Talk:Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

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I would like a check on the 250 crashes number (for example Warbirds of India gives a figure of 103 for Mig-21 crashes.

'MiG -21' safest flying machines 16 Aug 2007, 0123 hrs IST,Varun Chadha,TNN

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CHANDIGARH: MiG-21 aircraft, once known as 'flying coffins', are now not only among the safest flying machines, but are more lethal for the enemy. Number of mid-air crashes is now almost zero since these have been upgraded. And induction of a training schedule for pilots has brought down human error while manoeuvring.

This year, two combat aircraft have crashed, but none of them is MiG-21 Bison, the upgraded version of old MiG-21. IAF officers told TOI , "The MiGs are more safer than ever before. Only four MiG-21 Bison aircraft have crashed since their induction in 2002. IAF plans to fly the Bisons - which it describes as an almost brand new fighter, with latest avionics, improved gearboxes and other advanced systems - till 2017."

The latest technology in aviation registers 0.5 accidents every 10,000 hours of flying and the old technology touches 1.75 crashes in similar number of flying hours.

MiG-21 Type 75, MiG-21 Type 93, and MiG-21 Bis have been upgraded to MiG-21 Bison with altogether new avionics and on-board electronic systems apart from night-vision devices and mid-air refuelling capabilities, making it more competitive than American F-16 Fighting Falcons, sources in Western Air Command added.

Introduction of new training schedule for pilots to improve man-machine relationship has helped bring down human errors.

"The main reasons for aircraft accidents are human error and technical defect. A continuous and multi-faceted effort is always underway in the IAF to enhance and upgrade flight safety. Measures to enhance the quality of training to improve the skill levels, ability to exercise sound judgement and situational awareness of pilots are being pursued," sources said.

Also constant interaction with Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs), both indigenous and foreign, is also maintained to overcome the technical defects of the aircraft. 06:56, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

When the flying rate for the upgraded Bisons approches that of the older variants then you will see similar accident rates. The bits that were causing the accidents have not changed much, if at all!!Petebutt (talk) 10:42, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Mig-21 was called "flying coffin" by the press of India. What's wrong with indians ? Because at USSR Mig-21 has minor number of accidents. Su-7 has much more accidents than Mig-21 in 60-th. Real "flying coffin" in that generation of aircrafts is F-104. (talk) 20:00, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Arthur

Oh, that's not the full story. The loss ratio of MiG-21 in the East German Air Force reached some 23% and the loss ratio of the F-104G ("Widow Maker" or "Sargfighter": Sarg is German for coffin) in the West German Luftwaffe reached 29%. But the West German F-104G were quite twice time in the air per aircraft. And from this point of view, the count turns. TK-lion (talk) 13:18, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


MIG-21-2000 is an upgrade package not an aircraft on itself (anon)

just like MiG-21-93 is. --jno 12:14, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

It is a very obsolete and useless aircraft. (talk) 01:55, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Operated by USA?[edit]

It says that it was in the operators section, but does anyone have proof? 02:23, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Removed pending confirmation. The USA and allies did get their hands on a one or two, er, "borrowed" ones during the Cold War and flew them for evaluation purposes[1], [2], but they certainly didn't operate them as regular combat planes. I don't think they ever bought any as aggressor planes, either, though they did have plans to use MiG-29s in this role after the end of the Cold War.
Also, there are a number of MiG-21's in private hands around the world as well; I'm sure there's probably a number of them in flying condition in the US as well. --Robert Merkel 06:53, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I thought the USAF 477th Test Squadron, known as the "Red Hats", operated the MiG-21 out of Groom Lake, Nevada? Here's a link to a video on YouTube that I saw - It appears to be an excerpt from a previously classified evaluation on the MiG-21. Dervish6 09:37, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes the USAF did operate Fishbeds. I'll have to dig out my copy of the magazine the pix were printed in and cite it. - Aerobird 02:13, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
In 1967 the USAF evaluated an ex-Iraq MiG 21 supplied by the Israelis under the "Have Donut" programme. Their conclusions were poor engine acceleration - difficult to maneuver below 215 knots and above 515 knots - limited to 595 knots below 16,000 feet due to severe airframe buffeting - poor visibility from canopy especially to the rear. On the positive side - hard to see at combat ranges, smokeless engine and also hydraulics less vulnerable to damage. In the context of Vietnam the MiG-21 outclassed the USAF's F-105 but not the F-4 Lynx707 (talk) 15:21, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
MiG-21 service in USAF by code YF-110, MiG-23 is YF-113. Huyphuc1981 nb (talk) 14:35, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Vietnamese Aces[edit]

