MiG-21 in 1989

Was the MiG-21 still competitive in 1989? It was the most common type of aircraft in many Warsaw Pact air forces so it would've seen combat for sure. How well would it have been able to stand up to F-16s, F-15s, F-4s, Harriers or Mirages used by NATO forces in Europe?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >F-16s

    no

    >F-15s,

    dear god no

    >F-4s

    theoretically in a dogfight with equal pilots but they didn't have equal pilots. Also all the F-4s fielded by NATO nations in 89 had far superior radars like the AWG-11/12.

    >Harriers

    yes on paper but again they didn't have equal pilots and if a mirage III flown by a south american monkey can get shot down by a Harrier then a Mig-21bis flown by a churka monkey could too.

    >Mirages

    Depends on the Mirage: The mirage III is an equal with better missiles, the Mirage F1 would win and the Mirage 2000C would assrape it brutally.

    tl;dr they were cooked but having German pilots instead of Russians might help.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Damn sounds pretty grim for the MiG pilots.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      MiG-21s shot down a number of F-4s and F-5s. An older MiG-21 variant shot down an F-14 even. In general, during the Cold War, American pilots didn't seem super superior in either Korea or Vietnam. The top aces in each ear were Korean/Chinese or Vietnamese. They had very high losses even if they did have a better overall record.

      The ridiculous combat record for the F-16 and F-15 are almost entirely due to the israelites BTFOing everyone; those planes have hardly any non-IDF kills. But the thing is, the israelites always stomped in French and American hardware that performed significantly worse in other nation's hands so it's a little disingenuous when the great combat record of essentially just IDF pilots is used to make a case for "all of NATO" or even the US having this huge advantage back then. Vietnam, Iran vs Iraq, etc. tell a different story.

      It's not that Soviet equipment was better, but it was completely capable of shooting down NATO birds, even much more modern ones when in the right hands. Hell, the Saudis even managed to get an F-15 downed by Iranian budget SAMs in the hands of the Houthi's.

      It's just like it's completely unfair to judge Russian AD based on the fact that Israel has been flying 1,000+ sorties a year in Syria for like a decade now without losing a pilot, through Russian AD and Iranian licenced Russian AD. They can use 4th gens to keep hitting areas crawling with AD because of their very good planning and ops, not because F-16s and F-15s are immune to SAMs. They've been doing stuff like having fighters take off essentially clinging to cargo planes and then dropping down extremely low to turn around and fire their weapons, which only works in a context where commercial flights won't be targeted and your pilots can pull that off without crashing.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        > Iran vs Iraq
        But Iraq did extremely poorly in the air.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >> Iran vs Iraq
          >But Iraq did extremely poorly in the air.
          Idiot here

          https://i.imgur.com/ePYodtI.jpeg

          MiG-21s shot down a number of F-4s and F-5s. An older MiG-21 variant shot down an F-14 even. In general, during the Cold War, American pilots didn't seem super superior in either Korea or Vietnam. The top aces in each ear were Korean/Chinese or Vietnamese. They had very high losses even if they did have a better overall record.

          The ridiculous combat record for the F-16 and F-15 are almost entirely due to the israelites BTFOing everyone; those planes have hardly any non-IDF kills. But the thing is, the israelites always stomped in French and American hardware that performed significantly worse in other nation's hands so it's a little disingenuous when the great combat record of essentially just IDF pilots is used to make a case for "all of NATO" or even the US having this huge advantage back then. Vietnam, Iran vs Iraq, etc. tell a different story.

          It's not that Soviet equipment was better, but it was completely capable of shooting down NATO birds, even much more modern ones when in the right hands. Hell, the Saudis even managed to get an F-15 downed by Iranian budget SAMs in the hands of the Houthi's.

