Dassault Mirage IV

The Dassault Mirage IV nuclear bomber was the result of General de Gaulle’s decision to give France atomic weapons in the late 1950s. The Mirage IV was basically a scaled-up Mirage III which was too penetrate Soviet defenses at high speed and high altitude. It was later modified to pentrate at low-altitude, as SAM defenses had become too formidable to defeat. It was replaced by the Mirage 2000N in the nuclear bomber role in the mid-1990s but a handful remained in service until 2006 as reconnaissance aircraft.

NB: Three “generations” of Mirage IV profiles can be found on this page. The first profiles were somewhat crude and I made some improvements to these (the “2nd generation”). More recently, I recreated a Mirage IV template from scratch, using better research and drawing technique. Have a look at the Operation Tarpan aircraft to compare all three generations!

 


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1. Mirage IVA of an unknown unit of the French Armée de l’Air. This aircraft was seen in Mont-de-Marsan in july 1975 and sported the typical natural metal livery of early Mirage IVs.


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2. Mirage IV n°02 was the surviving prototype of the MIV program. It is now preserved in Paris. The AN-22 nuclear bomb can be seen in a semi-recessed position under the aircraft’s belly.


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3.This Mirage IVP (n°23) was one of the airframes modified for reconnaissance duties with ERS 1/91 Gascogne, based at Mont-de-Marsan in 1996. The CT-52 recce pod can be seen under the aircraft’s belly.


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Mirage IVP n°53 of ERS 1/91 Gascogne received UN markings for recce flights over Irak during Operation TARPAN in 2003. It is carrying a Barax ECM pod on the outer wing pylon.

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4. Mirage IVP n°53 of ERS 1/91 Gascogne received UN markings for recce flights over Irak during Operation TARPAN in 2003. It is carrying a Barax ECM pod on the outer wing pylon.


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5. Mirage IVP n°26 of EB 2/91 “Bretagne” in June 1996. The “Bretagne” squadron used Mirage IVs in the nuclear bomber role until July 1996, when the squadron was disbanded and the Mirage IV phased out of service.


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6. Mirage IVA from EB 3/91 “Beauvaisis” in Creil.


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7. Mirage IVP from EB 1/91 “Gascogne”, 1988.


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8. Mirage IVP from EB 2/91 “Bretagne”, 1996.

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