Can any one confirm that NV aces preferred the MiG-17? All the evidence I've seen is that the majority of officially designated 'aces' flew MiG-21s. Zetetic Apparatchik 18:18, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

The MiG-17 could be preferred for a dogfight, while MiG-21's were much better in the intercept. Now we have to check the lists of aerial victories to see which kind of battle was more often. --jno 12:16, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Almost all aces in the VPAF were flying MiG-21's, not MiG-17's. The MiG-17 is famous because it was "out of date" in 1964; but it downed many F-4's. In the beginning of the Viet War, F-4's left dogfight abilities (no guns), that is very big mistake. (talk) 14:18, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

In his memoirs the soviet test pilot S.A.Mikoyan wrote that in US avionic journal he saw an article where an american pilot tested Mig-15 (delivered by a defecting North Korean pilot) sayd that he prefers to fight on Mig-15 but with the optical sight from Sabre. There is info that this was Chuck Yeager. So look for this article. But this was before Vietnam. (talk) 19:56, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Arthur

Not Much of Technical Info?[edit]

I have spoken to North Vietnamese fighter pilots of the vietnam war period including Pham Ngoc Lan and Nguyen Nhat Chieu and have tapes of such conversations. All the pilots I spoke to prefered the Mig 21 to the Mig 17.Even the top Mig 17 Ace Nguyen Van Bay told me that he flew the Mig 17 out of necessity raher than choice.He flew what he was given. The entire script of my book Migs Over Vietnam was given to pilots like Pham Ngoc Lan to amend and check before printing.I spoke to all the NVA pilots in front of representatives of the Vietnamese News Agency who can further corrobarate my interviews. The idea that NVA pilots prefered to fly the Mig 17 because it was a easier plane to fly etc. is pure fantasy.This is possibly based on bigotry and on American data which is automatically assumed to be accurate (wars Iraq and Afghanistan are recent examples) and all Vietnamese data must be viewed with suspicion or has to conform with American version of events. Sadly such attitudes may have contrubuted to the war in the first place. It is impossible to get complete accuracy in any and all events.In fact any and all events of the war is always open to interpretation. Ultimately thre will be two versions of the war one American and one Vietnamese and the sooner this is accepted the easier it will be to understand the Vietnam War, if not all wars.

Kill Record[edit]

can anyone add the kill record for the MiG-21?

what is it 

i know its got a high record and it made the best aces of the US in Vietnam run like little girls when they came (sometimes) so my guess its record is highTu-49 16:08, 24 November 2006 (UTC)!

I,d have to look it up but I think you'll find that the kill record is not that good, mostly due to poor avionics, reliability, and missiles, but also partly due to the limitations of the tailed delta (sucks energy at an alarming rate as alpha increases)Petebutt (talk) 10:39, 30 January 2011 (UTC).

What a load of crap...-- (talk) 19:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Numbers Built?[edit]

The page says the Mig 21 is the second most produced post-WW2 plane after the C-130, but less then 3000 C-130's were produced, and this is reflected in it's wiki entry, while well over 10,000 mig 21's were made.

Do we have a reference for the numbers built? Or any references for that matters as this article doesn't have any at the moment. PPGMD 02:06, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
OKB MiG: A History of the Design Bureau and Its Aircraft (1991) ISBN 0-904597-80-6 says 7,500 were built total. Phydeaux 05:23, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

its defently a high produced aircraft. # of produced is i think over 15'000 Tu-49 16:07, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

The number in the History of the Design Bureau would be referring to the number produced in the USSR. Chinese J-7's would add a considerable amount to that number on their own and thats before you start adding the Eastern European manufactured ones. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:39, 7 February 2007 (UTC).

