Vers le milieu des années 1950, la société Dassault conçut une série d'avions légers d'appui tactique pour les besoins de l'OTAN et des Forces Armées Françaises, ces avions furent d'abord connus sous le nom de Mystère XXII et Mystère XXVI, une version d'initiative privée ayant reçu le nom de Mystère XXIV.
Ces trois avions furent ensuite respectivement rebaptisés Etendard II, VI et IV; un certain nombre d'avions prototypes ont volé entre 1955 et 1957.
In the mid-1950s, the company Dassault designed a series of light tactical support aircraft for the needs of NATO and the French Armed Forces. These aircraft were originally known as Mystery XXII and Mystery XXVI, a version of private initiative having been named Mystery XXIV. These three aircraft were later renamed Etendard II, VI and IV respectively and a number of prototype aircraft flew between 1955 and 1957. The land Etendard II and VI programmes were cancelled and the Etendard IV was chosen by the Naval Air Force. The prototype Etendard IV M is a low and medium altitude fighter aircraft, ground-based and capable of being operated from aircraft carriers. The first Etendard IV M flew on 21 May 1958 at Melun-Villaroche, at the hands of Jean-Marie Saget. For the first time in its history, the Naval Air Force achieved transonic speeds. Between 9 December 1961 and 26 May 1965m it received 69 Etendard IV M. Its performance and external load capabilities make the Etendard IV M an excellent fighter aircraft, capable of being used in secondary interception missions and in-air combat. Operational training missions on Etendard IVM were provided by the 15.F Flotilla from 1961 until 1965, upon which date they were transferred to the S.59 Flotilla (also called Shipborne Fighter School) based in Hyeres. The S.59 would remain equipped with the Etendard IIVM until July 1991, upon which date the Etendard IV M ceased to be in active service in the Navy. They flew a total of 180,000 flight hours and 25,300 landings. The other Flotillas successively equipped with the Etendard IVM would be the 11.F (1963 - 1978), the 15.F (1962 - 1969), and the17.F (1964 - 1980). _ CHARACTERISTICS: _ Wingspan : 9.60 m _ Length : 14.35 m _ Height : 3.85 m _ Unladen mass : 5,900 kg _ Maximum mass : 10,950 kg _ Engine : A turbojet SNECMA Atar 8C with a thrust of 4,500 kg _ Maximum speed : 1,204 km/h at 36,000 feet [10,962 m] _ Service ceiling : 45,000 feet (12,700 m) _ Normal Range : 750 nautical miles (1,300 km) _ Normal Range : 1 hour 45 mins or 2 hours 15 mins with additional tank _ Active radius : 330 nautical miles (600 km) _ Maximum range : 900 nautical miles (1,666 km) _ Internal armaments : 2 x 30 mm canons External load of 1,300 kg : - Armaments: missiles, bombs, rockets; _ Equipment: tanks, aerial refuelling nacelle, decoy launchers.
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