Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence

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Fighter Squadron 1/7 Provence
Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence
Jaguar DF-SD-05-05511 (cloudless).jpg
A SEPECAT Jaguar when is active service under the squadron
ActiveOctober 1932 - present
CountryFrance France
BranchRoundel of France.svg Armée de l'air et de l'espace
TypeFighter aircraft
RoleBombardment & Aerial Defense
Part ofAir Forces Command
Garrison/HQBA 104 Al Dhafra Air Base

Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence (Fighter Squadron) is a French Air and Space Force (Armée de l'air et de l'espace) fighter squadron currently stationed at BA 104 Al Dhafra Air Base which flies the Dassault Rafale B & C.[1]

In 2006 it was the first unit to fly the Dassault Rafale. The Squadron’s aircraft are marked 113-HA to 113-HZ.


Jaguar E37 7-HZ preserved at the Aviation Museum of Lyon-Corbas.
  • Groupe de Chasse I/7 : from 1932 until October 1942
  • Groupe de Chasse I/7 Provence : from November 1, 1943 until July 1, 1947
  • Groupe de Chasse I/1 Provence : from July 1, 1947 until November 17, 1951
  • Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence : as of March 1, 1962

Origins until the Second World War[edit]

The EC 1/7 Provence originated as Groupe de Chasse 1/7 GC 1/7 (Fighter Group) Dijon in 1932. In turn, it traces its own origin back to[citation needed] two World War I squadrons: Escadrille Spa.15 and Escadrille Spa.77.[2] In January 1939 the fighter group 1/7 relocated to Tunisia, and subsequently moved to Egypt after the 1940 armistice. It was disbanded in October 1942.[citation needed]

Successive attachments included:

Indochina and Algeria[edit]

GC 1/7 was recreated in September 1943 as No. 328 Squadron RAF flying Spitfire Mark VB aircraft and participated in the North Africa campaign, the campaign to liberate Corsica and the Operation Dragoon, the landings in Provence, thus prompting the name Provence. At the end of World War II, the unit was awarded the "Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (France)" and from December 1945 to January 1946, it received a consignment of captured Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" fighter planes. Groupe de Chasse 1/7 received its first Mistral in April 1953, participated in the Algerian War and was reequipped with Dassault Mystère IV operating out of Dijon military base. It was disbanded in September 1961.

Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence was recreated in March 1962 at Nancy – Ochey Air Base (Air Base 133), using Mystère IV. In 1973, the Squadron became the first Air force unit to be equipped with the SEPECAT Jaguar and relocated to BA 113 Saint-Dizier – Robinson Air Base. 1/7 Provence Jaguars engaged in combat missions in Mauritania (1978), in Chad (1980’s), in the Gulf War (1990-1991) and in Bosnia. After the Escadron de Chasse 2/11 Vosges was disbanded, 1/7 Provence was expanded to 3 flights: la SPA 91 (Eagle on a skull) in December 1996.

The Jaguar (JAG) era[edit]

Rafale B Escadron Provence.

In July 2001 the squadron received several two-seat Jaguars and the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets previously used by Escadron de Chasse 2/7 Argonne.

The Rafale era[edit]

The Jaguars were retired in July 2005 and replaced by Dassault Rafale one year later. In January 2007 1/7 Provence had twenty Rafale B and C. In March 2007 three Rafales were deployed to Dushanbe in Tajikistan, and carried out their first patrol over Afghanistan two days later.[4]

In September 2007, 1/7 Provence Squadron’s Alpha Jets were transferred to the newly recreated Escadron d'Entraînement 3/8 Côte d'Or (EE 3/8 Côte d'Or).

Constituent Escadrilles[edit]

  • Escadrille 15
  • Escadrille Spa.77[2]
  • GC III/7(6) Furie (since August 24, 2016)[citation needed]



Rafale C Escadron Provence.


  1. ^ "Chiffres clés de l'Armée de l'air - L'Armée de l'air en chiffres : 2019-2020 (FR)". French Air and Space Force. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Over the Front: The Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914–1918, pp. 90, 97.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Première mission des Rafale en Afghanistan
  5. ^


  • Bergese, Francis (July 1971). "La 7e Escadre de Chasse fête ses 100.000 H sur "Mystère"" [The 7th Fighter Squadron Celebrates 100,000 Hours on the "Mystère"]. Le Album de Fanatique de l'Aviation (in French) (24): 16–17. ISSN 0757-4169.
  • Bergese, Francis (July 1971). "GC I/7: Le livre de bord de deux escadrilles de chasse célèbres" [The Logbooks of Two Famous Fighter Squadrons]. Le Album de Fanatique de l'Aviation (in French) (24): 18–19. ISSN 0757-4169.
  • Franks, Norman; Bailey, Frank (1993). Over the Front: The Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914–1918 London, UK: Grub Street Publishing. ISBN 978-0-948817-54-0.