As to the F-86 Sabrejet, 9,860 were built and another 1,815 in the Canadian version, so that makes 11,675 Sabrejets. (talk) 04:09, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Wrong, they sum it this way: NAA 6,297 F-86s and 1,115 FJs, Canadair 1,815, Australian CAC 112, Fiat built 221, Mitsubishi 300;

total 9,860 --SojerPL (talk) 19:01, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Design Characteristics/Purpose?[edit]

I think it would be a good idea to add a section on what this aircraft was originally designed for. I was surprised that there wasn't much information on this already, given the interesting design features on the aircraft compared to the older MiG-17/19s. I think it would be a nice addition to the article, at least. I'd imagine based on the delta wings and spike on the inlet it was sort of designed around supersonic flight but I'd like to see if there's any information about what this was supposed to be built for.

There is some useful information in the "Operational History" section about how the aircraft was/is actually used but nothing about what it was designed for. For example, look at the "Development" section for the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 article or the "Design characteristics" section in the F-16 article.

I may try to do this myself when I can but I figured there might be someone who knows more about these planes than I do :-)RadioYeti 17:35, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Operation "007"[edit]

Does anyone know the precise model that Iraqi Air Force Captain Munir Refa used to defect to Israel on August 16, 1966? Dervish6 09:47, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Redfa is reported to have defected in a MiG-21F-13 'Fishbed-C'. Delighted with the success of their intelligence operation, the Israelis gave it the "James Bond" tailcode of "007". Askari Mark | Talk 03:25, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Askari Mark! Dervish6 10:12, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Operation Bolo[edit]

i don't know if you guys looked at my article Operation Bolo yet i want to add pictures to it, but everytime i do they get thrown off if u want to look at ike feel free too Tu-49 16:06, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


I want to challenge "Over the course of the Vietnam War, between April 26 1965, and January 8, 1973, USAF F-4s and A-4s downed 68 MiG-21s." This part of the article. Not only does it not state the number of aircraft Mig-21's shot down in the Vietnam War but 68 is the number of claimed kills. Many of these kills did not occur as the (North) Vietnamese did not lose 68 Mig-21's over the course of the Vietnam War. This is a clear bias towards US propaganda in an article completely unrelated to the US. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I have andded a {{citation needed}} tag to the paragraph. It's not a POV issue, but a matter of verifiable sources. If you have a verifiable source that claims the NVAF did not lose 68 MiG-21s, then please cite it. If both sources are verifiable, then we should cite them both in the article, and state that they have differing claims. As it stands, the current statement needs a source, but we can't replace it based soley on your unsourced claim either. - BillCJ 17:44, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
An A-4 shot down a MiG-17, not a MiG-21, and with Zuni rockets. Unless there is a recorded kill of a Fishbed by an Skyhawk then the A-4 bit should be deleted. Wikiphyte 16:00, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

since it's the MiG-21 article, the number of aircraft shot by the MiGs should be included not otherwise62.219.70.253 19:20, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree, otherwise the articles do appear to show bias towards the US planes as they indicate the number of aircraft they have shot down and the non-US, the number of aircraft that have been shot!

Among the former operators is listed Algeria, the problem is that it is shown in bright red on the world map, as if it is a present operator. The map needs correction.

Operational history?[edit]

Afganistan is not in the Middle East! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:13, 7 May 2007 (UTC).

  • When referring to Asia, Europe, North America, Central America, South America, etc. The term East means Orient (reference an English Dictionary). Consequently, the far east would be the "far orient." The US military defines Iraq and it's surrounding regions as Southwest Asia, meaning Southwest Orient. Vietnam and it's surrounding areas is historically known as Southeast Asia; the Southeast portion of the Orient. Looking at any map (globe or flat paper) if Southwest Asia containing Iraq is on the left and Southeast Asia containing Vietnam is on the reader's right; what's in the middle? Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India, etc. By the dictionary's definition, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. are geographically located in the Middle East, the middle of southern Asia.
  • The historian must bear in mind that the original terms for those geographical regions were originally coined by Great Britain, as they are the ones that colonized and traded with those nations. Distances of Asian countries were measured by their distance from Great Britain, not by actual geographical locations. Consequently, Turkey became "Asia Minor because it was barely part of Asia, or on the border for the beginning of Asia, as measured from Great Britain; some of these regions were referred to as the "Near East" or Near Orient. Since Syria, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, etc. were located BELOW Asia Minor (Turkey), they were "now in the middle" between India (a primary British Colony) and Turkey, therefore Britain labeled that region as the MIDDLE EAST. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

