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The Cyrano, the armament and it's relation to the F1M


EricToGo

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The radar and weapons of the F1 are something that has been keeping me busy for the past six months. This post isn’t necessarily to prove any capabilities of the plane, I mostly want to get some other people's opinion and maybe a response from the devs themselves on this. I will post links to the sources where I got my information from and add translations to English if needed at the end of the post. 

Part 1 - The Radar

I love the Mirage F1 and I think that Aerges has done an amazing job so far. I very much enjoy the way the Mirage planes have been designed internally; thus, I also enjoy flying the Mirage 2000. 

Both Mirages we have in DCS have been concepted as interceptors/fighters and both excel when used accordingly. Still, they are not limited to only carrying air to air weaponry. For Example: Low drag bombs, high drag bombs, rockets, runway bombs and laser guided bombs with no self lasing capabilities. Whilst it is more of an art dropping bombs in the F1, the Mirage 2000 is quite a modern plane with the ability of dropping bombs via the radar in CCIP and CCRP modes. From what I could gather the F1M with the upgraded HUD and radar should also be able to drop bombs in CCIP and CCRP mode as well. 

Now, this pretty much brings me to my first point of discussion. I have been reading into all the different versions of the Cyrano IV radar to get an idea about what to expect from the F1M once we get our hands on it and tried to compile it into an infographic describing the different versions.Cyranowebfriendly.png

The functions we currently have with the F1EE are pretty much equal to the Cyrano IV-3 with limited look down ability and ground mapping. It probably comes down to the radar not being finished yet. The manual by Aerges shows all the settings on the function indicator (Page 104) with an inoperable blind penetration mode and air-ground telemetry mode. This makes it seems more like the Cyrano IVM. The description on the Steam page says the module comes with the Cyrano IVM as well. On a Spanish forum I found this description of the different versions of the Cyrano IV and it says this about the Cyrano IVM (translated): 

Zitat

“With the appearance of the Mirage F-1E, a multi-purpose export aircraft, the much improved Cyrano IV-M entered service, including air-to-sea modes, ground mapping, contour mapping and air-to-ground telemetry, plus the inclusion of some filters to override certain electronic countermeasures.” 

This would correlate to the description of the manual except for the air to sea mode. Air to ground telemetry seems to be a different name for air to ground ranging, which should be what is used for CCIP and CCRP (Taken from Chucks guide for the Mirage 2000, chapter 4.1 explaining “Télémétrie Air-Sol” translated as “Air-to-Ground Ranging Mode”). I don’t know weather an air to ground ranging mode automatically enables CCIP/CCRP capabilities though or if some sort of designation ability is needed. Also the F1CE seems to have the same radar in-game.

Maybe someone can clear this up for me, also which version exactly we have or are getting. I sadly couldn’t find any information specifically on the Spanish versions of the F1. I could imagine that the F1M would either include all the abilities of all previous versions since it pretty much was the last time the Cyrano IV was used in an upgrade, or a combination of the Cyrano IVM and IVMR which also was used by France in the Mirage F1CT upgrades.

Part 2 - The Weapons

Now before I get into all the information I’ve gathered about armament the Mirage F1 could carry, I want to say the following:

I know that some of the weapons I will talk about have not been used by the versions of the F1 we are getting for DCS. Now, except Aerges decides to do more playable versions of the F1 in the future, this definitely will be the only time we get a thoroughly simulated Mirage F1 in an environment that also simulates usable weaponry in the next years, maybe even for the next decade. There simply will not be a second developer developing a Mirage F1 for DCS.

This probably is a whole other discussion about how far you can go into adding weapons not carried by the real plane. Whilst I fully agree that one should not add a targeting pod if there wasn’t one in real life, because you would have to make up a whole page for the MFD, I think that if the capability of a weapon is based on hardpoint wiring (not talking about being a smart hardpoint or not) it simply is so far under the hood that it should not matter for DCS. Obviously, one should not argue about adding weapons that weren’t used by any version of the airplane. But if it isn’t too farfetched technically, I don’t see why one should not add a weapon. 

