Soviet Aircraft of Today (Squadron 6015)
By Nico Sgarlato
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1985 80 Pages
PDF 6 MB
The Soviet Union's economic and political trends are greatly reflected in its national aeronautics industry which Is responsible for supplying a great number of aircraft to numerically the biggest air force in the world. The aircraft used are generally slightly interior in flexibility compared to those usually seen in the West, and so. a remarkable specialization and also prototyping activity, which has not found equal in other countries for the past twenty years, can be noted. Furthermore, the USSR supplies combat aircraft to the air forces of the Warsaw Pact, allies and friendly nations. Therefore, even though the stale's industrial output is comparatively higher than that of the West's, the life span of Soviet aircraft is longer and consequently combat aircraft of various generations can be found in service at tho same time (as in the case of the MiG 17. MiG 19. MiG-21 and MiG ?3 contemporaneously present in first line units at the end of 1976 and having comparable functions).
The prolonged discussions concerning the presumable qualitative superiority or inferiority of Western versus Eastern aircraft are invalid in as much as a direct comparison cannot be made-however, it is evident that any novelty which comes from the East has a tendency to be initially overrated and then defamed when put into service. Another legend to disprove is the extremely short development periods for Soviet combat aircraft, an illusion due to the fact that the aircraft are made public only after the evaluation and test Nights have begun and when thoy will soon be put into service.