It is by some definitions per Middle East. - BillCJ 01:47, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
That is a very contentious definition, especially from my Afgan friends who classify it as Central Asia! They view Middle East as Arab or Persian which they are neither. Just FYI. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC).
Not really contentious; you're right, it is in central asia. Some people need to look at the map of the world. Wikiphyte 15:57, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
The term Middle East is Eurocentric. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 clearly violates the WP policy that articles be NPOV.
How to fix it? Add a section called Afghanistan and expand it beyond one sentence.
It should also more clearly state who was flying the MiG-21s.
The Middle East section can then be renamed Arab-Israeli conflicts.
Any ideas on how to classify the one sentence re Iraq?
--Jtir 16:53, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Now this i can get behind! Far too many articles on Wikipedia, especially on non-US topics, suffer from very US-POV. As goes the MiG-15/17/19...etc and MiG Alley (Korean War article much better).
As for the MiG-21 it acheved many verified kills in Arab-Israeli wars, proved highly successful in IraqiAF/Merc hands during the Gulf (Iran-Iraq) War. Non of this included here...just a statement of how many have been shot down. If you look through these articles all US kills are just labeled '...shot down...' while non-US kills are labeled '...claimed...' with no reference to either. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:38, 12 May 2007 (UTC).
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 uses Arab-Israeli conflicts.
The section is called Operational history, yet the sub-headings are all geographical. --Jtir 17:37, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Hey, how could there be 68 MiG-21 kills in Vietnam? Weren't there only 16 in 'Nam? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Spacecase610 (talkcontribs) 02:04, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

That sentence has been tagged with {{fact}} since February 2007. Where did you get "16"? --Jtir 05:04, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Total MiG-21 of NVN in war time (1964-1972) less than 68 Huyphuc1981 nb (talk) 14:26, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

A new editor has twice taken out the info that the plane was developed from German designs of WW2. I am disinclined to edit war over this; can anybody reference the claim?--John (talk) 00:05, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

The mig 21 was based on earlier Soviet designs and nothing else, the mig 15 was pure Soviet design and not based on any German anything, the mig 15 article explains that clearly Wavesswung99 (talk) 00:08, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I believe know the MiG-15 was based off German designs, but I can't find anything about the MiG-21 being based off WWII designs. JetLover (talk) (Report a mistake) 00:13, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
You are free to believe anything but you need to find sources, and if you actually read the article or read anything about the mig 15 you can see for your self Wavesswung99 (talk) 00:31, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
We do not use Wikipedia itself as a reference but I note that article does mention the German influence on the design of that plane. --John (talk) 00:35, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Influence yes because most of the people who write here write in the old fashioned way and all planes were influenced by the Wright Brothers should we include that as well, it was Soviet design. This source, says so ""Gordon, Yefim. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. Leicester, UK: Midland Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-85780-105-9"". It was conceived, designed, engineered and produced by the Soviets according to that source Wavesswung99 (talk) 00:40, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
This guy would be not so stupid if he would say that Mig-9 has an influence of german designs. Really RD-20 - the engine of Mig-9 was copied from german BMW-003. But influence to Mig-21 ... Hmm... What is the distance from Me-262 to supersonic Mig-21 ? (talk) 14:04, 22 March 2011 (UTC)Arthur

I have added these two books to the References section:

  • Gordon, Yefim. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15: The Soviet Union's Long-Lived Korean War Fighter. Hinckley: Midland, 2001. ISBN 1-85780-105-9. (amazon)
  • Gordon, Yefim. Mikoyan MiG-21 (Famous Russian aircraft). Hinckley: Midland, 2007. ISBN 1857802578. (amazon)

Could you cite a page number from Gordon 2001 re the MiG-21?

Gordon 2007 on the MiG-21 seems like it could be a useful source. Does anyone have it? --Jtir (talk) 13:57, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

MiG-21PF of Vietnam People's Air Force captured by Americans in museum.[edit]

Astonishingly ????????

What??????. In War, no MiG-21 over border of NVN.

Source ???? What museum ???? What battle ???? What time ?????

Huyphuc1981 nb (talk) 14:35, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


The czech also manufactured the MiG-21R reconnaisance plane variant and its was known for its better surface finish compared to geniune soviet planes. The russian-made planes had really uneven and hastily fitted panels.

