Special Hobby 1/72 Mirage F.1CE/CH
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||I'm going to guess new tool|
In June 1975, with tension growing with Morocco, Spain decided to strengthen its Air Force and bought 15 Mirage F1C that were allocated to Albacete AB. In mid-1976 there was still some tension with Morocco and Algerian and Libyan MiG-25 flights on the Mediterranean, which would lead the Spanish Air Force to purchase ten more Mirage F1C and two years later order 48 Mirage F1C and F1E. They have also bought 12 F1EDA/DDA's from Qatar. In Spanish service the F1CE was known as the C.14A, the F1EE was the C.14B and the two-seater F1EDA as the C.14C.
They served as Spain's primary air defence interceptors until they were superseded by Spain's EF-18A Hornets. They served with Ala 11 (11th Wing) in Manises, Ala 14 in Albacete, and Ala 46 at Gando in the Canary Islands. In October 1996 Thomson-CSF was awarded a FFr700 million (US$96m) contract to upgrade 48 F1C/E single-seaters and 4 F1EDA trainers to Mirage F1M standard (see below). As well as a service-life extension, this improved the avionics and added anti-shipping capability with a modernised Cyrano IVM radar and Exocet compatibility. By 2009 there were 38 F1M's in service with Escuadrón 141 (141st Squadron) "Patanes" and Escuadrón 142 (142nd Squadron) "Tigres" of Ala 14, but they left Spanish service on 23 June 2013 as Spain built up its fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon. In 2013 it was reported that Spain may sell sixteen F1M's to Argentina but it seems they now have the budget to buy new Kfirs instead. The deal went through and Argentina bought the Spanish Mirages in October 2013, but the deal was scrapped in March 2014 after pressure from the United Kingdom on Spain to not assist in FAA modernization over tensions between the countries over the Falkland Islands.
Spanish Mirage F1 were deployed to Lithuania, during NATO Baltic Air Policing from July 2006 to November 2006, and were scrambled twice to intercept undisclosed intruders. On 20 January 2009 two Spanish F1s from the 14th Wing crashed near their base, during a routine Spanish Air Force dogfight training mission, killing all three crew members. The wreckage of the two jets, including the remains of the aircrew, was found about 3 km (1.9 mi) apart.
The Spanish Air Force retired its fleet of Mirage F-1 in 2013, replacing it with the Eurofighter Typhoon.
It is nice to see model companies bringing out newer tooling kits of old favorites. This one certainly seems to offer all one would want in a modern kit, and without resorting to photo etch to do it. Those who know Mirages would probably be able to do any single seat variant from this kit so it is well worth getting.
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My thanks to, well, me for purchasing this one. November 2016
My thanks to, well, me for purchasing this one.
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