Dassault Mystère IV

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MD.454 Mystère IV
Dassault Mystère IV.jpg
Dassault Mystère IVA preserved at the Musée de l'Air.
Role Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer Dassault Aviation
First flight 28 September 1952
Primary users French Air Force
Indian Air Force
Israeli Air Force
Produced 1953–58
Number built 411
Developed from Dassault Mystère
Variants Dassault Super Mystère

The Dassault MD.454 Mystère IV was a 1950s French fighter-bomber aircraft, the first transonic aircraft to enter service with the French Air Force.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The Mystère IV was an evolutionary development of the Mystère II aircraft. Although bearing an external resemblance to the earlier aircraft, the Mystère IV was in fact a new design with aerodynamic improvements for supersonic flight. The prototype first flew on 28 September 1952, and the aircraft entered service in April 1953. The first 50 Mystere IVA production aircraft were powered by British Rolls-Royce Tay turbojets, while the remainder had the French-built Hispano-Suiza Verdon 350 version of that engine.

Operational history[edit]

French Mystère IV As at Bitburg Air Base (Germany), early 1960s

Israeli Mystère IVs saw action during the Arab-Israeli Wars and were joined by the French Mystères for the Suez crisis.

France[edit]

France was the main operator of the Mystère IV and at the peak usage operated 6 squadrons. Most of the aircraft were purchased under a United States Offshore Procurement contract and many were returned to US custody after they were retired.[2] In April 1953 the United States government and the United States Air Force placed an order for 223 aircraft to be operated by the French.[2]

The new Mystère IVs were used in the 1956 Suez Crisis and continued in use into the 1980s.[2]

Israel[edit]

The Mystère IV became Israel's first swept-wing fighter when an order for Mystère IIs was changed to 24 Mystère IVs in 1955, which were delivered from April to June 1956, equipping 101 Squadron. A further 36 were delivered in August 1956, with a final aircraft, equipped for reconnaissance duties, delivered in September 1956.[3]

On 29 October, when Israel attacked Egypt in the opening move of what became known as the Suez Crisis, invading the Sinai Peninsula, the Mystères of 101 Squadron were deployed on both air-to-air and ground attack missions.[4] On 30 October 1956 the Mystère IV got its first kill when eight aircraft fought 16 Egyptian Air Force MiG-15s. The Mystères shot down one MiG while a second MiG and one of the Mystères were damaged. One the next day, two Mystères engaged claimed four Egyptian De Havilland Vampires shot down, with another MiG-15 and a MiG-17 claimed later that day.[5] Israeli Mystères flew a total of 147 sorties during the war, for the loss of a single aircraft, shot down by ground fire on 2 November.[6]

A second squadron, 109 Squadron was equipped with the Mystère IV in December 1956,[6] while 101 Squadron passed its Mystères to 116 Squadron in November 1961.[7] Israel planned to replace the Mystère IV with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, but 109 and 116 Squadron still operated the French fighter on the outbreak of the Six-Day War. The Mystère was used as a ground attack aircraft during the war, flying 610 sorties, claiming three Arab aircraft (two MiG-17s and a Jordanian Hawker Hunter) shot down for the loss of seven Mystères, five to ground fire and two by enemy fighters (one by a Egyptian MiG-21 and one by a Jordanian Hunter flown by PAF pilot Saiful azam).[8]

The Mystère was finally retired from Israeli service on 18 March 1971.[9]

India[edit]

India procured 104 of aircraft in 1957 and used them extensively in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

On 16 Sept 65 a Mystère IVA shot down a Pakistani L-19. On 7 September 1965 an Indian Mystère shot down a Pakistani Lockheed F-104 Starfighter in a raid over Sargoda. The Mystère pilot Devayya was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously, 23 years after the battle.[10]

During the campaign Mystère IVs also destroyed Pakistani aircraft on the ground including four F-86F, three F-104 and 2 Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports.[11]

The phasing out of the aircraft started soon after the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War, though it saw further action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, it was completely phased out of the Indian Air Force by 1973.

Variants[edit]

Mystère IV
Prototype powered by a Rolls-Royce Tay 250 engine
Mystère IVA
Production fighter-bomber, 421 built, first 50 with the Rolls-Royce Tay 250 the remaining 371 with a French derivative of the Tay, the Hispano-Suiza Verdon.
Mystère IVB
In addition to production Mystère IVA, Dassault developed an upgraded Mystère IVB with either Rolls-Royce Avon (first two prototypes) or SNECMA Atar 101 (third prototype) afterburning engine and a radar ranging gunsight. Six pre-production aircraft were built but the project was abandoned in favour of the promising Super Mystère.
The only Mystère IVN in flight.
Mystère IVN
Dassault also proposed a two-seat all-weather interceptor version called Mystère IVN. The aircraft was equipped with the AN/APG-33 radar in an arrangement similar to North American F-86D Sabre Dog, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet, and armed with 55× 68 mm Matra rockets in a retractable belly tray. The first prototype flew on 19 July 1954. AdA eventually decided to purchase Sud Aviation Vautour and F-86K Sabre for the interceptor role but the Mystère IVN prototype continued to fly for several years as a testbed for radar equipment.

Operators[edit]

Dassault Mystère IV MD 454
 France
 India
 Israel

Specifications (Mystère IVA)[edit]

Mystère IVA

Data from The Complete Book of Fighters[13]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Swanborough, Gordon; Green, William A (2001). An Illustrated anatomy of the world's fighters: the inside story of over 100 classics in the evolution of fighter aircraft. Osceola, WI: MBI Pub. p. 196. ISBN 0-7603-1124-2. 
  2. ^ a b c Orbis 1985, pp. 3605-1608
  3. ^ Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, pp. 15–16.
  4. ^ Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, pp. 17–18.
  5. ^ Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 18.
  6. ^ a b Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 19.
  7. ^ Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 20.
  8. ^ Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, pp. 21–23.
  9. ^ Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 23.
  10. ^ "Devvaya", Maha Vir Chakra Recipients, Bharat Rakshak .
  11. ^ B. Harry (2 September 2006). "IAF COMBAT KILLS - 1965 INDO-PAK AIR WAR". orbat.com. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  12. ^ Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 16.
  13. ^ a b Green and Swanborough 1994, p. 149.
  14. ^ a b c Aloni Air Enthusiast March/April 2005, p. 15.
  15. ^ Bridgman 1955, p. 139.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Aloni, Shlomo (March–April 2005). "Swept-Wing Backbone: Mystère IVAs in Israeli Service". Air Enthusiast (116): 12–23. ISSN 0143-5450. 
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1955). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1955–56. New York: McGraw-Hill. 
  • Donald, David; Lake, Jon, eds. (1996). Encyclopedia of world military aircraft. AIRtime Publishing. ISBN 1-880588-24-2. 
  • Green, William; Swanborough, Gordon (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. New York: Smithmark. ISBN 0-83173939-8. 
  • Kopenhagen, W, ed. (1987). Das große Flugzeug-Typenbuch [The large airplane type book] (in German). Transpress. ISBN 3-344-00162-0. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft. Part Work 1982–1985. Orbis Publishing. 

External links[edit]