|STRIKE FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Dassault|
Developed as a private venture, the Milan (Kite) was a progressive development of the basic delta-winged Mirage and was intended primarily as a single-seat strike fighter. The distinguishing feature of the Milan was provided by two small retractable foreplanes which were referred to colloquially as "moustaches". These were developed by Dassault in collaboration with the Swiss aircraft industry and were intended to improve low-speed control and take-off performance, to increase the suitability of the basic design for the low-level role. Work on a prototype Milan, modified from a Mirage IIIE, began mid-1968, and the initial test phase, with non-retractable foreplanes, was completed in March 1969. A fully-equipped pre-series prototype, the Milan S-01, first flew on 29 May 1970. Representative of the proposed series Milan S, this was powered by a SNECMA Atar 9K-50 providing an afterburning thrust of 7200kg. The series Milan S, which was offered for delivery from early 1972, was intended to be fitted with a nav/attack system similar to that of the Jaguar strike aircraft, and internal armament was to have comprised two 30mm cannon, with external ordnance loads up to 4000kg distributed between seven hardpoints. In the event, no orders were placed for the Milan, and further development was discontinued in 1972, the prototype being adapted as that of the Mirage 50.