INTRODUCTION: The Iraqi Government has confirmed that it has received the first consignment of French built Mirage F-1 jet fighter bombers for use in its 5 month old war with Iran.
GV Mirage aircraft flying at Merignac airfield near Bordeaux (5 shots)
GV Mirage taxiing at airfield
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Iraqi Government has confirmed that it has received the first consignment of French built Mirage F-1 jet fighter bombers for use in its 5 month old war with Iran. The planes are being delivered to Baghdad under a contract signed with France in 1977. An Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman said the delivery of the aircraft demonstrated France's independent decision and balanced dealings with independent countries.
SYNOPSIS: The French decision to honour the 1977 contract has drawn bitter criticism from Iran which says the move will not be forgotten. Under the agreement, France is to supply 36 of these Mirage fighters, constructed at France's Dassault factory and tested at the Merignac airfield near Bordeaux. So far, 4 planes have been delivered, and in return, France is expected to be guaranteed continuing supplies of Iraq oil. Iraq military spokesmen say the fighter bombers will provide a great boost to the armed forces. But Iraq is believed to be having problems with its main supplier of arms, the Soviet Union.
It was announced on Wednesday (4 February) that Moscow had stopped pre-war contracts with Iraq. Officials would not say whether the supply of Soviet arms had actually halted.