          It's just like it's completely unfair to judge Russian AD based on the fact that Israel has been flying 1,000+ sorties a year in Syria for like a decade now without losing a pilot, through Russian AD and Iranian licenced Russian AD. They can use 4th gens to keep hitting areas crawling with AD because of their very good planning and ops, not because F-16s and F-15s are immune to SAMs. They've been doing stuff like having fighters take off essentially clinging to cargo planes and then dropping down extremely low to turn around and fire their weapons, which only works in a context where commercial flights won't be targeted and your pilots can pull that off without crashing.

          forgets to mention it was french Mirage F1s that helped out Iraqi Air force to get to a parity with the Iranian air force. So the nonsense about the MiGs he is spewing is just that, utter garbage.
          What saved the iraqis at the end was that Iran was sanctioned by USA so they didn't get any spare parts for their western made aircraft, which meant that wear and tear of operations took a huge toll of them and the amount of aircraft iranians had fell sharply after few years of war.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >so they didn't get any spare parts for their western made aircraft
            Yeah... about that...
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_in_the_Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I was under the impression Iraqis were hopelessly outmatched in the air until they got MiG-29s and Mirages.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Irrc mig 29 wasnt used by iraq in iraq iran war if you mean that
          Nig 29 is said to be a bad aircraft
          Russia fricked up by not making a decent mig 21 replacment

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Mig 29 is better than a mig 21 in every conceivable way what are you talking about?
            Even the Luftwaffe still uses some.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              The Germans haven't used the MiG-29 for 20 years, anon. They sold them to Poland.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                I’m not saying it’s relevant but it’s still superior to a mig-21. If they didn’t have the export variants they probably would have kept them, the problem being they have virtually zero aftermarket support. Only mig-29s getting relevant upgrades are the Russian ones unlike F-16s where modern ones being exported are clearly superior to migs simply just due to them being produced and upgraded much later.
                If modern avionics missiles and otherwise features were able to be installed on mig-29s they would still keep up with f-16s just fine and probably be in modern service

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Mig 29 blows 6 engines in the same time f-16 uses 1
                Its s point defense fighter its not a true multirole like f-16 is
                Theres a reason nobody is buying mig 29s anymore

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        How can israelites do so well when they can't even see the instrument panels because of their big noses?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Same way they can still fly and land their F-15s missing half the plane—kabbalhic sorcery.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Actually the F-15 is a lifting body aircraft with the delta-wings stalling way before it slows down to landing speed. No magic requied

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            The designers added wings last minute to the F-15 so they could charge more money from the american tax payers, this is what happens when you have a for-profit MIC

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Those fricking israelites will circumcise anything.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >In general, during the Cold War, American pilots didn't seem super superior

        Korea
        10 : 1 kill ratio
        After "superior" puccian pilots join the fight
        slumps down to 'only' 3 : 1
        have a nice day. Seriously get your moronic genes out of the pool we don't need you dragging us back

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          The post I was responding to made it seem like Soviet planes were basically zero threat to US ones. This is historically not the case. I acknowledged US hardware was superior. But people have a very skewed image here because the meme that always gets posted shows the IDF inflated F-15 and F-16 numbers and not the significantly less good looking Century Series numbers.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I didn't say that soviet planes were 0 threat to NATO just that the Mig-21 was after about 1978. Although I will amend my post by saying that soviet tactical aircraft were almost universally worse than NATO aircraft after the late 60s and that soviet pilots were complete humps with a fraction of the flight hours of NATO pilots and barely any combat experience since Korea where they got waxed.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >MiG-21s shot down a number of F-4s
        Usually (in Vietnam) it was because they attacked a formation of F-4s slowly escorting bombers from below and behind with missiles. They were vectored onto targets by GCI. It doesn't matter what aircraft you use in that situation, moronic tactics are moronic.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        > based on the fact that Israel has been flying 1,000+ sorties a year in Syria for like a decade now without losing a pilot,
        How many have they lost in “training mishaps” in the same time period?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        this post reminds that we need to vocally support Israel.

        fun fact IIRC my grandpa died testing some mig-21 version in a Warsaw packt nation. but im not sure id have to look it up. but the book is like as thicc as a telephone book just with dead pilot stories, they lost like 1 per week in this small nation

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >An older MiG-21 variant shot down an F-14

        >Believing Iraqi kill claims

        lmao even.