I personally would be somewhat disappointed in not being able to enjoy some of the weapons that were used by other F1 versions because of absolute “realism”. For the people interested in absolute realism the DCS mission editor allows to disable certain weapons from use. At the end of the day this is also about me being interested in having a capable, non-American, true multirole aircraft (besides the JF-17) in DCS. I already love the F1 though, this is not about having it as capable as possible.

Now I would like to state some information I’ve found online about a few weapons. Again, I don’t necessarily try to prove certain capability for those weapons. I know Wikipedia is not the most reliable source for these kind of things, but I used it anyway to underline a claim if there is another source claiming similar/the same facts.

Martel / ARMAT

I want to start off with the MARTEL and ARMAT anti-radiation missiles. It is somewhat complicated to find something about which air forces used these weapons on which plane. The Iraqis have definitely used them on their F1EQs. A small Danish website about plane facts claims that the Kuwaiti have used the ARMAT on their F1CKs. A stat page about the Mirage F1CK-2 on CMANO-DB also lists the ARMAT as a used weapon. Wikipedia also suggests that the ARMAT was in use with the Kuwaiti air force. The German Wikipedia article of the MARTEL claims that 25 ARMAT were delivered to Kuwait. The Kuwaiti F1CK-1 are equal to the general F1C model, and the later F1CK-2 are equal to the F1E. This would suggest that the version the F1 we already have in game probably are capable to launch the MARTEL/ARMAT ARM. If I find more information on this, I will add it here later. 

AS-30

Next, I want to talk about the AS-30 and AS-30L missile. F1EQs of the Iraqi air force used AS-30L during the Iran-Iraq war. The Wikipedia page of the AS-30 links to an external image of a French F1 firing an AS-30L. The F1 in the picture is one of the later F1CR or F1CT as it has a laser spot tracker below the cockpit. I would think that the AS-30L does not have any special launch constraints and will simply track a laser after launch with a pre-set code as most laser guided weapons. From what I could gather, only the South African F1AZ/CZ used the regular AS-30 with MCLOS guidance. I don’t know how farfetched (probably a lot) this one would be, as especially the F1AZ were specifically made for ground attack with heavy modifications to the ground attack suite compared to all other F1 versions. The laser guided version seems to be technically possible though.

AM39 Exocet

This last one has been discussed a lot. The AM39 Exocet. I found this to be a rather complex one. Only the Iraqi F1EQ have fired Exocets and these have a version of the Cyrano IV with a special designation, namely the Cyrano IVM3. 

On a Spanish forum there was a post made by someone about the Cyrano radar in the Venezuelan Mirage 5 and he said the following about the Iraqi F1EQs and the Cyrano IVM3 (translated): 

Zitat

“The history of our (Meaning the Venezuelan Cyrano) Cyrano-IVM3 is curious, as it is a direct descendant of the "Ramadan" programme. "Ramadan" was a programme of upgrades made at Iraq's request to provide new capabilities to its Cyrano-IVs in service with its large fleet of Mirage F.1EQ-1/2/3/4/5/6, "Ramadan", resulted in the ability to use the "AM-39 Exocet" weapon system from multipurpose platforms, while everyone believed that Iraq was using the specialised "Agave" radar on its Mirage F.1 EQ-5 (the last ones received during the conflict against Iran) thus explaining the use of the Exocet, in reality, it was a heavily modified Cyrano-IVM with elements from the Thompson-CSF RDM-3 programmes that went into the Greek Mirage-2000EG and gave them Exocet capability (although basic RDMs and Cyrano-IVMs have certain air/sea capabilities in the former and air/ground in the latter _improved the newer the radar_), the ability to use the Exocet depends on the link between the radar and the INS Uliss navigation system (I can't remember the suffix, but I think it's 86) which provides inertial navigation information to the Exocet missile systems before they are launched.” 

