Dassault Etendard IVM
|SHIPBOARD FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Dassault|
The private venture Etendard IV, which had shared little more than a conceptual commonality with the Etendard II and VI lightweight strike fighters, attracted France's Aeronavale as a basis for a multi-role shipboard fighter. An order was placed in December 1956 for a semi-navalised prototype, this being followed on 31 May 1957 by a contract for five fully-navalised pre-production examples under the designation Etendard IVM. The prototype flew on 21 May 1958, being followed by the first pre-production example on 21 December, both being powered by the 4400kg SNECMA Atar 08B. The pre-series Etendard IVM featured folding wingtips, a strengthened, long-stroke undercarriage, an extendible nosewheel leg, catapult spools and an arrester hook. By comparison with the original Etendard IV, the IVM had 15.5% more wing area and a larger rudder. The second pre-production aircraft was completed with an 5080kg Rolls-Royce Avon 51 engine and flap blowing as the Etendard IVB, and one additional pre-production aircraft ordered in September 1959 was completed with a camera nose as an Etendard IVP. Sixty-nine IVMs (plus 21 IVP tactical reconnaissance aircraft) were delivered between 1961 and 1965, fulfilling both intercept and tactical strike roles from French carriers. Armament consisted of two 30mm cannon and a variety of underwing ordnance. The Etendard IVM remained in Aeronavale service until 1991, being succeeded by the Super Etendard.