        As for the rest of this post its just complete bullshit. keeping it short rather than forcing others to read all that shit like your post:

        >Even with the target restrictions and disadvantages over North Vietnam the F-4 had a positive K/D
        >The only kills of a 3.5 or 4th generation aircraft by an F-16 or F-15 were done by the US. They shot down Mig-25s, Mig-29s and Mirage F1s meanwhile all Israel has managed to shoot down with them is Mig-21s and a few Mig-23s which are utter millet for a 4th generation aircraft.
        >its perfectly fair to judge soviet aircraft based on Iraqi performance since they were soviet trained. At least they managed to perform successful air operations and shoot down F-14s (with Mirage F1s not Mig-21s) instead of just getting dabbed on in every conflict.
        >ditto for north vietnam
        >also your post about not judging Russian AD on Iranian failures is pretty funny given that Russian AD in Russian PVO-cuckold hands has somehow performed worse than the Islamic Republic.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          You made good points but you greentext all wrong like a homosexual and should therefore have a nice day.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            did people tell you about how greentexts are supposed to work when you came here as an election tourist lmao

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >. They've been doing stuff like having fighters take off essentially clinging to cargo planes and then dropping down extremely low to turn around and fire their weapons
        I wish to know more about this

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >. They've been doing stuff like having fighters take off essentially clinging to cargo planes and then dropping down extremely low to turn around and fire their weapons
          >wish to know more about this
          Could this strategy be called “ucahs”?
          >using civivilian aircraft as human shields
          By Israeli logic those freighters and airliners are legitimate targets if used as a human shield.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Could this strategy be called “ucahs”?
            God fricking dammit google returns nothing
            >By Israeli logic those freighters and airliners are legitimate targets if used as a human shield.
            I was under the impression that it was more along the lines of confusing radar?

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              No one has any clue? Google keeps returning nothing

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >and airliners
            Who said "airliners"? There are plenty military cargo planes.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              > Who said "airliners"? There are plenty military cargo planes.
              707
              G550
              King air
              767
              Can anyone help the aipac anon with this list?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Pic related but unironically.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >In general, during the Cold War, American pilots didn't seem super superior in either Korea or Vietnam
        and if you actually knew anything about cold war air power or the usaf you'd know about the major shift in training and equipment that occurred in the 1980s post-vietnam.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        F-5s and F-4s btfo of Russian MiG-21s so hard that they tried to make the shitheap Mig-23. In testing old ass F-5A Skoshi Tiger captures fricked that "brand new" plan up so bad in Russian test flights that it directly led to the Mig-29 being planned.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        On the F-4 in Vietnam, please keep in mind that, for at least part of the war, the Americans' ROE required visual confirmation before engaging. This naturally forced F-4s into dogfights when that really wasn't what they'd been built to do, and put them on the back foot to boot. That's a pretty fricking serious handicap, and it almost certainly would not have occurred in the skies over West Germany.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >That's a pretty serious handicap
          Anon we are talking about 40-60 years ago. They didn't have all the instruments that we had today and America had far more aircraft flying over Vietnam than the North Vietnamese did and they wanted to avoid friendly fire incidents.
          Also how you use something is important and good equipment in the hands of idiots might as well be worthless equipment. A shitty Soviet interwar biplane trainer got credited a kill on a USAF Lockheed F-94 because the Americans were being idiots.
          The USAF lost two F-117 Nighthawks over Yugoslavia to shitty S-125's from the 1960's that had been rusting away in a field for 30 years because the American's were being complacent idiots.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Here's an oldie but a goodie...https://theaviationgeekclub.com/soviet-pilot-who-test-flew-captured-f-5-against-mig-21-mig-23-explains-why-the-tiger-beat-the-fishbed-flogger-in-every-engagement/#google_vignette

