Military Forum for Russian and Global Defence Issues


    History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Share

    nemrod
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 806
    Points : 1309
    Join date : 2012-09-11

    Mig-23 Flogger

    Post  nemrod on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:59 pm

    To Marcinko.

    marcinko wrote:
    Thing is, we need solid proof that the 23 shot down that many and so diverse IAF fighters.
    I mean come on, if you are the military then publish some damn gun camera footage, brag about what what your pilots do.

    Hey! Friend, things does not run like that, in real environnement of conflict, in real battlefield! It is the war, informations as images are weapons like others, and sometimes they are more strategics. All the proofs you could have, in the best cases, if the belligerants are honnest, are wreckages. The false footages U can find or create hundreds, and hundreds, if not thousands. I think you are like me, U grew up in western country, and as me you are hypnotized like me when I was, in the best case, you are conditionned like I was. US propaganda create special services dedicated to publish false footages, they are very vicious, because at first many of these footage were designed with softwares, mix with true footages got from Top Gun exercises, or something like that, and they mix, they mix, in order to subjugate those who see the footage. Once you have the monopole of media, and informations, you can say what you want. If you want an hollywood scenario happy end like Buck Danny, the scenario will end like Buck Danny. If you want to say that an F-15 downed 1.000 SU-27, you can say it. The only thing that could help you, in order to analyze, is the overcome of the conflict. A simple example :
    During summer 2014 Israel launched a big operation against Gaza. Specialists of Zionist entity pretended their Trophy 4 could stop all anti tank missiles,including Kornet, and their shield anti missile could stop all rockets launched into Israel. They claimed that their system is effective at nearly 90%, for the Trophy nearly 100%.
    In Wikipedia, another weapon of western propaganda take a look of what israelis claimed about the  AT-14 Spriggan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M133_Kornet


    During the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in the summer of 2014, of the 15 anti-tank missiles which launched on Israeli tanks that were intercepted by the Israeli active protection system "Trophy", most were of the Kornet type. In some cases the Kornet launchers were destroyed after the "Trophy" system has detected the launch and directed the tank's main gun to the launcher position.

    This is the usual israeli tactic, they claimed that their system was efficient. In other side, Palestinians obviously claimed the contrary. What is true ? What is false ? Only few bad quality footages. If your systems were really effectives, why Israel did not enter into Gaza ?  Why during nearly more than one month, Israel economy was stopped, no schools, no bus, no trains, no electricity, all centrals were stopped, in fact all was stopped. The israelis dared to enter in Gaza only 300 meters. By constrast, in 2008 -palestinians had not the Kornet in that time-, in few hours, Israelis tanks were in Gaza city, they arrested many palestinians high responsibles. In 2014, after only few days, Israel asked Egypt, US, UK, Russsia, and Turkey to do all possible to obtain a ceasefire.
    Another example, during Gulf war I in 1991, US propaganda -US great networks provided I don't know how much footages- claimed that US air force destroyed more than 80% of iraqi air force during the first days, if not few weeks -I don't recall-. However, after the war, the facts prove the exact opposite.

    My conclusion, as Israel did not dare a ground invasion, and its economy was completly paralyzed, Nettyahu asked quickly ceasefire, then Trophy protection was completly ineffective, and as usual the truth is not in Israel's side. Things run like that. If we could easily access  to the truth, we need no medias, we don't need historians, we don't need Internet, there were no unfair, the world would be perfect. But things does not run like that.

    nemrod
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 806
    Points : 1309
    Join date : 2012-09-11

    MiG-21 vs F-16: Need your help

    Post  nemrod on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:06 pm

    This amazing manoeuvre was done during the 1973 war, a Mig-21 vs Mirage III. It suggests that, untill now, more than never, the Mig-21 inside a skilled pilot is very very effective. I think that Mig-21 is better than even the F-16 C that was designed only for dogfights-you can notice the very few score made by F-16 in all conflicts. The only sources we have nowadays, are from US DOD, and Israeli defense minister, in other word, the centre of lies-. I ask you that if someones among you have more clues -other than Israelis, and US sources- about combats between F-16 and Mig-21.



