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France Offers Upgraded Mirage to Iraq: As a mid-term solution to Iraq's lack of air superiority aircraft, France has offered 18 Mirage F1 fighters as a sweetener to a larger military contract. "France has proposed to sell 18 Mirage F1 retrofitted aircraft that can be delivered from late 2011," stated French ambassador to Iraq, Boris Boillon, reports AFP (via Expatica.com). Since the Iraqis previously operated F1s before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, these Mirages could quickly enter service, he said. Boillon noted that this offer would in no way affect the Iraqis' potential purchase of 18 F-16s from the United States, which the Defense Department announced last September. His comments came several days before Tuesday's errant release by US Forces-Iraq officials announcing that the Iraqi government had approved the F-16 purchase, reports Stars and Stripes. They quickly recalled the release, saying it was an internal document mistakenly distributed.