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        israeli cope
        >Max takeoff weight
        MiG: 8800 kg
        Phantom: 28030 kg
        >Max speed
        MiG: 2,175 km/h
        Phantom: 2,370 km/h
        >Combat range
        MiG: 370 km
        Phantom: 680 km
        >Service ceiling
        MiG: 17,500 m
        Phantom: 18,000 m
        >Powerplant:
        MiG: 1 x Tumanskey R-25-300
        afterburning turbojet.
        40.18KN Thrust dry, 69.58 KN with afterburner
        Phantom: 2 x General Electric
        J79-GE-17A
        after-burning-turbojet engines, 52.96 kN Thrust each dry, 79.38 KN with afterburner
        >Armament
        MiG: 5 Hardpoints, carry 4,000 kg weapons load, combinations of rockets, missiles and bombs.
        1x3mm Gsh-30-1 autocannon with 200 rounds
        Phantom: 9 Hardpoints, carry 8,480 kg of weapons. Including cluster bombs, rockets pods, laser-guided bombs, missiles, gun pods and Nuclear Weapons

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >implying

          BTFOing migs is a common israeli pastime

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        > The ridiculous combat record for the F-16 and F-15 are almost entirely due to the israelites BTFOing everyone

        Imagine losing to arabs with superior numbers and F4s

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      > South american monkey
      Why so racist

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >look up stream
      >unmistakably male voice
      is this a troony?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        read the top comment

        > Дeд чyть нe пoлyчил бoeвoe пpoбитиe тopпeдoй в кopмy
        >Gramps almost got hit in the stern by a torpedo

        also what did you expect from Russia honestly lad

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          would've done him justice for creeping (on what he thought) a young girl

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >yes on paper but again they didn't have equal pilots and if a mirage III flown by a south american monkey can get shot down by a Harrier then a Mig-21bis flown by a churka monkey could too.
      nah after the falklands it wad clear the tactics using vtol would have let it shred mig 21s

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      DAMN russian boys look like THAT???

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >south american monkey
      Argentina is literally whiter than the us, stop projecting

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >us
        The Falklands will always be british

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I'm pretty sure by 1989 Warpact pretty much resigned to the fact that they can't face NATO airforce on equal terms so if there were a conventional war they'd just operate inside their anti-air zone and hope for the best, maybe utilizing their better planes in limited strikes.
    High-low, eh?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      As above, so below.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    b***h the MiG-21 wasn't competitive in 1959.
    There's an F-86 kill on an MiG-21. Tells you all you need to know.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I mean 59 was pushing it. Most people will say the mig-21 is still superior to any NATO bird before the f-4 but. BUT, the pilot still makes all the difference. Especially back then when dogfights were still somewhat common and missile technology was not a 1/3rd of what it is today

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        A Po-2 shot down a F-94.
        Sure, yeah, a meme kill that shouldn't be counted because it only happened because the F-94 pilot was moronic enough to stall his jet against a biplane with a lawnmower engine, but so was the Sabre's MiG-21 kill which only happened because the MiG pilot decided to go slow and turnfight with two Sabres.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Reminder that the MiG-21 is still in service in NATO countries even in 2024.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      so is su-22 - but its kept to keep its pilots flying until there is a replacement...
      similar story with Polish Hinds
      only being used as transport choppers in a decade or so due to its weapons systems becoming obsolete and modernisation too costly
      (compared to obtaining Apaches),,,

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    What people don't get is that they worked in vietnam because the americans were flying over hostile territory all the time, so the vietnamese decided when and how to engage and set up ambushes. As soon as the mig-21 went up against phantoms without this advantage (israeli vs soviet pilots over sinai) the mig's lost big time

