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Mirage IV Dassault
Mirage IV
Medium Strategic Bomber

During the 1950s, France decided to field a long-range manned bomber as part of its nuclear deterrent force. Dassault was chosen to develop this two-seat bomber based on the company's experience with supersonic jets. The final design was based on a twin-engine night-fighter variant of Dassault's Mirage III. The resulting Mirage IV was designed to carry one nuclear bomb in a semi-recessed fuselage bay at high speeds to targets as far as Moscow or Ukraine in the Soviet Union, with the aid if aerial refueling. Production of the Mirage IVA bomber was completed in 1968 after 62 had been built.

During the 1970s, the Mirage IV fleet was modified with two hardpoints on each wing to carry external fuel tanks and electronic countermeasures or chaff/flare pods for self defense. The wing pylons could also carry a heavy load of conventional bombs, but this armament was seldom used.

Modifications were also made to 12 Mirage IVA aircraft that were converted into high-altitude reconnaissance platforms known as the Mirage IVR. This conversion saw the nuclear armament removed in favor of a reconfigurable sensor pod carrying cameras or a SLAR package.

A major upgrade came during the 1980s when 18 Mirage IVA bombers, plus one additional new production airframe, were updated to the Mirage IVP (penetration) standard. The Mirage IVP was designed to carry a primary armament of one ASMP long-range nuclear cruise missile in place of the bomb carried on the Mirage IVA. Additional upgrades introduced on the Mirage IVP included a new radar with ground-mapping capability and a radar warning receiver.

The Mirage IVA fleet had been retired by the time the Mirage IVP completed entering service in 1987, and the survivors remained in storage until scrapped in 1997. Only 13 of the Mirage IVP fleet remained operational by 1992 and these were finally removed from service in 1996 when replaced by the Mirage 2000N. A handful Mirage IVR aircraft continued to operate over Afghanistan until phased out in 2005. Their reconnaissance duties were assumed by the Mirage F.1CR until the reconnaissance capabilities of the Mirage 2000N became available.

Data below for Mirage IVP
Last modified 26 September 2009

First Flight (Mirage IVA) 17 June 1959
(Mirage IVP) 12 October 1982
Service Entry

(Mirage IVA) 1 October 1964
(Mirage IVP) 1 May 1986

Retirement (Mirage IVA) 1987
(Mirage IVP) 1996
(Mirage IVR) 2005


two: pilot, weapon systems officer



Wing Root unknown (3.8%)
Wing Tip unknown (3.2%)

Length 77.08 ft (23.50 m)
Wingspan 38.88 ft (11.85 m)
Height 18.54 ft (5.65 m)
Wing Area 840 ft² (78.0 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 31,965 lb (14,500 kg)
Normal Takeoff 69,700 lb (31,600 kg)
Max Takeoff 72,750 lb (33,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: 3,700 gal (14,000 L)
external: up to two 660 gal (2,500 L) tanks
Max Payload

15,875 lb (7,200 kg)

Powerplant two SNECMA Atar 9K-50 afterburning turbojets
Thrust 31,750 lb (141.22 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 1,220 mph (1,965 km/h) at 60,000 ft (19,685 m), Mach 1.7 [sustained]
1,455 mph (2,340 km/h) at 40,060 ft (13,125 m), Mach 2.2 [dash]
at sea level: 840 mph (1,350 km/h), Mach 1.1
Initial Climb Rate 8,400 ft (2,560 m) / min
Service Ceiling 65,615 ft (20,000 m)
Range typical: 1,340 nm (2,480 km)
ferry: 2,160 nm (4,000 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun none
Stations five external hardpoints
Air-to-Surface Missile one ASMP nuclear cruise missile, up to four AS.37 Martel
Bomb up to 16 450-kg GP
Other (Mirage IVR) reconnaissance camera/SLAR package

Mirage IV-01 First prototype built to collect data on long-duration supersonic flight; 1 built
Mirage IVA-02 Prototype of the first production variant; 1 built
Mirage IVA Production model based on the Mirage IVA-02 designed to carry one AN-11 or AN-22 60-kT free-fall nuclear bomb; 62 built
Mirage IVB Program to develop an improved model rectifying range limitations of the Mirage IV-01; cancelled in favor of the less expensive Mirage IVA
Mirage IVR High-level reconnaissance model rebuilt from Mirage IVA models; 12 converted
Mirage IVP

Upgraded bomber rebuilt from Mirage IVA airframes and carrying one 300-kT ASMP missile and adding updated avionics and computer displays; 18 converted and 1 built

KNOWN COMBAT RECORD: Bosnia - Operation Deliberate Force (France, 1995)
Kosovo - Operation Allied Force (France, 1999)
Afghanistan - Operation Enduring Freedom (France, 2001-2005)
Iraq - UN weapon inspections (France, 2003)

KNOWN OPERATORS: France, Armée de l'Air (French Air Force)


Mirage IV

  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 304, Dassault Mirage IV.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 126-127, Dassault Mirage IV.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 97, Dassault Mirage IV.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 84-85, Dassault Mirage IV.
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 47, Dassault Mirage IV.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 36-37, Dassault Mirage IV-P.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 22, Dassault Mirage IV-P.
  • Winchester, Jim. Military Aircraft of the Cold War. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2006, p. 60-61, Dassault Mirage IV.

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