PICTURES: Nuclear strike bomber arrives in Portsmouth on way to museum

HMS Queen Elizabeth is arriving back into Portsmouth this afternoon

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On the day that Great Britain announced its intention to leave the EU, our country received a parting gift from the French - a supersonic nuclear strike bomber.

The aircraft, a 77-foot long Dassault Mirage IV, is being donated to the UK by the French government to be displayed at the Yorkshire Air Museum.

The Dassault Mirage IV on display

The Dassault Mirage IV on display

After arriving in Portsmouth last night, the craft will head north to the museum this morning.

The bomber was divided into four wide loads so it could be transported across the Channel from Le Havre.

Its arrival marks the culmination of a 10-year journey for the air museum to acquire and display the iconic aircraft.

It was used as protection during the Cold War era as France faced the threat of nuclear attack from the Soviet Block.

The bomber on its way through Portsmouth last night. Picture: Brittany Ferries

The bomber on its way through Portsmouth last night. Picture: Brittany Ferries

More than 60 Mirage IV aircraft were built and later served as conventional strike and reconnaissance aircraft during conflicts including the Gulf War and Afghanistan.

The last aircraft was retired in 2005.