    I suspect too, that during the Gulf War in 1991, and Serbia 1999, the US losses in dogfights were more important. With a fair update of its avionics, the Mig-21 nowadays is still effective against either F-16, or F-35, Typhoon, Rafale, and even F-22.

    George1
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 9424
    Points : 9916
    Join date : 2011-12-22
    Location : Greece

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  George1 on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:13 pm

    i know that in Vietnam war MiG-21 proved more capable in dogfights against the more heavy F-4 Phantom and this was a reason for Lightweight Fighter program that concluded to F-16.
    However today most air-fights are being developed in BVR situation

    nemrod
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 806
    Points : 1309
    Join date : 2012-09-11

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  nemrod on Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:29 pm

    George1 wrote:.... Lightweight Fighter program that concluded to F-16.
    if indeed the empty weight around 8.500 kg but, loaded weight around 12,000 kg, with a Max takeoff weight: around 19.000 kg, and average takeoff, 14-15.000 kg, with a Powerplant: 1 × F110-GE-100 afterburning turbofan Dry thrust 76.3 kN, thrust with afterburner 127 kN. This features proves that F-16 is not a lightweight fighter. Whereas the Mig-21 we have Gross weight around 9.000 kg, powered by Powerplant 1 × Tumansky R25-300 40.21 kN thrust dry, 69.62 kN with afterburner each. Moreover, during Desert Storm in 1991 around 30 F-16 were lost du to....."accident". In fact they were simply downed, and I suspect some iraqi Mig-21 were engaged.

    George1 wrote:However today most air-fights are being developed in BVR situation
    A situation with a doubfull results. Most of the Mig could dodge any AMRAAM missiles. I suspect Mig-21 downed several F-15, and F-16, and untill now, with a fair upgrade of its avionics, and new engines, the Mig-21 could be still now, a redoutable fighter.

    TR1
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 5840
    Points : 5892
    Join date : 2011-12-06

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  TR1 on Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:35 pm

    F-16 shits on the MiG-21 across the board.

    Senseless comparison, to stay polite.

    TR1
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 5840
    Points : 5892
    Join date : 2011-12-06

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  TR1 on Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:39 pm

    Also what is so amazing about that manuver?

    Do you think an Immelman is also incredible?

    victor1985
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 852
    Points : 901
    Join date : 2015-01-02

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  victor1985 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:27 am

    Today for a aircraft are two problems: others aircrafts whit their missiles and enemy AA. If for the first problem some countermeasures can be put on aircraft for the second problem ( where a big enemy missile engage the aircraft) solutions are limited. For the second problem a solution is using the aircrafts togheter whit other land naval etc units that cover the back of the aircraft. And also against enemy AA are the weapons named speed and altitude that aircrafts can reach. But .... The two surfaces (missile and aircraft) have different efficiency so normally one should proven more faster and higher altitude. But... If missiles are more faster aircrafts can reach higher altitude. So how it is then? Well for a plane is not enough to fly high they also launch own missiles that get into AA area. So better perhaps is to invest in missiles. Now returning to the point : as far as i learned dogfights arent used anymore today. Because a missile can hit from far away. The main point is if you have a missile on your aircraft that can intercept enemy missiles and then follow enemy aircraft and shoot down whit another missile. So....important things today: radar, IR, missile aerodinamics and speed, weight of them, electronic countermeasures. And others few that i dont have in mind right now. Things that arent so necesary today: maneuvrability for close combat whit others aircrafts. Its useles.

    nemrod
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 806
    Points : 1309
    Join date : 2012-09-11

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  nemrod on Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:07 pm

    TR1 wrote:F-16 shits on the MiG-21 across the board.

    Iam afraid it is the opposite, ....to stay polite.

    Werewolf
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 5390
    Points : 5639
    Join date : 2012-10-24

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  Werewolf on Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:20 pm

    nemrod wrote:
    TR1 wrote:F-16 shits on the MiG-21 across the board.  

    Iam afraid it is the opposite, ....to stay polite.

    No.

    sepheronx
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 7302
    Points : 7612
    Join date : 2009-08-06
    Age : 27
    Location : Canada

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  sepheronx on Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:48 pm

    Werewolf wrote:
    nemrod wrote:
    TR1 wrote:F-16 shits on the MiG-21 across the board.  

    Iam afraid it is the opposite, ....to stay polite.

    No.

