|Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 |
A MiG-21 at Farnborough 2002
|Role ||Light interceptor |
|Crew ||1 |
|First Flight || |
|Entered Service || |
|Manufacturer ||MIG MAPO, Russia |
|Length ||15.76 m ||51 ft 8.5 in |
|Wingspan ||7.15 m ||23 ft 5 1/2 in |
|Height ||4.12 m ||13 ft 6.2 in |
|Wing area ||m² ||ft² |
|Empty ||5350 kg ||11,795 lb |
|Loaded ||kg ||lb |
|Maximum takeoff ||9661 kg ||21,299 lb |
|Engines ||One Tumanskii R-25-300 turbojet |
|Thrust ||7,100 kgf |
|15,700 lbf |
|Maximum speed ||2230 km/h ||1385mph |
|Combat range ||450-500 km ||280-311miles |
|Ferry range ||km ||miles |
|Service ceiling ||19,000 m ||62,366 ft |
|Rate of climb ||7200m/min ||23,622 ft/min |
|Wing loading ||kg/m² ||lb/ft² |
|Thrust/Weight || |
|Avionics || |
|Guns ||One centreline twin-barrelled GSh-23 23mm cannon |
|Ordnance ||2000 kg (4409 lb) on four underwing hardpoints |
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (NATO reporting name Fishbed) is a fighter aircraft, originally built by the Mikoyan and Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It is the most common post-World War II aircraft, with the exception of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
The first delta-wing prototype (named Ye-4, written also E-4) flew in 14 June 1956, and the production Mig-21 entered service in early 1959.
The MiG-21 saw frequent action in the Vietnam War and was one of the most advanced aircraft at the time. However, many North Vietnamese aces preferred flying the MiG-19, due to the wingload on the MiG-21's wings. Employing a delta wing configuration, it was the first successful Soviet aircraft combining fighter and interceptor in a single aircraft. It was a lightweight fighter, achieving Mach 2 speed using a relatively low-powered afterburning turbojet, and is thus comparable to the American F-104 Starfighter and French Dassault Mirage III.
It was also used extensively in Middle East conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s, by the air forces of Egypt, Syria and Iraq against Israel.
It was used also in early stages of the wars in Afghanistan but soon outclassed by the newer MiG-23 and MiG-27.
- E-4 - first prototype
- MiG-21 - first series of fighters
- MiG-21F (prototype E-6T)
- E-66 - record breaking version
- MiG-21F-13 - export version (type 74)
- MiG-21PF - (prototype E-7, type 76)
- MiG-21FL - (type 77)
- MiG-21SPS - (East German version)
- MiG-21S - (incorrectly identified by NATO as MiG-21PFMA; E-8, type 88)
- MiG-21PFV - (North Vietnam version)
- MiG-21M - (version with R-13 engine)
- MiG-21MF - (version with R-13 engine)
- MiG-21SMT - (E-9, block 94 and 96) (version with R-13 engine)
- MiG-21bis - (version with R-25 engine)
- MiG-21U - two seater version (type 66), NATO reporting name "Mongol"
- MiG-21US - two seater version (type 68)
- MiG-21UM - two seater version (type 69)
- MiG-21-93 - (also the Bison)
The production of MiG-21s (bis variant) under license by HAL of India lasted till 1984. Despite a series of crashes over the last decade, and acquiring the nickname "flying coffin", the Indian Air Force has decided to upgrade about 125+50 of the Mig-21bis in its inventory to the Mig-21 Bison standards which will serve the Indian Air Force till the year 2015.
Unlicensed Chinese copies of the MiG-21 are designated Chengdu J-7 and F-7 (for export).
Israeli Aircraft Industries manufactures an upgraded model called the MiG-21-2000.