In fact later on the MiG-29 was designed from day one to make its aerodynamics incorporate the inherently poor workmanship of soviet metal benders. When the americans acquired a dozen or so MiG-29 from Moldavia and flew them for test, they reworked the surface to make it smoother and make the planes fly better, but in fact the performance degraded - as the MiG-29 was designed to fly best with uneven panelling. (talk) 21:21, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Maiden flight[edit]

According to this the Ye-4 (E-4) flew on 16 June 1955, not 14 June 1956, and the Ye-5 (E-5) flew on 9 January 1956, not 1955. Drutt (talk) 18:00, 20 April 2008 (UTC)


Why is Mali listed as a former operator ? Mali received its last MiG-21s in 2005...[3] There is no sense of buying new ones if the old ones are retired. I'll put it in the current operators section. - Biohazard orange.svg Tourbillon A ? 15:15, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Are you sure that they are MiG-21s and not Chengdu F-7s???Petebutt (talk) 11:29, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Mig21 of No3Sqn.jpg[edit]

The image Image:Mig21 of No3Sqn.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --07:01, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Battle of El Mansourah - POV issue[edit]

It's important to note that the only source for the air battle ever taking place is Egyptian. Israel Air Force does not mention this battle, and only lists 1 aircraft lost on the date the Egyptians claim to have shot down 17. I am not trying to say who is right and who is wrong, but it's important to note that this battle story is unconfirmed. Also note that the same wording (word for word)is present in the EAF wikipedia page, and it's a copy from a website called I am not saying what is historically accurate, but I would add two points - there is no need to send 100 airplanes to destroy an airbase, all it takes is a couple of bombs on the runway and second, I would imagine that more than 30 Israeli pilots downed, killed or captured would show up somewhere, but none did. You do the math.... (talk) 18:03, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the previous poster. Maybe I'm getting carried away, but there appears to be some sort of agenda; for one, I noticed the greater number and weight given to Egyptian claims... In addition, there was some language, like the Israeli fighters "jumping" the Egyptians. With the '67 air-to-ground raids, I kinda got the impression as if this is supposed to be the Israeli modality for aerial-combat success... Then again, maybe I'm just imagining things. Anywho, I changed the "jumping" language, and added "dubious" to the most obviously questionable of claims

operator graphic / operational history : inconsistency[edit]

operational history mentions the Chengdu J-7 copy in this article, but the operator graphic does not show the PR China (where the Chengdu J-7 was produced) as former or current operator. This is an inconsistency imho. Lastdingo (talk) 01:29, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Page getting very big...[edit]

I wonder if perhaps I should split this article onto several pages, perhaps a separate page each for variants, operators (keeping a point-form list of operators on the main page just noting the countries, and moving the expanded information to the new page) and operational/combat histories (for which I have expansions in the works)? (2Q (talk) 03:08, 4 March 2009 (UTC))

Concur on Variants and Operators. Go ahead and expand the other sections on the main page, and we'll see how long it gets. I do note that there are 3 separate specs templates, which is often a sign that an article or two on specific variants or variant families ought to be created. However, I'm not familiar enough with the MiG-21 to know how best to split those off, if at all. We can wait and see on those. - BillCJ (talk) 07:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure either how to split them; though the differences between MiG-21 variants are significant enough that I don't think a single spec chart is enough; at the same time, there's enough continuity for them to be taken as a whole. However, now that I'm thinking about it... the variants section could be split up onto several articles on the various generations of MiG-21s... I think I'll split the variant info in this way, if nobody has objections. 2Q (talk) 07:58, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I concur with your point on "enough continuity for them to be taken as a whole". We certainly don't need to get into a situation like the Su-27 family where there are "dozens" of variant articles! Dividing the Variants articles by generations is a good idea - go for it! - BillCJ (talk) 08:37, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Quick question before I go to work: Does the main page need to have a specs template? I was thinking I could put specs onto the individual variants-by-generation page. Perhaps I could put a comparative table of the most key specs of the major variants onto the main page? 2Q (talk) 16:32, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Israel in the List[edit]

