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Dassault Mirage 5FM - Escadre de Chasse "Tigre", Royal Moroccan Air Force, 1970

 The Mirage 5 was developed from a request made by the Israeli Air Force in 1964 for a simpler 'clear weather' version of the Mirage 3E tailored mainly for the ground-attack role with avionics reduced and repositioned, more fuel for attack missions and two additional ventral stores pylons located towards the rear fuselage. In September 1966 Israel became the launch customer for this important new line of the Mirage family when they placed an order for 50 Mirage 5J's.

 However, rising tensions between Israel and their neighbouring Arab states during the early summer of 1967 allied to General de Gaulle's increasingly pro-Arab stance led to a French arms embargo to Israel announced on June 3rd, 1967 just two days before the Six-Day war despite Israel having paid in full for the aircraft.

 By this time, the prototype Mirage 5 had flown and production was in full swing with the now embargoed Mirage 5J's beginning to stockpile at Bordeaux-Mérignac. But following the Mirage's dazzling combat record in the hands of Israeli pilots during the Six-Day war the air forces of many nations knocked on Dassault's door and one such nation was Morocco (formerly a French protectorate) who wanted the Mirage 5J's to supplement their recently acquired but decidedly lukewarm Northrop F-5A's. General de Gaulle readily agreed to this sale and Dassault made some minor modifications to the 5J's to export them as Mirage 5FM's to the Royal Moroccan Air Force in late 1968 with initial deliveries going to Escadre de Chasse "Tigre" based at Meknes, Northern Morocco.

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Edited by Spinners

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