The Dassault MD.454 Mystère IV was a 1950s French fighter-bomber aircraft, the first transonic aircraft to enter service with the French Air Force.
The Mystère IV was an evolutionary development of the Mystère II aircraft. Although bearing an external resemblance to the earlier aircraft, the Mystère IV was in fact a new design with aerodynamic improvements for supersonic flight. The prototype first flew on 28 September 1952, and the aircraft entered service in April 1953. The first 50 Mystere IVA production aircraft were powered by British Rolls-Royce Tay turbojets, while the remainder had the French-built Hispano-Suiza Verdon 350 version of that engine.
French Mystère IV As at Bitburg Air Base (Germany), early 1960s
Israeli Mystère IVs saw action during the Arab–Israeli wars and were joined by the French Mystères for the Suez crisis.
France was the main operator of the Mystère IV and at the peak usage operated 6 squadrons. Most of the aircraft were purchased under a United States Offshore Procurement contract and many were returned to US custody after they were retired. In April 1953 the United States government and the United States Air Force placed an order for 223 aircraft to be operated by the French.
The new Mystère IVs were used in the 1956 Suez Crisis and continued in use into the 1980s.
The Mystère IV became Israel's first swept-wing fighter when an order for Mystère IIs was changed to 24 Mystère IVs in 1955, which were delivered from April to June 1956, equipping 101 Squadron. A further 36 were delivered in August 1956, with a final aircraft, equipped for reconnaissance duties, delivered in September 1956.
On 29 October, when Israel attacked Egypt in the opening move of what became known as the Suez Crisis, invading the Sinai Peninsula, the Mystères of 101 Squadron were deployed on both air-to-air and ground attack missions. On 30 October 1956 the Mystère IV got its first kill when eight aircraft fought 16 Egyptian Air Force MiG-15s. The Mystères shot down one MiG while a second MiG and one of the Mystères were damaged. One the next day, two Mystères engaged claimed four Egyptian De Havilland Vampires shot down, with another MiG-15 and a MiG-17 claimed later that day. Israeli Mystères flew a total of 147 sorties during the war, for the loss of a single aircraft, shot down by ground fire on 2 November.
A second squadron, 109 Squadron was equipped with the Mystère IV in December 1956, while 101 Squadron passed its Mystères to 116 Squadron in November 1961. Israel planned to replace the Mystère IV with the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, but 109 and 116 Squadron still operated the French fighter on the outbreak of the Six-Day War. The Mystère was used as a ground attack aircraft during the war, flying 610 sorties, claiming three Arab aircraft (two MiG-17s and a Jordanian Hawker Hunter) shot down for the loss of seven Mystères, five to ground fire and two by enemy fighters (one by an Egyptian MiG-21 and one by a Jordanian Hunter flown by PAF pilot Saiful azam).
India procured 104 of aircraft in 1957 and used them extensively in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
On 16 Sept 65 a Mystère IVA shot down a Pakistani L-19. On 7 September 1965 an Indian Mystère shot down a Pakistani Lockheed F-104 Starfighter in a raid over Sargoda. The Mystère pilot Devayya was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously, 23 years after the battle.
During the campaign Mystère IVs also destroyed Pakistani aircraft on the ground including four F-86F, three F-104 and 2 Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports.
The phasing out of the aircraft started soon after the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War, though it saw further action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, it was completely phased out of the Indian Air Force by 1973.
Length: 12.89 m
Wingspan: 11.12 m
Height: 4.60 m
Wing area: 32.06 m²
Empty weight: 5,860 kg
Loaded weight: 8,510 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 9,500 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza Verdon 350 turbojet, 34.32 kN
Maximum speed: 1,110 km/h at sea level
Range: 915 km without external tanks, 2,280 km with external tanks
Service ceiling: 15,000 m
Rate of climb: 40 m/s
Guns: 2× 30 mm DEFA cannons with 150 rounds per gun
Rockets: 55 air-to-air rockets in retractable pack
Bombs: 1,000 kg of payload on four external hardpoints,
including a variety of bombs, rockets or Drop tanks