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Iraqi Mirages In Combat, Miguel Garcia
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IRAQI MIRAGES IN COMBAT, 1981-2003: The Story of the F.1EQ in Iraq.
Strongly influenced by the outcome of the 1967 war against Israel, Iraq sought to obtain aircraft with advanced avionics in early 1968. Extensive negotiations between Baghdad and Paris for the acquisition of Mirage 5s, however, ended at the time without substantial results. During French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac’s three-day trip to Baghdad in December 1974, the possibility of Iraq purchasing Mirage fighters was again raised. Initially, then Iraqi Vice-President Saddam Hussein expressed his intention to buy the same Mirage fighters that Israel used with success against Egypt and Syria during the 1973 war. Nevertheless, when Dassault and French military engine manufacturer SNECMA sent a technical team to Baghdad, they offered him one better; the Mirage F1. When the French salesmen showed films of the new fighter in action and an extensive technical briefing of the weaponry it could deliver, Saddam’s military advisors were simply overjoyed. As the biggest export customer for Mirage F.1, the Iraqi Air Force significantly contributed to the further development of this aircraft. They played a key role in the research and development of a number of systems that eventually found their way into operational service in the Armée de l´Air. Originally developed and acquired as an interceptor, the F.1EQ proved a highly capable multirole aircraft which was widely deployed not only as a recce/ground-attack plane, but also as an anti-shipping weapon. It also had the extra function of serving as an in-flight refueling platform capable of performing impressive long-range attacks which ultimately contributed to shift the balance in the air in favor of Iraq. While much was written about the Mirage F.1 in its French variants, the aircraft’s combat deployment by Iraq still remains an unknown topic that must be addressed following an exhaustive research based on IQAF documents and interviews with key people involved.
The purpose of this book is to provide in-depth, first-hand insight into the acquisition process, development and equipment of custom-tailored variants made for Iraq, training of Iraqi personnel and their combat/reconnaissance missions during the Iran-Iraq war, the 1991 Gulf War, the embargoed 1990s and the last stand during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Illustrated with over 200 pictures, 70 color profiles and 13 maps, the author provides an unprecedented 230-pages in full color covering the story of the F.1EQ in Iraq. It is the author’s hope that this publication will prove to be a great reference on missions, weapons configurations, onboard equipment, camo schemes and markings of Mirage F.1EQ in Iraqi service.
Ετικέτες: MIRAGE F.1