Israel actually stole a MiG-21, but should they count as operators? They lent it to the United States as well, who used it in simulated dog fights. Should the United States be listed too? Colonel Marksman (talk) 06:20, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Israel didn't steal one, but quite a number were captured or were handed over by defecting pilots. They operated them in an evaluation role, and the IDF/AF had a squadron that used various Soviet types captured from Arabs for developing tactics and for dissimilar training - much like the United States did. So, yes, both should be listed: "operation" does not necessarily mean "front-line use", but regular use for other purposes. If the "MiG-21 bible" (Gordon 2008 - 720 pages of MiG-21 goodness) considers both of these as operators, it's a fairly solid suggestion that yes, they should be included. Both had more than one, and used in some form of regular operation. (For the US, dissimilar training out of Tonopah [4]. 2Q (talk) 17:39, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Some facts about the Egyptian-Israeli "War of attrition": during the whole of 1970 less than 21 Israeli planes were downed, on all fronts including the Egyptian one, thus the number of kills credited by Soviet pilots and/or SAM missiles which appears in this article is wrong & is a gross exaggeration ! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Pwned by B-52[edit]

The article contains an intriguing sentence, "a VPAF MiG-21MF flown by Phạm Tuân over Hanoi, North Vietnam on December 26, 1972 was apparently responsible for the only claimed air combat kill of a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress in history." How did this kill come about? I assume the B-52's tail gunner shot down the fighter, but the article doesn't say (a casual reader might assume that the Mig was caught in explosions from bombs dropped by the B-52, or that it collided with the B-52). Also, this page at, which doesn't look very impressive but does have names and dates, states that two Migs were shot down in two separate incidents by B-52 gunners; the first tallies with the kill mentioned in the article, the second is new. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 19:38, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

A shufty with Google's book search throws up a bit more detail here, with further information on the two kills mentioned above, and mention of three additional and unconfirmed tail gunner claims. On the other hand, the book is curiously authorless and seems to be self-published. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 19:44, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I think you're mixing things up... the sentence you quoted means the opposite of how you read it: it was the only claimed kill *of* a B-52 in air-to-air combat, not the only air-to-air kill *by* a B-52. 2Q (talk) 19:51, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I've fixed the mixup - I think both you and I were right, and referring to three independent incidents. 2Q (talk) 21:54, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Nah, I was dead wrong. I must have misread of. It's better now. Having said that, it's a shame there's no more detail about the tail gunner kills; it instinctively seems absurd that a B-52 tail cannon could shoot down a supersonic aircraft attacking it a range of two kilometres with missiles, but perhaps the MiGs were at the very limits of their ceiling, crawling up its tailpipe, not expecting to face a tail gunner at all. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 22:32, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
For your info from the discussion in one of russian war forums. The tail gunners of B-52 have submitted 5 Mig-21 kills. Officially were counted two kills. First case : 18.12.1972 Then the pilot of Mig-21 attacked B-52 near Hanoi he has seen a SA-2 missile coming nearer to him. Pilot has left downward instantly immediately before the explosion. And after explosion of SA-2 there were no Mig-21 on the radar screens. So it looks like the Mig-21's explosion. Second case : 24.12.1972. According to vietnamese and soviet sources at this day there were no Mig-21s in air because of weather conditions at the aerodromes. Also were sayd there that american sources dated by second half of 80-s and the beginning of 90-s concluded that tail gunner's kills of Mig-21 are not confirmed. (talk) 22:22, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Arthur

Built by India[edit]

The Mig-21 was built in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. But there were also about 500 built by HAL that where licence built, they can be easily identified from other MiG-21s because Indian built Fishbeds have the IFF antenna at the front next to the cockpit, at the opposite side of the pitot boom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

PRC, Past Operator?[edit]

I saw the PRC (PLAAF) was colored as a "past operator" with dark red. However, they are still building and using a licence-built Mig-21 (J-7), so should it be a current operator? Yifanwang99 (talk) 14:42, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I beleive that by "operator" a nation has to be flying some aircraft. If China is just selling the aircraft, I do not beleive that China could then be defined as an operator. This is under the assumption that China is NOT flying it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I am not entirely sure but I don't think that the PLAAF EVER flew the MiG-21, only the Chengdu J-7.Petebutt (talk) 11:29, 30 January 2011 (UTC)


