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In mid 70's some structural cracks were found on the RAAF Mirage III fleet, altough a crash program was devised to fix the problem, the Australian goverment decided to buy a stopgap solution, purchasing 26 Mirage F.1 directly from France, the planes were really liked by its pilot and soldiered with the RAAF until year 2000 with some modernization programs in the meantime, surviving the Mirage III for a long shot and also flying along the F/A-18A that was choosen to replace the Mirages.

Why the odd number you will ask, the first 24 planes including 2 two seaters were designated for squadron use, and two single seaters were keep by the Aircraft Reasearch and Development Unit in order to devise some specific solutions tailored specifically to thew RAAF, including modified ECM pods, flare launchers and some speficic engine changes. The ARDU F.1's were some of the last to be retired of operational use when they tested some self defense suits that were then installed on the RAAF Hornets. Of course during their ARDU service the two F.1's used the infamous Fanta Can scheme that made the planes a welcome sight for plane spotters and plastic modellers around the world.

Oustanding skin work by my good friend ValAstur!






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