Australia, as well as several European countries, is being invited to participate in the Mirage F1 development to be called the Mirage F1‐M53 with maiden flight scheduled for the end of this year. The F1‐M53 will have an increased span at 8·45m of 0·03m, length at 15·23m of 0·10m and engine thrust, without afterburner, of 5,500kg, an extra 500kg. Ramp weight in smooth configuration will be reduced by 20kg to 11,210kg, maximum take‐off weight, with 4 tons of outside load and the internal fuel capacity will both remain the same. Then with only slight differences, performance will be improved considerably, for instance the ceiling improved by 4,000ft and the rate of climb, at a constant mach 0·9 figure, improved by 2,000ft/min. Then the take‐off run will be 400ft shorter and the ferry flight range improved by 2,500 nautical miles. Carrying four 1,000lb bombs and tanks, the Hi‐lo‐hi mission can be executed over an additional 65 nautical miles.
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