In response to a NATO requirement for a single-seat lightweight strike fighter, Breguet designed a small mid-wing monoplane with swept wings and tail surfaces. Retractable tricycle landing gear was provided, this being designed especially for operation on unprepared strips. The fuselage incorporated some area ruling, accommodated the pilot in an enclosed cockpit well forward, and housed its Bristol Orpheus BOr.3 turbojet. In competition with other proposals, Breguet’s design won an order for three prototypes, the first of these making its maiden flight on 26 July 1957. The second prototype incorporated minor aerodynamic improvements and had a slightly lengthened fuselage.
To enhance high-speed performance, improved area ruling was provided by the introduction of aerodynamic bulges at the wing roots, these serving also to house additional fuel. In this configuration the Br.1001 Taon (gadfly) set an international speed record for a 1000km closed circuit, attaining a speed of 1046.65km/h at 7620m on 25 April 1958. Three months later, on 23 July, the Taon raised this figure again for the same record to 1075km/h. Despite this high-speed performance, development was discontinued, and only the two prototypes were built.