What aircraft is parked at 27°50'24.0"S 21°35'54.4"E in the South African desert?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm slightly curious as to why you're asking about this thing that's barely visible on Google maps (it won't zoom in to more than the 200ft scale, at which the plane is smaller than the map pin that marks the location) and it's literally in the middle of nowhere, 40 miles from the nearest major road. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Dec 12 '16 at 10:01
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    $\begingroup$ I found it while searching for the vastrap airstrip. At its peak time, South Africa had 2 means of nuclear weapon delivery: (1) Aircrafts (Canberra B12 and Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer). (2) Jericho Missiles. The image is not that of the B12 or Buccaneer. If you look closely at the right wing, it is clearly not a Mirage F1. The distance from the strip let me believe that it might not be decoy but may be a product of the Atlas Carver program or the Israel’s IAI Lavi pprogram. Since this airstrip was used to test prototypes of both programs. $\endgroup$ – Appa Dec 14 '16 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ PS. Click in google maps on your pull-down menu, click on the "earth" option and turn the 3D option on. Better detail. $\endgroup$ – Appa Dec 14 '16 at 21:49

According to the unofficial South African Air Force forum it is a fake Mirage F1, intended as a decoy. It seems it works as intended.

According to that forum, approximately 30 were built. They were constructed of metal tubing, metal plates and glass fibre. According to one post they even contained heating elements to give infrared sensors on satellites the impression that the "exhaust" was hot.


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