    India with their MiG-21BIS aircrafts during exercise where apparently a huge problem for most american jets excluding F-22. Apparently they were hard to engage and especially from a distance. During the red flag exercises. But you need a real competent pilot I imagine as everything else about the aircraft uses old equipment that doesnt match the F-16.

    higurashihougi
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 2127
    Points : 2242
    Join date : 2014-08-13
    Location : A small and cutie S-shaped land.

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  higurashihougi on Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:12 am

    I see little meaning in comparing these crafts, because MiG-21 and F-16 belong to different generation.

    F-16 is a Ye-8 with a computer, no canard, and a degenerated air inhale.

    So... yeah, F-16 belongs to a newer, younger generation than MiG-21. It is not surprising if F-16 defeat MiG-21 in a fight.

    George1 wrote:i know that in Vietnam war MiG-21 proved more capable in dogfights against the more heavy F-4 Phantom and this was a reason for Lightweight Fighter program that concluded to F-16.
    However today most air-fights are being developed in BVR situation

    Yeah, you got a point here. MiG-21 was born in the time when FBV and computer pilot is not matured yet. Therefore dogfight still plays a considerable role and MiG-21 keep some of the dogfight characteristic. It has both gun for close combat and IR guided missiles for longer range. It is also light and fast to gain a great advantage in dogfight.

    Meanwhile, F-4 made a severe mistake when it hurriedly abandon dogfight too soon, and trust everything to FBV system which were not matured yet. And compared with MiG-21, F-4 is much much less maneuverable.

    In Vietnam War, Vietnamese MiGs was much much much fewer than F-xx. In a fight, the ratio was usually 3 Fs and 1 MiGs. But Vietnam still won. Thanks to the bravery and brilliance of the Vietnamese pilot, and the superior quality of MiGs.

    But then, in late 196x and 197x and so on, FBV was matured and well developed. Fighter evolved into 4th generation follow the concept set by MiG-25 and Ye-8. That's why MiG-21 became outdated.

    TR1 wrote:Senseless comparison, to stay polite.

    I prefer "meaningless comparison", though. Very Happy Very Happy

    GarryB
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 15458
    Points : 16165
    Join date : 2010-03-30
    Location : New Zealand

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  GarryB on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:09 am

    Both aircraft were designed at very different times using different technologies for different purposes.

    The MiG-21 was primarily a mach 2 fighter designed to shoot down bomber aircraft as its primary role.

    Compared with the MiG-23 that came after it it lacked range and payload and its electronics were sufficient for the job but not amazing.

    The MiG-21 is a cheap relatively simple aircraft that has limitations and features that can be exploited by its user or its enemy.

    The F-16 on the other hand was a knee jerk reaction to the realisation that the US had lost its way and was designing heavy powerful missile carriers at a time when missiles were not that effective.

    The F-16 was a rethink that tried to go back to simple with high manouverablility, and a highly capable radar and an excellent range of weapons of all types... probably really the first aircraft that could genuinely be called an effective multirole.... in the sense that with drop tanks and a couple of laser guided bombs and a few AAMs could fly in, hit a few point targets accurately and then loiter and engage any enemy aircraft that try to interfere.

    With a decent radar upgrade and modern AAMs the MiG-21 is still a very capable aircraft, though its legs are still short and it will never have a huge payload... A Saudi Pilot in an F-16 could easily get his arse kicked by an Israeli who is familiar with both aircraft in a MiG-21BIS.


    _________________
    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

    ― Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    higurashihougi
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 2127
    Points : 2242
    Join date : 2014-08-13
    Location : A small and cutie S-shaped land.

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  higurashihougi on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:50 am

    @Garry:

    I still do not understand why the US chose a ram inlet in F-16, not a more complex one like Ye-8, or at least conical air inlet like J-10B ?

    Giulio
    Junior Sergeant
    Junior Sergeant

    Posts : 144
    Points : 167
    Join date : 2013-10-29
    Location : Italy

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:23 am

    medo wrote:Tu-128 is retired for a long time now and was the first Soviet long range interceptor with crew of two (pilot and RIO). It have quite capable radar Smerch for its time and I think a derivate of it was also in MiG-25. Anyone know, if Russia keep at least 1 of those planes in flying conditions for special occasions like MAKS or similar. It would be nice to see such veterans still flying in meetings.

