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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21


1. Development
 The Mig-21 is probably one of the best known Soviet aircraft.

 It was designed in response to Korean War needs for a short-

range interceptor and light strike fighter.
 Soviet flighters like the Mig-21 are designed and built differently from
their Western counterparts.

 Mig-21 saw more conflicts than any other jet fighter. It's probably
the most combat proven Mig in history.
 MiG-21 is a supersonic Mach 2, single engine jet fighter.

 The Mig-21, with its thin delta wing, was nicknamed "Balalaika" for
the Russian stringed instrument it resembles.
 Trainee pilots, new to the MiG-21, go to operational
squadrons rather than an operational conversion unit
for their development.

 The MiGs generally will not fly every day, but on

selected days of the week depending on the weather.
 India is the third largest operator of Mig-21s behind Russia and China.
 In the last three years, the Indian Air Force has lost 29 fighter planes
including 12 MiG-21s in crashes in which six pilots lost their lives.
 On July 15^th 2013, a Russian-made MIG-21 Bison fighter jet,
operated by the Indian Air Force, crashed while attempting to
land at the Uttarlai air base in the Barmer district of Rajasthan.
This was the second MIG-21 crash, at the very same air base,
in two months. However, unlike in the previous accident,
which had no casualties, this time the pilot was killed. The
crash has been attributed to pilot error.
When the aircraft came on the export market in the 1960s,
it had one major problem – low endurance. It was said
about the MiG-21 that it was an in a fuel crisis even as it
took off. A Romanian Air Force pilot told Aviation Week:
“We don’t have the endurance of the western fighters....
Our missions are 30-45 minutes, so we need to fly twice to
achieve the same number of hours.”

The rapid evolution of combat aircraft technology after World War II

led the major military powers to develop and field Mach 2 fighters in the early
1960s. The Soviet Union's work along this path led to the Mikoyan "MiG-21"
lightweight fighter, which was a mainstay of the USSR and Communist bloc
nations through the 1960s and 1970s, and which still lingers in service.

 A short-legged fighter with austere mission equipment and an

unimpressive warload, the MiG-21 was widely appreciated as a supersonic
fighter that was easy both to maintain and fly. It eventually achieved huge
export successes, used by all the Soviet-friendly states in the 1960s,
1970s and 1980s, as well as by a good number of non-aligned nations all
around the world.