Interestingly the late upgrade of the Mirage 5 of Venezuela, the Mirage 50EV, was upgraded with the Cyrano IVM3 radar as well and was fully capable of launching Exocets as stated on Wikipedia. Though, not only did the radar get replaced, but the inertial navigation system (INS) as well. It was replaced by one made by SAGEM. Coincidentally SAGEM is the company producing the Uliss INS. This makes it likely that in the case of the Mirage 50EV there also was a link between the INS and radar. 

Coming to the F1M upgrade made for Spain. The Wikipedia page mentions that part of the upgrade was “…added anti shipping capability with a modernised Cyrano IVM radar…” suggesting again that this last version of the Cyrano IV does incorporate all functions of previous versions (Cyrano IVM, IVMR, IVM3). Besides, right afterwards Exocet compatibility gets mentioned. Here the full paragraph: 

Zitat

"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). Ex-Qatar Mirage F1s were left outside the upgrade, as it was a different version, and were the first ones to be retired. 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. "

To double down on this, I found an article from 2011 in the “Archivo Mirage” about the Cyrano IV radars history and it states the radar of the F1M being “…digitised, as its readings can be displayed on a colour multifunction display … replacing the old monochrome display”. Further the following is said: 

Zitat

“This allows for a clearer and more dynamic presentation of the data, and the data can interact in real time with the rest of the aircraft's subsystems, thanks to the 1553B data bus. 

This should basically be it. The “digitised” Cyrano IVM can communicate with other systems and thus probably also with the INS. This possibly brings it down to being a wiring issue first and foremost. Because of all this I don’t think it would be that farfetched to add the Exocet to the F1M. Again, this could be disabled in the mission editor by the people that don’t like it.

 

Also, this probably is out of the scope for the DCS Mirage F1, but another article on “Archivo Mirage” about the Mirage F1 MF2000 by ASTRAC mentions Exocet capability. Yes, it has a different radar and a "GPS-upgraded SIGMA 95 laser gyro intertial navigator" but also uses the 1553 data bus for the systems. This also somewhat reinforces the claim that Exocet capability is dependent on a link between radar and INS.

Again, I am first and foremost interested in opinions on all this and maybe a response from the devs. I may or may not have missed something as I am finishing this with a headache.

 

Source as links and translations as PDF files:
Archivo Mirage Cyrano Article: https://archivomirage.blogspot.com/2011/01/radar-thomson-csf-cyrano-iv.html

Archivo Mirage on MF2000: https://archivomirage.blogspot.com/2009/07/le-bourget-2009-astrac-presenta-el.html

Zona Militare about Cyrano IV: https://www.zona-militar.com/foros/threads/caracteristicas-tecnicas-del-cyrano-iv.3313/

ARMAT Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARMAT

MARTEL German Wikipedia page: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/AS.37_Martel

Mirage F1 Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Mirage_F1

Mirage 5 Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Mirage_5

Kampfly.dk on Kuwait F1: http://www.kampfly.dk/Flysiden/Fly/Dassault/MirageF1KW.htm
 

GermanMARTELWikipage.pdf ArchivoMirageCyranoArticle.pdf ArchivoMirageMirageF1ASTRACArticle.pdf ZonaMilitareCyranoPost.pdf Kampflydk.pdf

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Every variant we're getting from Aerges is equipped with the Cyrano IVM radar. The EEs were delivered with this as well as the third lot CEs I believe. And following from there the existing CEs were retrofitted with the IVMs. The F1M retained the IVM 

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Anti-shipping strike mission was assigned to EF-18 hornets in Spain. There is no mention to added anti-shipping capabilities to the Cyrano IVM in the official magazine (Revista de aeronautica y Astronautica) during the upgrade to F1M version.