I really appreciate all the stats for multiple different MiG-21 models. On many wikipedia pages there's often just one model listed AVKent882 (talk) 23:25, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, well, unfortunately the rule is one set of specifications in the main article. But don't let this stop you writing a separate article specifically to show the specs for all MiG-21 variants and linking it in the main article! Something like - List of MiG-21 variant SpecificationsPetebutt (talk) 10:08, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I have moved those tables not directly relevant to adjacent text to the page linked above. I think it works well, de-cluttering the main article , reducing its size and giving somewhere to put the specs for the other variants. Enjoy!Petebutt (talk) 10:34, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

MiG-21 killed by an EC-47&M-16 in Vietnam?[edit]

I like browsing figher and modern war history. Now, when I digit "mig-21 shot down" in google, this is the first astonishing link since a week. It looks like a very detailed event. There is even a medal (a Distinguished Fyling Cross) that should record this event. I cannot find any other document that speaks about this event and this drives me thinking it's a tale. What do you think? Do you have any information? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mt hg (talkcontribs) 12:54, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I guess you didn't read to the end. It was a dream. — (talk) 21:46, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

No information on MiG-21 during Korea[edit]

There were very few MiG-21s in Korea, all launched in "MiG alley". I went to this page because I forgot how many were commissioned in Korea, to no avail. We need far more info on this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

If you mean the Korean War, there were NO MiG-21s, as the aircraft didn't yet exist, so it is not surprising that the article didn't mention them.Nigel Ish (talk) 19:31, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Check the History Channel: Dogfights. Sorry I do not remember the episode.They were restricted to shooting down bombers I beleive and they were restricted to "MiG alley" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Are you serious? Check your dates sunshine!!!!!!!!!!!Petebutt (talk) 11:13, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Possible copyright problem[edit]


This article has been revised as part of a large-scale clean-up project of multiple article copyright infringement. (See the investigation subpage) Earlier text must not be restored, unless it can be verified to be free of infringement. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions must be deleted. Contributors may use sources as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously. --Mkativerata (talk) 19:47, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Dubious: Mig 21 acquired by South Africa[edit]

All online reports seems to indicate South Africa acquired the MIG 21 (C340) after Lt Vinez was forced to perform an emergency landing rather than having defected. He was also later exchanged with Angola for a South African soldier held by Angolan and Kuban forces. Some links:

--NJR_ZA (talk) 17:34, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Handling qualities?[edit]

One often in the literature sees the MiG-21 described as a "nimble dogfighter," and even the main article describes it as a "maneuvering dogfighter."

The design specs listed show an aircraft with a rather high wing loading, particularly on later variants, and a power/weight ratio of 0.53, and the delta wings are known to contribute considerable parasitic drag and consequent energy loss in hard maneuvering. This package looks like it should be pretty close to the F104 in its traits--a "lead sled" that turns very poorly. Yet in the historical literature it is described again and again as a "nimble" aircraft. To give one example of a contemporary aircraft, the F4E with the leading edge flaps should by all rights be able to outclimb it, outdive it, and outturn it handily. Yet either this is not the case or the historical references are the result of a conspiracy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 2 March 2012 (UTC)


About India-Pakistan Conflicts: Confirmed MiG-21 Kills & Losses in Air-to-Air Combat, did Pakistan received any F-86E? I only heard about 120 F-86F-35/F-86F-40 and 90 CL-13B Sabkre Mark 6. (talkcontribs) 18:59, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Assume Sabre Mk.6 are F-86E.

Longest production run of a combat aircraft?[edit]

Ok, so i'm confused by this statement in the opening section. Do they mean years? If so then the C-130 Hercules and CH-47 Chinook have both been in constant production for over 50 years. Plus the F-16 Falcon has been flying since 1974. I think this statement needs some clarification Trashbag (talk) 23:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Maybe it was the longest run at that time (longer than F-4), F-15 fly since 1972 and it's still in production.--SojerPL (talk) 19:54, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Production numbers[edit]

  • "10,645 produced in the USSR, 194 in Czechoslovakia, 657 in India"

but: GAZ 30 (3,203 aircraft) in Moscow, GAZ 21 (5,765 aircraft) in Gorky and at GAZ 31 (1,678 aircraft) = 10646

  • "657 in India", "657 MiG-21FL, MiG-21M and MiG-21bis (of which 225 were bis)"

