Mig-21: Cold War Warrior
By Hans-Heiri Stapfer
Publisher: Arms & Armour 1991 56 Pages
PDF 53 MB
The Soviet-designed Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 delta-winged fighter is still, numerically, the world's most produced modern fighter. This outstanding aircraft has been widely exported and remains the backbone of all Warsaw Pact air forces. The fighter saw action in the Middle East in the war with Israel, and proved itself a fine combat aircraft over the jungles of Vietnam. It was used by the Iraqi Air Force in the war against Iran and is still in active combat service in Afghanistan, where pilots of the Soviet-sponsored Kabul regime fly daily missions against the rebels in their civil war. On the other side of the globe the MiG-21 is used by the Nicaraguan Air Force against American-sponsored rebels.
More than thirty years after its maiden flight, the MiG-21 is still regarded as a reliable and modern weapon. The long operational life of the type has been made possible by progressive development over the years. The ultimate production variant, the MiG-21bis-SAU, has very little in common with the original MiG-21F. Modern MiG-21s have more sophisticated electronics and can carry a greater weapons load a longer distance, but they are no longer the nimble combat aircraft with outstanding flight characteristics that they once were. This is especially true when fully loaded with three 490-litre drop tanks and fully armed; the MiG-21 then is as nimble as a cow and quite tricky to fly.