Mirage IV French Bomber

A retired French nuclear bomber has begun its journey to its new home at an English air museum.

The 31-tonne Mirage IV arrived at Portsmouth and is making its way by road to the Yorkshire Air Museum, at Elvington.

It was built as part of France's nuclear deterrent during the Cold War.

A formal presentation and an official unveiling for public display will take place in a couple of weeks. 

Mirage IV Bomber
A Mirage IV on display in Paris

The bomber, which is 77 feet long and 39 feet wide when fully assembled, was gifted to the UK after 12 years of negotiation. It'll be the only example in the world that can be seen outside France.

The gesture was in honour of the link between Britain and France's air forces in the Second World War.

In 1944, RAF Elvington was home to two French Squadrons - 346 "Guyenne" and 347 "Tunisie".

In October 1945, these Squadrons returned to France with their British Halifax bombers to form the basis of the post-war French Air Force.

The reformed 346 "Guyenne" Squadron, based at Istres, France, was one of the first to operate the Mirage IV A.