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >all those bombs accidentally (?) dropped in china
      did the chinese ever raise a stink about this?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        This is the same chinese leadership who created the one-child policy and created the great leap forward famines, they were probably just happy there were a couple fewer mouths to feed

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >you had F-14 tomcats, f-16 falcons, i think the legendary f-15 was in service by that point
    >the Soviets had mig-29s and su-27s
    Not a bat’s chance in hell. Literal fodder and you’re almost better off with a propeller plane at least it might be harder being detected and missile spiked.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >How well would it have been able to stand up to F-16s, F-15s, F-4s, Harriers or Mirages used by NATO forces in Europe?
    Very poorly. Every version of the AIM-7 at that time significantly outranged anything it could shoot in return.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    So the guys on the MiG-21 were screwed but how screwed were the dudes on the MiG-23?
    I heard the Soviets hated that thing and only political pressure kept it in production.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >MiG-23
      Listened to an interview with a retired Czech pilot, who flew 23s as a display team member. In his eyes the switch from 21 to 23 was a huge step in performance and ease of use, mostly in terms of raw power (speed, acceleration etc.) and the fact that 23 was much less susceptible to stalls and engine surge. Talked a lot less about the perceived combat capabilities of the aircraft, IIRC mentioned better missiles and higher level of automation in GCI (primitive datalink feeding the autopilot input), but it left the impression on me that due to the nature of training they never really explored the combat potential of their aircraft, only flying textbook exercises.

      Said pilot got a lot extra flying hours thanks to being both a display team member and doing flight checks after overhauls, but meeting his peers from NATO countries while performing at internatinal air tattoos he realized that 10 years younger NATO pilots had both more flight hours and more realistic training (based on solving complex scenarios) than him.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        On the other hand, South Africans didn't like flying against the Cuban/FAPLA MiG-23s in Angola. They did score solid hits on them by luring them out into carefully planned ambushes, but IIRC they felt that they both outperformed and outgunned their assorted Mirages.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        For some reason new nato countries kept flying the Mig-21 longer than the Mig-23.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the MIG21 had more spare parts, experienced mechanics and were cheaper to operate and maintain, specially in comparison with the famous maintenance hell the swinging MIG23 was.

          Chances I'm wrong, but that only happens when someone calls me out on it.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Makes sense Mig-21 was easier to maintain. Syria is currently the biggest operator of the Mig-23 and I guess were able to maintain it this long. They're also the biggest operator of the Mig-21.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I think Anon here

          https://i.imgur.com/Bis2QbJ.gif

          I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the MIG21 had more spare parts, experienced mechanics and were cheaper to operate and maintain, specially in comparison with the famous maintenance hell the swinging MIG23 was.

          Chances I'm wrong, but that only happens when someone calls me out on it.

          got it right - the 21s were just more economical to keep. You see, many WarPac countries had literal hundreds of 21s as the backbone of their airforce, and only a small number of the newer planes (23s, 29s) in a high-low mix. With the end of the Cold War they needed to both significantly downsize their military aviation in numbers and consolidate on fewer types. With the numerous, long-established and comparatively low-tech 21s they usually had some domestic capacity for even major overhauls, while the 23s and 29s generally had to be sent back to Russia for that. Combined with the large number of airframes with low accumulated hours to cherry pick from, decent cache of spares and lower maintenance requirements this made the 21 a logical choice for a somewhat sustainable use until they could gather enough money to replace them with something new and western. Since they were expected to mostly patrol domestic airspace their performance was deemed good enough - imho this is what killed off the MiG-23 so soon, as the little extra power they offered wasn't worth the hassle, while the fairly new and more modern 29s were sometimes kept longer to utilize them before their fatigue life expired.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          https://i.imgur.com/Bis2QbJ.gif

          I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the MIG21 had more spare parts, experienced mechanics and were cheaper to operate and maintain, specially in comparison with the famous maintenance hell the swinging MIG23 was.

          Chances I'm wrong, but that only happens when someone calls me out on it.