    I don't know if there is a Tu-128 in flight conditions, but I think it is a very complex aircraft for the maintenance.
    The Tu-128 was not the first long range Soviet interceptor. Afaik there were aircrafts like the Yak-25/28 before the Tu-128. Maybe the Tu-128 was the first very long range, high capability interceptor, with the powerful radar, ECCM and P4 (aa-5) missiles.
    The Mig-25 is not a Tu-128 derivative, the Mig-25 is another system. Similar to the Tu-128 is the mission of the Mig-31 and indeed some pilots passed from the Tu-128 to the Mig-31. The Tu-128 was a long range interceptor for the B-52 bombers. The Mig-25 was designed for the B-58 and XB-70 bombers and their missiles.
    The Tu-128s late version (M?) had the straight top of the vertical fin with new communications and (I think) an RWR receiver. All the Tu-128 had additional air intakes in the middle of the fuselage, for additional air flow during the take off, (like above).
    The Tu-128 was so big that the crews were trained on the Tu-124 for the navigation and for the use of the electronic systems. Afaik, a problem was that the speeds and the answers of the controls of the Tu-128 were much faster than those of the Tu-124. So maybe that for the pilot it was better the three seats training version of the Tu-128 with the instructor in the nose. I think that the take off and landing speeds of this aircraft were pretty high. Afaik the fastest takeoff and landing speeds in the Soviet Union were those of the Su-15 Flagon A (about 400-390 Km/h), but maybe that the Tu-128 was very near it.

    George1
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 9424
    Points : 9916
    Join date : 2011-12-22
    Location : Greece

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  George1 on Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:41 pm

    Sukhoi T-4: 100-Ton Bomber That Flew Faster Than Sound

    In the early 1960s the Soviet Union built a bomber that moved three times the speed of sound – something even contemporary missiles could not boast, let alone fighter planes.

    Fighter planes have traditionally been viewed as being faster than bombers, but the 102-ton Sukhoi T-4 was designed to fly at speeds as high as Mach 3.0+ (3,200 km/h).

    The initial design developed in 1964 called for a tailless delta-wing aircraft with four turbojet engines placed in a single "gondola" under the fuselage.

    The wing had a break in the leading edge, and a small forward stabilizer was included.

    The plane was to be equipped with three controlled H-45 solid-fuel missiles, located under the fuselage.

    During the design process, the arrangement of the aircraft engines was modified and the number of missiles was reduced to two.

    Construction made extensive use of titanium and steel alloys, and the T-4 used an advanced electrohydraulic, quadruple redundancy fly-by-wire system.

    It was fitted with a 'droop snoot' that offered good visibility in the landing configuration, but when the nose of the aircraft was up and locked, the pilots had no forward visibility and all flying was on instruments.

    The final design was 44.5m long, had a wing span of 22m, a wing surface of 295.7 square meters and a lift-off weight of 114 tons.

    The calculated flight-characteristics indicated that the bomber would have a range of 6,000 km, maximum speed of 3,200 km/h at an altitude of 20,000-24,000 meters and an absolute ceiling of 25,000-30,000 meters.

    The T-4 was immediately dubbed as “the killer of aircraft carriers” and was designed for use by the Soviet Strategic Air Force Command.

    The development of the T-4 continued throughout the 1960s and a complete flying prototype was ready in 1971. Three more prototypes were started until the project was scrapped in 1975.

    The last three prototypes were never finished. In all, six different T-4s versions were developed.

    The 101 and 102 were built, the construction of the 103 and 104 was never finished and the 105 and 106 only existed on the drawing board.

