Dassault Mirage F1AJ: Convoluted Smoke and Mirrors.

A gorgeous Ecuadorian “F1E” Mirage during the joint Ecuadorian/U.S. exercise “Blue Horizon ’86”. The usual Matra R.550 Magic 2 air-to-air missile on its port wingtip.

Really chaotic the Ecuadorian AF relation with the “Mirages”. Apart of the 16 F1, they’ve operated six Mirage 50EV/DV donated by Venezuela during a border “tensions” time with Peru. Both F1s and Mirage 50s are now retired. Not just happy with that, they also bought the unashamedly unlicensed Israeli J79-engined “Mirage”; first Kfir C.2/TC.2 models and later the Kfir CE (“E” for Ecuadorian) aka Kfir C.10. Looping the loop, they have also added later to their inventory a dozen of former South African Atlas Cheetahs (10 C and 2 D) -in essence just modernised Mirage III’s. Those Cheetahs, curiously bought to replace their younger F1 stablemate. Tortuous, lovely tortuous everything.

Such a slim & tidy creature.


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