About the radar, it only mention 2 modifications. Due to the digitalisation of the aircraft using Bus MIL-1553B, the signal was digitalised to be able to change the old monochrome screen for a new multi-function display. Also to enable CCIP and CCRP modes new air to ground radar range modes were added to the Cyrano IVM. These ranging modes were not available in CE/EE versions. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/12/2023 at 1:56 AM, gnomechild said:

Every variant we're getting from Aerges is equipped with the Cyrano IVM radar. The EEs were delivered with this as well as the third lot CEs I believe. And following from there the existing CEs were retrofitted with the IVMs. The F1M retained the IVM 

If each Aerges variant is using the IVM version of the radar, is the air to ground telemetry function still coming? And what exactly does it entail?

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5 hours ago, Snappy said:

If each Aerges variant is using the IVM version of the radar, is the air to ground telemetry function still coming? And what exactly does it entail?

No, I don't believe we're getting that mode. It's listed as INOP in the Aerges F1 manual. The functions of the radar have a lot to do with what the customer ordered obviously and it doesn't look like the Spanish F1s had it. Not sure about any others or if any other F1s even used the IVM. It is very difficult to find any information about the IVM

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey you have searched a lot indeed,
but be aware that in terms of weapons, the F1 is very limited and btw the "French" F1 you see with the AS-30L is a F1EQ-4/5 it has the doppler antenna below the nose, only the Iraqi got them because of the ban of the INS from US to Iran. 
Secondly, CCIP bombing is tied to the new PCAM (Poste de Commande Armements et Modes), who is also tied to the HUD, since M is a completly different story because it has brand new stuff that doesn't support legacy weapons like the AS-30L (Who only EQ got capabilities).
As far I can see in the docs I have, there is reference of CCRP bombing, the HUD is pretty much a Mirage 2000 one but more barebone and older obviously and some symbology changes also.

For the Exocet I have no informations on the documentations that I have, and all we know is that the radar need search mode, a pylon that support communication between the radar and the missile, and then a link to the radar (I'm not sure about that).

Martel and ARMAT never flew on ANY Mirage F1, tho the Martel can be used like the MiG-29 uses the HARM, but such informations are not available since this is a very old missile and was not much used AFAIK.

 

Don't mind asking me questions if you didn't understand some stuff, I can be hard to understand (I'm writing this late at night also).

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On 8/5/2023 at 12:49 AM, Loukuins said:

F1EQ-4/5 it has the doppler antenna below the nose, only the Iraqi got them because of the ban of the INS from US to Iran. 

Other aircraft had a similar installation, though. Like the libyan EDs or some export C models (Marocco, Jordan? and Equador come to mind). Might have been a different doppler system, compared to the other users, though. The capability-difference between Cs and Es gets pretty mushy with the late model Cs.

On 8/5/2023 at 12:49 AM, Loukuins said:

Martel and ARMAT never flew on ANY Mirage F1, tho the Martel can be used like the MiG-29 uses the HARM, but such informations are not available since this is a very old missile and was not much used AFAIK.

Isn't the iraqi BAZ-AR similar to the MARTEL and ARMAT?, though? After all, there are different MARTEL versions, aren't there? I think the BAZ-AR uses the same basic misslie-airframe. Sensors and motor might be different.

 

BTW: Saw you on LimaKilo last night. Glad your machine is up and running again! 👍

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43 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

Other aircraft had a similar installation, though. Like the libyan EDs or some export C models (Marocco, Jordan? and Equador come to mind). Might have been a different doppler system, compared to the other users, though. The capability-difference between Cs and Es gets pretty mushy with the late model Cs.

Isn't the iraqi BAZ-AR similar to the MARTEL and ARMAT?, though? After all, there are different MARTEL versions, aren't there? I think the BAZ-AR uses the same basic misslie-airframe. Sensors and motor might be different.

 

BTW: Saw you on LimaKilo last night. Glad your machine is up and running again! 👍

I saw after I wrote about MARTEL and ARMAT that the Iraqi might have used them, but in French planes never flew since France stopped believing in SEAD missions after the Mirage III and Jaguar?
 