    The only aircraft to complete all flight tests was the 101 and it was also the only one that was spared after the project’s cancellation – it can now be seen at the famous Monino museum outside Moscow.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150824/1026133747/Russia-bomber-characteristics.html#ixzz3jk8xd8fX


    _________________
    "There's no smoke without fire.", Georgy Zhukov


    Giulio
    Junior Sergeant
    Junior Sergeant

    Posts : 144
    Points : 167
    Join date : 2013-10-29
    Location : Italy

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:55 pm

    But WHY those aircrafts are kept outdoor?
    Something about T-4 weapons?

    nemrod
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 806
    Points : 1309
    Join date : 2012-09-11

    Cold war history: The Truth About the MiG-29

    Post  nemrod on Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:13 pm

    In my view the Mig-29 was largely superior to all other US fighters. The wars of 1991 in Iraq, and against Serbia in 1999 could not be considered as a reliable proofs of any west's superiority. Because in these two previous conflict US largely outnumbered their opponents. The Mig-29 was a real pinnacle of soviet industry, the only fighter that could matched him was the Rafale.

    http://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/truth-about-mig-29-180952403/#Vh3Q06832DAtGgZi.99


    The Truth About the MiG-29

    How U.S. intelligence services solved the mystery of a cold war killer.


    By John Sotham
    Air & Space Magazine | Subscribe
    September 2014


    The MiG-29 Fulcrum outside the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has a hornet’s nest growing in its nose. Its tires, lifted off the ground by stands, are split and shredded. Bird droppings drool off its radome. The aircraft gives the impression of a war prize displayed like a head on a stake. In a way, it is a war prize, taken in the winning of the cold war. It’s one of 17 MiG-29s the U.S. government purchased from the former Soviet state of Moldova in 1997, a deal that kept the jets from being sold to Iran. The loose confederation that replaced the Soviet Union was not in a position to stop the buy, and it became one more ignominy in the Soviet collapse. “Any military establishment of any country would be upset if its opponent would receive an opportunity to evaluate and test its most modern weapons,” says Moscow-based aviation historian Sergey Isaev. “I wonder how happy would the White House be and Pentagon if Mexico, for example, would even try to sell its UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters to the Russian Federation?”

    The acquisition also gave Western analysts, some of them working inside the grim edifice of this national intelligence center, a chance to study the fighter that they had been viewing from afar for 20 years. When it first showed up, in 1977, the MiG-29, like its very distant ancestor, the MiG-15, was a startling revelation: The Soviets were catching up with U.S. aeronautical technology.

    The U.S. intelligence community first learned of the new Soviet aircraft from satellite photos in November 1977, about the time of the jet’s first flight. “Simply by looking at the size and the shape of it, it was clear that the Soviets were developing a counterpart to our F-16 and F/A-18,” says Benjamin Lambeth, author of the 1999 book Russia’s Air Power in Crisis and, in the late 1970s, a defense analyst at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California. “From all the various intelligence sources and methods that we had for gathering electronic and other information, the U.S. government learned a fair amount about the airplane early on, and it was clear we had to do something.” What the Air Force did was to begin development of stealth technology and electronic systems that could hunt and target multiple aircraft at once; in 1981, it issued its first formal requirement for the next generation of fighter technology, an Advanced Tactical Fighter, which eventually became the F-22 Raptor.



    In the years since, the bits and bytes first assembled about the MiG-29 have resolved into a much clearer picture, in part because of the opportunity to examine the 21 Moldovan MiGs. Between October 20 and 27, 1997, the Fulcrums—14 frontline C models, six older A’s, and a single B two-seater—were disassembled in Moldova and the parts flown by C-17s to the national intelligence center in Dayton, where they were analyzed by the organization’s foreign materiel exploitation facility. What happened after that, NASIC isn’t saying. NASIC communications officer James Lunsford says, “We don’t want our adversaries to know what we know.” A few Fulcrums that could be made flyable probably went to Edwards Air Force Base in California for testing. At least one example found its way to Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base Threat Training Facility, known within the service as the Petting Zoo. It displays a host of foreign-made hardware for budding intelligence professionals to examine. As for the rest of the airframes and associated parts: classified, except for one early A model that took the 10-minute trip from NASIC to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

    Inside the museum, curator Jeff Duford and I enter the 40,000-square-foot Cold War gallery, and he points out the “Checkpoint Charlie” exhibit. The very recently acquired (and-now-where-do-we-put-it?) NASA Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer dominates the left of the hangar and has pushed the other aircraft into a theme-be-damned hodgepodge to the right. Here, Ohio’s second MiG-29 sits in an illogical 45-degree nose-to-nose pairing with an unlovely Fairchild-Republic A-10 “Warthog.”

