Watch the French Air Force honor the venerable Mirage F1

In the 1970s, America had the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom. The Soviet Union had the MiG-21. For France, the iconic fighter of the era was the Dassault Mirage F1. Unlike the F-4 and MiG, which were eventually phased out in favor of newer aircraft, France has continued to employ the services of the F1, despite the existence of newer, fourth-generation fighters, like the Mirage 2000 and Rafale.

The end is nigh for the F1, though. It will be completely retired by the end of this year, wrapping up a nearly 50-year career that saw the plane serve in not just France's Armée de l'Air, but throughout the air forces of the Middle East and Africa. The F1 could be found in the inventories of countries as far west as Spain, as far south as South Africa and as far west as Iran, where it still serves today.

To honor its long history, the French Air Force commissioned this stunning video of the F1 in flight. You do not want to miss this.

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