The C variants are mostly first version but pretty basic stuff on it, I can't about A I don't know much about those variants, I checked and yes you are right other variants got Doppler antenna from the source I have is : AZ, AD, ED, CH, JA, EQ-2 and EQ-4.
And mostly C variants that came out of Dassault Factory only got no INS and no HUD, but later upgraded, E were by default with HUD and PCAM with INS (Or Doppler) except the EE AFAIK

 

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On 7/24/2023 at 3:30 PM, gnomechild said:

No, I don't believe we're getting that mode. It's listed as INOP in the Aerges F1 manual. The functions of the radar have a lot to do with what the customer ordered obviously and it doesn't look like the Spanish F1s had it. Not sure about any others or if any other F1s even used the IVM. It is very difficult to find any information about the IVM

So do you think that even the M won't have CCIP/CCRP?

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25 minutes ago, fausete said:

Basically confirming what @gnomechild says. The M will have both CCIP and CCRP.

Thank you guys. Is the implementation of those modes similar to the 2000C? Meaning you get CCIP with high drags and CCRP with low drags and the CCRP mode uses that diamond to visually designate your target, or is it a different implementation?

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2 hours ago, Hatman335 said:

Thank you guys. Is the implementation of those modes similar to the 2000C? Meaning you get CCIP with high drags and CCRP with low drags and the CCRP mode uses that diamond to visually designate your target, or is it a different implementation?

Since the M is made for spain, they choose to be more closer to a F/A-18C, so it's a mix between a F1E (Modern export variant except the EE), and a Hornet.
Also the radar we have on the CE and EE "can" have CCIP but it can't because of the missing PCAM and HUD and a better INS. 

Tho I don't know how exactly how it behaves in the M, I only know about the F1E ones.


Edited by Loukuins
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M version can use CCIP for all kind of bonbs not only drag bombs. CCRP also called AUTO consisted in a diamond similar to 2000C one where to designate the target. Both modes a available for all weapons integrated in the plane.

Mission Computer was able perfectly to compute selected bomb ballistic.


Edited by chichowalker
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  • 1 month later...

So... How close will the F1M be to the French F1CT? I know they are different developments but the CT was also a later mod geared towards the air to ground, with one of the cannons replaced by a telemeter. As far as I remember, the round scope was also replaced by a more modern screen (that stayed on the right side of the dashboard) and a new panel was inserted below the HUD.

I wonder to what extent it could be considered as a viable stand-in for the CT in scenarios such as French deployments in Africa or in Afghanistan (where they would be paired with the 2000D and its pod... that we don't have either).

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On 9/24/2023 at 2:08 PM, Delta-canard said:

So... How close will the F1M be to the French F1CT? I know they are different developments but the CT was also a later mod geared towards the air to ground, with one of the cannons replaced by a telemeter. As far as I remember, the round scope was also replaced by a more modern screen (that stayed on the right side of the dashboard) and a new panel was inserted below the HUD.

I wonder to what extent it could be considered as a viable stand-in for the CT in scenarios such as French deployments in Africa or in Afghanistan (where they would be paired with the 2000D and its pod... that we don't have either).

The HUD is different, the INS is, the Radar Scope is the old one on the CT as Bremspropeller said, weapons also some differences, the removing of the gun is not for the telemeter witch is under the nose on the CT, and not the pods under the wings as Bremspropeller said aswell... 

It can usable for a CT, but for me a lot of the symbology and the workflow would be completely different sadly...

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/14/2023 at 12:13 PM, Jowen G. Bruère-Dawson said:

So we should have the A/G features on CE, EE and BE too ?

Probably not. It likely required additional features like an A/G weapons computer, possibly different hud etc. I.e. all the stuff the M got. 


Edited by Harlikwin

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11 hours ago, Harlikwin said:

Probably not. It likely required additional features like an A/G weapons computer, possibly different hud etc. I.e. all the stuff the M got. 

 

CE, BE and EE doesn't have the new weapon system and so not the HUD only sights... So no A/G systems only a moving sight

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