    Duford lifts the strap on a barrier so we can take a closer look. Unlike the Fulcrum moldering outside NASIC, this example has been beautifully restored and rests in climate-controlled comfort, basking under klieg lights, resplendent in a freshly applied paint job that feels satiny to the touch.

    Let’s face it: Soviet jets are ugly, and MiGs are some of the worst offenders. The Vietnam-era MiG-17 and MiG-19 represented a utilitarian tube-with-wings-on-it trend; they were followed by the deadly MiG‑21, a rational sculpture of angles and cone. This one is different. The fluidly beautiful MiG-29 looks like its larger twin-tail contemporary, the slab-sided F-15 Eagle, to the degree that a Bolshoi ballerina resembles a roller derby star. Once the gallery is complete, the two air superiority icons will be exhibited together, Duford says, or the Fulcrum may pose with a more lithe rival, the F-16. Behind the scenes, he and his fellow curators are penciling the floor plan that will showcase the Fulcrum as the worthy adversary it is.

    “We’re really fortunate to have this airframe,” Duford says, running his hand over the MiG-29’s right intake. “When we got it, it had Moldovan air force paint on it. It was done very crudely. When the restoration staff sanded in this area, they expected to find bort numbers [the equivalent of an Air Force serial number]. As they sanded, the outline of ‘08’ came through.”

    What the numbers revealed, Duford realized, was that this MiG was not only one of the first operational Fulcrums, part of the fighter’s first posting to Moscow’s Kubinka Air Base, but also one of the first displayed outside the Soviet Union. “Some other clues helped reveal [its] provenance,” Duford says. “The gun blast plates…. There are only six openings, which is an indicator it is an early aircraft.” Other evidence came from how the numbers were painted. Unlike on a U.S. Air Force aircraft, where painted numbers are governed by down-to-the-millimeter specs, “on Russian aircraft, the spacing between the numbers can vary,” says Duford. He pored over the photos of a MiG-29 taken at the 1986 airshow at Kuoppio-Rissala, Finland. “It’s like a fingerprint. Looking at the spacing of the numbers and their location, there was no question” that the MiG had been on display in Kuoppio-Rissala.



    In 1986, Jukka Hoffren was a Finnish air force photographer assigned to the air base at Tikkakoski, home of the Finnish Air Force Academy. Fascinated by the new MiG, he traveled to Kuoppio-Rissala for the Fulcrum’s international debut. Before 1986, non-Soviets had seen the fighter only in grainy satellite shots published in Aviation Week & Space Technology. “The whole airshow was erected around the MiG-29,” Hoffren told me via email. The Soviets were interested in marketing their new jet to the Finnish air force, which operated a diverse fleet, created by the complex, treaty-driven politics of post-war Finland: the Soviet MiG-21bis, the Swedish Saab Draken, and the British Aerospace Hawk. Compared to the capable MiG-21, which was built in Tblisi, Georgia, in a mode of construction that could best be described as “finalized by hammer,” Hoffren says, the new MiG was startling. “As one can describe the MiG-21 as a ‘rocket that has wings,’ the MiG-29 was really an agile dogfighter, and it seemed easily a match, or could even outfly, the F-16.”

    Seeing the real thing, as Hoffren had in Finland, is more informative than seeing pictures, but you can’t really know an airplane until you fly it, and in December 1989, Ben Lambeth got his chance. At Kubinka Air Base on December 15, in dreary skies, Lambeth became the first Western analyst to fly a MiG-29 and the first Westerner invited to fly a combat aircraft inside Soviet airspace since the end of World War II. (A Canadian air force fighter pilot flew the MiG at the August 1989 Abbotsford Air Show.)

    Two years after its Kuoppio-Rissala debut, the Soviets showcased the Fulcrum at the 1988 Farnborough Airshow in England, and a year later at the 1989 Paris Air Show. At the time, Lambeth was a senior analyst at RAND. He had served as a Soviet military specialist at the Central Intelligence Agency, and he was a civilian pilot whose work at RAND on tactical air warfare for the Air Force had provided him the opportunity to fly a number of high-performance jets. At Farnborough, he met Mikoyan Design Bureau chief test pilot Valery Menitsky, who was accompanying an entourage of pilots, technicians, and support personnel for the Fulcrum’s first major Western exhibition. A friendship developed.