205 MiG-21FL, 158 MiG-21M, 75 kits and 220 MiG-21bis = 658 --SojerPL (talk) 19:54, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

India image[edit]

India,extensively uses this plane,but still no image of Indian MiG 21?As far I remember,here was picture,some one removed it.Ovsek (talk) 13:18, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, there is an image of it on this page, besides that regarding this actual page I have been trying to find one for some time now. -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 11:23, 7 June 2013 (UTC)


This jet is very old and very useless. Countries still using are very stupid. Why does India not use this scrapmetal junker as target practice already? Very obsolete and useless design. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Sorry this is not a discussion forum, do you want to raise an issue with or suggest an improvement with the article? MilborneOne (talk) 14:52, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Price sheet.[edit]

Here is pricing info on the early MiG-21F-13 variant of the fighter jet, as it was exported to the WARPAC member country of Hungary in 1964: 16 million hungarian forints per plane, for a batch of three dozen planes. This is confirmed price from historic documents collected by the author of SAMSIM.

That sum was worth nominally 1.362.862 USD at the time (1USD was exchanged at fixed 11.74 HUF rate in the 1963-1965 era). However, that was a largely theoretical rate, since dollar bills were as rare as white ravens behind the embargoed Iron Curtain.

On the other hand, 1HUF of 1964 is worth ~ 53.6HUF in early 2014, based on purchasing power parity (due to decades of significant inflation). That should make 16 million HUF in 1964 equal to ~ 860 million HUF and 1USD was exchanged at 230HUF in early 2014. Thus, the price of a single Mig-21F-13 should be 3.739.130 USD, calculated on modern parity.

Anyhow, 1.3 to 3.7 million USD is still suprisingly cheap for a supersonic fighter jet, but the MiG-21F-13 early variant was rather primitive, it didn't even have a radar set or anti-skid brakes. On the other hand, socialist Hungary was a member of the WARPAC alliance that buffer-guarded soviet borders against "imperialist agression", thus the export price may be been calculated in a "comradely" way by the soviets.

It may be more indicative that an average workers' wage in Hungary was 1.757 HUF/month in 1964. Thus, it took an entire yearly wage of 758 working people to buy a single fighter jet.

Later era soviet warplane exports were significantly more expensive, however. The price of a single MiG-21bis (redesigned version with usable radar and CSR overdrive capable after-burning engine) was almost 4x that of the Mig-21F-13, a sum paid by Hungary circa 1975. The price of a single MiG-23MF, circa 1978-1979 was almost 6x higher than a MiG-21MF, therefore only a single MiG-23 squadron was purchased by Hungary!

(That is because the MiG-23 had a large radar dish with digital computer and swing wings and BVR missiles. On the other hand, that on-paper capability was confronted by utter unreliability in real life, both in mechanics and the discrete transisitor based electronics. That way the expensive and error-prone MiG-23 quickly fell out of use everywhere soon after the soviet block collapsed, while MiG-21MF/bis planes are still serving in Romania and Croatia, for example.) (talk) 19:14, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

On the topic of price, $450,000 US for the important of a MiG for the civilian warbird market is utterly ridiculous. Registered aircraft with western radios and all paper work done can be had for less than $100,000 in the case of the Fagot, Fresco, and Fishbed. Prices will of course vary, but you'd be hard pressed to find one for anywhere near that price point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Content Box Image[edit]

This is in reference to the lancer image in question, following a change between it and an Egyptian MiG-21 resulting in an edit war. This czechoslovakian Image got a neutral seal of approval and stayed live for a longer period of time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

I am the original editor who added the Czechoslovak MiG image after noticing the infobox lacked one. I was only vaguely aware of the edit warring at the time; if in fact the dispute has ended then @User:BilCat, you're free to replace it with the Romanian image. It does seem rather preposterous to exclude an image from an article simply because one contributor didn't like it and kept adding something else in its place. If the dispute concerned something more serious, ie the copyright status of the image, or uncertainty regarding its subject, that would be another matter entirely. --Katangais (talk) 22:59, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Well actually, the infobox didn't lack one. But rather was replaced by the Czech one during the edits. Plus MiG-21 with its classic unpainted chrome appearance has been synonymous with the aircraft with most units produced sporting the same appearance. 04:08, 25 June 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

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