable,this was achieved by scrambling two F1CZs from. Ondangwa and not combat air patrol CAP Maj, Johan Rankin also shot down the second Mig 21 on 5. October 1982 The F1s were repeatedly involved,with the Mig 21 and other East block aircraft the.
SAAF s F1 always came out on top and none was, ever lost to a East block aircraft Both F1 types were. used in the strike roll armed with various types of Mirage F1 CZs at AFB Ondangwa during the. dumb ordnance from free fall retarded cluster Border War conflict. bombs to unguided rockets, Later smart weapons were introduced developed and manufactured in South Africa As recognised by leading. aircraft and defence publications the SAAF operated in what was at that time the most intensive air defense structure. anywhere in the world The latest East block radar and defence networks were deployed against the SAAF Damage. was initially high but due to the skill of the pilots they almost every time managed to bring the stricken aircraft. home This led to the local development of ECM and early warning systems for SAAF aircraft. Tactics were also revised and adapted with the SAAF pilots emerging as one of the pioneers in modern day low. IPMS South Africa IPMS South Africa Dassault Mirage F1 AZ CZ Dassault Mirage F1 AZ CZ Written by Anton Dyason IPMS SA Media Group Sunday 16 January 2000 Top photo 1 Sqdn H Potgieter bottom 3 Sqdn This aircraft type ensured peace and stability in the Southern Africa region for almost 22 years

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