It was mostly used for military purposes in observation, photography, air/sea rescue, liaison and training but it has also carried anti-tank missiles and homing torpedoes. As a civilian helicopter it was put to use as a casualty evacuation (with two external stretcher panniers), crop-spraying and flying crane (with a 500kg external sling load).
Dassault designed the Mirage F1 as the successor to its Mirage III and Mirage 5 fighters. Unlike its predecessors, it has a swept wing mounted high on the fuselage, as well as a conventional tail surface.
The first prototype, which was developed by Dassault using its own funds, made its maiden flight on 23 December1966.
Mirage F1 is used by Libya (38 units) and Morocco (50 units).
Development began at the beginning of 2004 as a totally in-house and private-venture project, being developed with internal company funds. The first prototype is expected to fly in early 2006.
The entire aircraft is constructed using a modular construction system, making adapting the airframe in future to increase the range or fit larger payloads much easier than with a rigid airframe. It also makes it possible for the aircraft, once disassembled, to fit inside a 6 m ISO shipping container.