By Alexander Miladenov, Adam Tooby
The MiG-21, nicknamed 'Fishbed' by way of NATO, was once the first Soviet jet fighter from 1972 onward, opposing the F-15 Eagle and F-14 Tomcat world wide in numerous conflicts.
The MiG-21 firmly holds the identify of the world's most generally equipped and used jet fighter, with over 10,000 devices rolling off the strains of 3 crops within the former Soviet Union. the kind used to be additionally equipped less than license in India and Czechoslovakia, and with out license in China until eventually the overdue 2000s. Designed as a Mach-2 gentle tactical fighter, its unique prototype, the Ye-6/1, was once first flown in 1958. the 1st creation variation of the kind, special the MiG-21F, seemed in 1960 and its greater sub-variant, the MiG-21F-13 (Type seventy four, NATO reporting identify Fishbed-C), was once made to be had for export by means of 1961. It used to be a simplified sunlight hours short-range, clear-weather interceptor and tactical fighter.
The MiG-21F-13 featured a comparatively vulnerable armament of simply R-3S air-to-air missiles (AA-2 Atoll, a marginally more advantageous reverse-engineered reproduction of the AIM-9B Sidewinder heat-seeking AAM) with an efficient diversity at low altitude of among 0.27nm/0.5km and 1.1nm/2km. in line with its pilots, the MiG-21F-13 used to be a great clear-day interceptor even though it had constrained strive against radius and negative evening power. the sunshine and agile airplane used to be designed from the outset to intercept transonic/supersonic bombers and tactical opponents in any respect altitudes, as much as 66,000ft.
The MiG-21bis used to be the final model of the sort that took the air for the 1st time in 1969, with the 1st construction examples rolling off the road in 1972. The MiG-21bis featured a bolstered fuselage, optimised for low-level air strive against and flooring assault. It was once powered through the upgraded R-25-300 turbojet, rated at 40.2kN (9,038lb) dry and 69.65kN (15,653lb) with reheat, that includes a three-minute emergency reheat score of ninety seven kN (21,790 lb) at low point. Pilots famous, even if, that the heavier 'bis' used to be less agile than the MiG-21PF/PFM, and that it behaved like a "bull" within the air whereas flying the MiG-21PFM was once like "riding a stallion."
The MiG-21bis used to be a winning blend of a Sixties airframe and powerplant equipped with a 1970s-vintage analog avionics suite and glossy dogfight missiles. by way of the mid-1980s, even though it retained the imperative shortcomings of its predecessors - constrained operational radius and radar variety, loss of beyond-visual-range missiles, bad pilot visibility, mediocre gradual pace dealing with features and excessive pilot workload, requiring demanding education and focus through the complete sortie - it proved to be a cheap and extensively renowned strive against airplane.
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Additional resources for Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The armament of this vastly improved Fishbed derivative was enhanced in 1974 with the addition of the R-13M (K-13M, NATO AA-2C) heat-seeking missile, an enhanced derivative of the R-3S missile incorporating a moresensitive nitrogen-cooled infrared seeker and boasting better agility and extended range; it also bestowed some reduced manoeuvring limitations on the launch platform. The MiG-21S was the first Fishbed derivative capable of carrying a total of four AAMs – typically a combination of two R-3Ss or two R-13Ms and two R-3Rs, or two missiles on the inner pylons and two 490-litre drop tanks on the outer pylons.
At the same time, there were some 22 aircraft in official US losses list for which no VPAF claims have been made at all. In the event, only 64 US losses were confirmed by both warring parties. MiG-21s in the Arab–Israeli wars The Fishbed entered service with the Egyptian Air Force (at the time known as the United Arab Republic Air Force) in 1963 and by the middle of the decade the fleet numbered about 60 MiG-21F-13s, supplemented not long after by 45–50 MiG-21PFs. The Syrian Air Force received its first MiG-21F13s in 1961 and by 1966 it operated some 45 Fishbeds.
The MiG-21PF variant exported to Vietnam was close to the A-variant but had some minor design differences (an ARK-10 ADF without range calculator and an improved KSI-2 heading system) and received the MiG-21PFV designation. The derivative sold to a number of developing countries was designated as the MiG-21FL and featured a considerably ‘sanitized’ avionics suite; this primarily concerned the radar, designated as the R-1L (export version of the TsD-30T) but replaced in 1965 by the R-2L (export version of the TsD-30TP), which lacked some of the operational modes of the original radars used by the Soviet Air Force and had somewhat reduced detection ranges.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 by Alexander Miladenov, Adam Tooby