Dassault Mystère IV

The Dassault MD.454 Mystère IV is a 1950s French fighter-bomber aircraft.

Design and development

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.

Operational history

Israeli Mystère IVs saw action during the Arab-Israeli Wars and were joined by the French Mystères for the Suez crisis. On 8 June 1967, Israeli aircraft were involved in the tragic and controversial attack on USS Liberty.

India procured 104 of these aircraft in 1957. It was used extensively in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. On 7 September 1965, Squadron Leader Ajjamada Devayya of the Indian Air Force shot down an F-104 Starfighter commanded by Flight Lieutenant Amjad Khan of the Pakistan Air Force in a raid over Sargoda. Amjad managed to score several hits on Devayya's Mystère and believed it to be destroyed, so he broke off to look for another target. However, Devayya's Mystère was still operable, and he successfully shot down the Starfigher. Devayya was killed or crashed soon after. This battle went unnoticed in India until it was later revealed in John Fricker's book Battle for Pakistan. Devayya was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously 23 years after the battle. However, Amjad who earlier claimed he was shot down by another Mystere changed his stand & reported he was not shot down, but blamed a midair collision with Mystère with whom he was in a dogfight, for his crash. However, prior to that the Pakistan Air force f-104 lobby stated, that Amjad, had to bail out from his doomed aircraft, when he flew by the exploding debris of Mystere. A Sabre pilot in PAF, however had contradicted this claim, when he stated that Amjad was downed by a Mystere on the Morning of 7th September.

The phasing out of the aircraft started soon after the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War, but it saw further action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. It was completely phased out of the Indian Air Force by 1973.


In addition to production Mystère IVA, Dassault developed an upgraded Mystère IVB with either Rolls-Royce Avon (first two prototypes) or SNECMA Atar 101 (third prototype) afterburning engine and a radar ranging gunsight. However, the project was abandoned in favor of the promising Super Mystère.

Dassault also proposed a two-seat all-weather interceptor version called Mystère IVN. The aircraft was equipped with the AN/APG-33 radar in an arrangement similar to North American F-86D Sabre Dog, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet, and armed with 55× 68 mm Matra rockets in a retractable belly tray. The first prototype flew on 19 July 1954. AdA eventually decided to purchase Sud Aviation Vautour and F-86K Sabre for the interceptor role but the Mystère IVN prototype continued to fly for several years as a testbed for radar equipment.


Specifications (Mystère IVA)

See also


  • Donald, David; Lake, Jon (editors) (1996). Encyclopedia of world military aircraft. AIRtime Publishing. ISBN 1-8805-8824-2.
  • Kopenhagen, W (editor) (1987). Das große Flugzeug-Typenbuch. Transpress. ISBN 3-3440-0162-0.

External links

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