          I don't think its the swing wings since the good old Su-17 is swinging its polish wings. It's probably just how many airframes were available cannibalise compared with the Mig-23 or Mig-29. Without Russian technical support your slavshit airforce will end up looking like Cleopatra's family tree.

          A similar example is Afghanistan during the civil war when they were under embargo. The factions started the war with like ~150 soviet aircraft (mostly Su-17s and Mig-21s) but lack of spares, crashes, combat losses, defections, destruction to avoid falling into enemy hands etc. from years of high intensity air warfare dwindled things so badly that by 2001 only a squadron at best were in Taliban hands. We'll never know exactly since the US air campaign destroyed anything with 2 wings and let god sort out if they were serviceable. iirc only 4 survived mostly due being flown to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan after the Taliban took Kabul. The US grounded them due to the pilots not knowing english and trying to communicate with Bagram ATC in Russian.

          Munitions were a similar story. They basically just had whatever happened to be in an airbase's magzine. Obviously they had 100,000+ bombs and they only dropped like 30% but special items like air to air missiles got eaten up quick. For example when a taliban Mig-21 pilot defected to the "government" (massoud) airforce in 1996 they were more stoked about the 4 R60M missiles on the pylons than the jet or pilot due to how low their stocks were after gaining a respectable 8 air to air victories.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Mig-29's were kept in service too. Many of the Mig-29's were sent to Ukraine. Mig-23's were all gone by the late 90's and early 00's.

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    America had F-15 in the 70s lol

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Sure but by 1989 they had more and also Euros were flying more modern planes. If we went with 1970s most Euros we’re still flying Starfighters and Sabres at that point. Meaning the MiG-21 wasn’t hopelessly outdated yet.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Which European air force still used F-86 in the 70s?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Spain retired the last F-86 in 1972.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            ya and OP is asking about ‘89 for some unknown reason lmao
            >’59
            mig-21 is pretty OP and state of the art being one of three first functional delta wings. A genuine and deadly threat
            >’69
            slightly outdated by newer designs but can still keep up. Practically still a very useful craft and absolutely can and did give any airforce hell. They still had to strategize around it
            >’79
            Pretty severely outdated by this point. Big improvements in avionics tracking and missiles means that most countries can deal with a 21 easily. f-14 tomcat could probably engage and destroy a fishbed before even being noticed
            >’89
            hopeless fodder. not even the world’s poorest countries really use these things. by this point even the Soviets make sure their important countries in the Warsaw Pact have better planes. Even when they’re on the brink of collapse.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              Cuz it was the latest point NATO vs Pact could’ve happened. Pact still had hundreds of these in service and I was wondering if they’d be any good.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              Cuz it was the latest point NATO vs Pact could’ve happened. Pact still had hundreds of these in service and I was wondering if they’d be any good.

              The thing about the MiG-21 still being “competitive” at a given date has less to do with the plane than with the missiles. The cutoff date of 1989 is just before the AIM-120 enters service (September 1991) as an instant “I win” button: Fox Three capability is going to mog the finest dogfighter piloting a MiG-21 or anything else.
              By 1989, though? The Top Gun program has trained a generation of better fighter pilots, and AIM-9 sidewinder performance has improved enough that there’s a serious gap in airpower between NATO and Warsaw Pact. That’s why the Soviets spammed all those SAM batteries in the twilight days of the 1980s: do you really think they’d have gone to the expense if they were confident they could win an air war? Even the USSR knew NATO had the edge and then some.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                Anon, the R-73 scared the ever loving frick out of NATO air forces. The AIM-9M was a good missile, but having HOBS capability was a game changer for short range IR missiles. Of course this lead to everyone developing their own missiles that were superior, but those didn't exist until at least a decade after the R-73 made its introduction.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                You raise a valid point, Anon, and while I believe “scared the ever loving frick” is overstating it, NATO apparently felt they’d underestimated it when they got a better look at some post-Berlin Wall.
                That said, I don’t know how decisive it would have been in the island of time between its 1984 intro and the 1990s debut of AMRAAM and the F-117.

