ATAC Mirage F1 destroyed in crash


A Mirage F1 belonging to the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) has been lost in a crash whilst on a training mission out of Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

The US Air Force said the incident happened during the morning of 10 February and that the pilot was able to safely eject. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

“Our airmen and partners are our most important resource and we are committed to conducting our mission to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots as safely as possible,” said Brigadier General Gregory Kreuder, 56th Fighter Wing Commander. “We are thankful for the continued outstanding support Luke receives from our community partners, especially during difficult situations like this. Finally, I’m grateful nobody was hurt on the ground and the pilot was safely recovered with only minor injuries.”

The aircraft involved was an ex-French Air Force Mirage F1CR (N633AX), which was officially registered to ATAC in November 2018.

ATAC is one of the companies employed by the US Air Force for adversary training and also flies its F1s from Tyndall Air Force Base. ATAC was awarded a US government procurement contract under Combat Air Forces to deliver an ‘alternative airframe’, the Mirage F1, which is projected to replace Tyndall’s current fleet of T-38 Talon aircraft.

ATAC’s Mirage training programme is anticipated to fly more than 1 100 sorties over the next several years to provide adversary air support to the 43rd Fighter Squadron, which is the schoolhouse for the F-22s, and the schoolhouse for the F-35s, the 58th Fighter Squadron.

In February 2021, another ATAC Mirage F1 was involved in an incident when a two-seat Mirage F1B slid off the runway at Tyndall Air Force Base. One of the pilots ejected.

ATAC has seven Mirage F1Bs. It bought a total of 63 from the French Air Force and these were refurbished with assistance from Paramount Group company Paramount Aerospace.

Paramount Aerospace also helped rival Draken gets its own Mirage F1 fleet airworthy, with the first Draken Mirage F1 adversary flight taking place in March 2020. Draken was selected by the US Air Force to support aircrew training at three locations across the USA. Draken has also acquired 12 ex-South African Air Force Cheetah fighters for red air training.

In May 2021 Draken lost an ex-Spanish Mirage F1M in a crash after takeoff, which killed the pilot.