Tag Archives: Mirage F1

Argentina desperately seeking Mirage

Cash-low Argentina is so desperately seeking new fighter jets, that it is looking to put budget priced French fighter jets from the 1970s back in the air.

The defence minister of the Latin-American nation recently paid a visit to France, trying to have Paris agree to an affordable price tag for 12 Dassault-made fighter jets retired by the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air). Buenos Aires is looking for six Mirage F1s plus six Mirage 2000s, or a dozen of either one of the types. A 2013 deal with Spain seems to have hit the sand barrier somewhere.

FAM IA 58 Pucará

To Argentina’s main conservative daily newspaper, La Nacion, Mr. Julio Martinez also said he is hoping that France would like to provide new engines so that the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina) is able to bring 20 IA 58 Pucará ground attack and counter-insurgency aircraft back into the sky. Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FAM) produced 110 of these two-engine propeller aircraft between 1976 and 1986, with the type still operational in both Argentine and Uruguay.

An Argentinian made  Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) IA 58 Pucará, here in service with the Uruguayan Air Force (Image © Ralph Blok)
An Argentinian made Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) IA 58 Pucará, here in service with the Uruguayan Air Force (Image © Ralph Blok)

F-16

Despite its known good operational status and relatively low cost for flight hours and maintenance, Buenos Aires is said not to seek purchase of the US-made Lockheed Martin F-16 that is flown – among others – by neighbouring Chile. An official reason for not buying the F-16 other that “not in the interest of the nation” has not been given. For some time even a wild story circulated that frustrated policy makers in the Argentinian capital were looking for a Russian bomber solution.

A former IAF Skyhawk, now working for a civil contractor. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
A-4s similar to this former Israeli example were grounded in Argentina in January 2016 (Image © Elmer van Hest)

A-4 Fightinghawk

The Fuerza Aérea Argentina has currently no fighter jets on strenght, after the 22 remaining McDonnell Douglas A-4AR Fightinghawks and three (O)A-4ARs were grounded at Villa Reynolds Airbase in January 2016 because of the lack of spare parts and other airworthiness issues. Earlier the service decommissioned its Dassault Mirage III and IAI Fingers / AMD M5 Dagger units at Tandil Airbase. That leaves the nation with only 32 IA 58 Pucarás on frontline duty, of which many are down for maintenance.

An AT-63 Pampa II (Image © Fábrica Argentina de Aviones)
An AT-63 Pampa II (Image © Fábrica Argentina de Aviones)

Pampa

The about two dozen FMA IA 63 Pampas (35 ordered) are not suited for combat, and the 14 remaining Embraer EMB-312 Tucanos can only be used for limited ground support and counter-insurgency operations.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com senior contributor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): Retired French Air Force Mirage F1s might be put to new use in Argentine skies (Image © Marcel Burger)

Spanish Mirages head for Argentina

The Spanish Mirage F-1s ended their career earlier in 2013.  This one was seen at Florennes, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The Spanish Mirage F1s ended their Spanish career earlier in 2013. This one was seen at Florennes, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

A total of 16 Spanish Air Force Mirage F1’s will head for South America in the near future, as Argentina has agreed to buy the fighters as replacements for older Mirage IIIs. Rumours were around for some quite some time, but only now have authorities in Buenos Aires officially confirmed the deal. The transaction is worth USD 230 million, according to sources in Argentina.

The Spanish air Force said good bye to the Mirage F1 in June this year. The French built fighters had been in service with the Spanish for almost a quarter of a century. The aircraft underwent several updates while in Spain, including the add on of aerial refueling capability and GPS navigation and targeting instrumentation. The Eurofighter Typhoon has replaced the Mirage F-1 in Spanish service.

Argentina earlier expressed the need for a more modern fourth generation fighter, but budget issues don’t allow such a purchase. The 16 Mirages will likely be based at Tandil Air base, some 200 miles south of Buenos Aires.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Elmer van Hest

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Check out the Fuerza Aérea Argentina Orbat at Scramble.nl

Magic Mirage

So, no more Brazilian Mirages from December on. Well, that’s one reason less to go there, although we are pretty sure there are many reasons left. But that’s future stuff; over the past 25 years or so, Mirages have worked their magic pretty well on us. Let’s see a few.

Yeah, there's two in there. Nice autumn light on these Dijon Deltas. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Yeah, there’s two in there. Nice autumn light on these Dijon Deltas. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The REAL Mirage, according to us. The classic shape of a classic fighter - from Switzerland. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The REAL Mirage, according to us. The classic shape of a classic fighter – from Switzerland. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Spain_MirageF1
The Spanish Mirage F1s ended their flying career earlier in 2013. This one is seen fully active at Florennes, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The Swiss also operated Mirages in the recce role. Good thing it came with a great camouflage job. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The Swiss also operated Mirages in the recce role. Good thing it came with a great camouflage job. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Mirages come in bigger size also, but not bigger than this Mirage 4P taking off from Kleine Brogel, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Mirages come in bigger size also, but no bigger than this Mirage 4P taking off from Kleine Brogel, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Colmar, France, 1995. That about sums it up for this Mirage F1CT. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Colmar, France, 1995. That about sums it up for this Mirage F1CT. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Oh yeah, always finish with something rare, is what we say. Well, it is a shitty picture, but it IS a Moroccan Mirage F1, albeit pictured in Reims, France. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Oh yeah, always finish with something rare, is what we say. Well, it is a shitty picture, but it IS a Moroccan Mirage F1, albeit pictured in Reims, France. (Image © Elmer van Hest)