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    No

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    "MiG-21" is so wide a category, it kinda becomes meaningless. Like, we're talking Plane of Theseus levels of changes here if you compare early to late ones.

    Late and heavily upgrade Fishbeds would have struggled, but still been a serious opponent against 4th gens in the 80's. It'd have been mostly doctrine, PACT pilot training and their short range that would have held them back.

    And then there's the Chinks, who did some really strange things with their Fishbeds to the point that NATO renamed them Fishcan because they became so different by the 80's.

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    3rd gen

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I think the last time an indian mig-21 bis went up against a 4th gen fighter pakistan f-16a was in 2019

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Everybody compares aircraft in 1 vs 1 scenarios but what's important is what these vehicles can do as a unit and what role they play within an overall strategy and doctrine. Warsaw Pact countries had large numbers of MiG-21s and MiG-23s, it would inevitably take time for the new generation of fighters to phase them out anyway. MiG-21s in the 80s received the MiG-29's R-73/HMD combo which was severely underestimated by NATO and could carry dumb bombs ground strikes, so it wasn't lacking for weapons. The size and shape of its intake cone severely limits upgrades to the radar and avionics. However, MiG-21 was and is still a very fast aircraft with a good rate of climb and acceleration. So while obsolete by the 80s, it wasn't entirely useless. Warsaw Pact forces would probably use these vehicles as interceptors or strike planes in select situations that would free up 4th generation fighters for more important duties e.g. During the Kargil war the Indians used old MiG-23s for ground attack and air support roles freeing up MiG-29s for air superiority and object protection.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >MiG-21s in the 80s received the MiG-29's R-73/HMD combo
      Cite your source.

  16. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Even now currently in 2024 the Croatian AF is the last air force in Europe and Nato still flying the Mig-21, but are expected to finally retire it this year.

  17. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Romania only just retired their Mig-21's last year in 2023.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Is that a Romanian or Indian Mig-21 pilot?

  18. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    India also going to retire their mig-21s.

  19. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    yea na

  20. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    1 on , not a snowballs chance in hell against any American fighter in 1989 especially with AWACS.. And no American fighter would be anywhere near an area hostile Migs could potentially be without AWACS. But nobody running Mig-21's would have even thought of tangling with American fighters 1 on 1.. They'd use at least 5 to 1 if they were actually even going to try. Even then.. I doubt it would result in a downed American fighter. On top of that, we were at our park in 1989.. Our pilots were internationally recognized as the best trained and most capable fighter pilots in the world... We compromised nothing back then. The standards back then aren't even legal today.

  21. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    An Indian MiG-21 BIS (basically the latest model) was shot down by a Block 20 MLU F-16 in 2019;

    F-16B Block 20 MLU is roughly ~1993 tech.

    So yeah, F-16 (and by extension F-15's) > MiG-21

    That's your definitive answer.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      That's the F-16B on the pic that they claim shot down an Indian Su-30. There was no good evidence released of the Su-30 being shot down. A F-16A did shoot down down a Mig-21 during that engagement evident by fact the pilot was captured and wreckage. India did claim shooting down an F-16 as well, but there was no evidence of that. A contractor months later did confirm the Pakistan F-16 fleet number remained the same.

  22. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I can fix her.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Imagine the succ in front of it hnnnnng

  23. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    In late 70s soviets obtained ex-south vietnemese F-5E and decided to put it against MiG-21bis and MiG-23M. Results were that the second rate US fighter mogged them both in mock dogfight despite being worse on paper.

    Obviously in in real war scenario MiGs would have advantage of radar and speed and in -23 case, longer ranged weaponry. So naturally when Somalian Mig-21 went against the Ethiopian F-5, the latter got 9 confirmed air to air kills for no loses.

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