    “I had been writing about Soviet aircraft for years,” Lambeth says. “When I heard the MiG-29 was coming to Farnborough, I couldn’t believe it. And I never anticipated I would have the good fortune to fly it. It was a kind of cold war drama—a guy who had worked at the CIA getting to fly a Soviet jet with a red star on it.” Lambeth told Menitsky that he’d like to fly the MiG-29. “Instead of falling out of his chair with laughter, he said that might possibly happen.” Lambeth’s timing was good: Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev had recently introduced glasnost, and, because the Soviets were hoping to sell the new fighter to other governments, they were open to new ways of showcasing its capabilities.

    The weather in Kubinka that winter was nasty, so for the flight, in a MiG-29UB, Menitsky took the front seat, and Lambeth climbed into the rear. His flight included a series of maneuvers Lambeth had just happened to have flown in a Hawaii Air National Guard F-15 at Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, only a few weeks earlier. Lambeth’s RAND report, published in 1990, was the first unclassified assessment of the formerly mysterious fighter. Although he was careful to point out that he had no training as a test pilot, or as a fighter pilot, Lambeth’s report does describe the experience of the MiG-29 from the cockpit.

    Soon, the West would learn all about the Fulcrum—by operating it. Three months before Lambeth’s flight, about 7,000 East German refugees traveled to Hungary on tourist visas and camped outside Budapest. On September 10, 1989, Hungary formally opened its border with Austria, allowing the refugees access to West Germany. By 1990, Germany was reunified—and on the day after Christmas 1991, the Soviet Union would vote itself out of existence.

    The MiG-29 was the only combat aircraft the unified German government retained from the former East German force. “The Germans were invaluable,” says NASIC historian Rob Young. “The Germans taught us more about the MiG-29 [than we could have otherwise derived]. We had majors and lieutenant colonels in an exchange program. It’s similar to the MiG-15, in that we were looking at modeling and simulations, and developed threat assessments long before we got our hands on one.” During the Korean War, NASIC’s predecessor, the Air Technical Intelligence Center, recovered parts of crashed MiG-15s and studied the wreckage to learn more about that game-changing MiG’s performance. U.S. Air Force test pilots were able to fly one after a North Korean pilot defected in September 1953 (see “The Jet that Shocked the West,” Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014).

    In 1991, the former East Germany had 29 Fulcrums based at Preschen, near the Polish border. When the Iron Curtain fell, West German pilots and technicians began to evaluate their former adversaries to determine if they could be integrated into the new German air force—and ultimately began a training program with former East German Nationale Volksarmee (NVA) pilots as instructors.

    The best of the young West German lieutenants and captains were recruited to convert to the MiG. In the years to come, Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Wing) 73, which relocated to Laage, near the Baltic coast, would be deluged with requests from Western air forces and navies clamoring to fly against the Fulcrum.

    Peter “Stoini” Steiniger was a former West German fighter pilot and graduate of the prestigious Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Returning to Germany, he flew the F-4F, an export version of the legendary McDonnell Douglas Phantom, which would continue in German service until 2013. As a lieutenant in 1986, he and his fellow pilots had been shown satellite photos of a sobering new Soviet design. A scant five years after reunification, he was living a surreal twist of history: He was not only a mission-ready Fulcrum pilot, but also JG 73’s operations officer, busy coordinating exchange visits. “For example,” Steiniger says, “I would pair this young, pumped-up, and all-excited F-16 pilot with an ‘original’ NVA equivalent to go out and fight one-on-one neutral [basic fighter maneuvers]. We had hundreds of missions like this, with thousands of lessons learned in debriefings with our counterpart [in Western aircraft] hanging on our words and staring at our video tape…most of the time in astonishment.”



    Plenty of the Fulcrum’s smug “show us what you got” adversaries—F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-15 Eagle, and U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet jocks among them—became humbled, and often bloodied, after their first Fulcrum tangle. “With some experience, you could outmaneuver any jet, even Vipers [F-16s]and [high-angle-of-attack] Hornets,” says Steiniger. “The nice airframe in combination with one weapon was the killer: The Archer in [sensor lock] mode.” Introduced in the mid-1980s, the Archer AA-11 is a very capable heat-seeker with a greater range than the U.S. Sidewinder. “A simple monocular lens in front of my right eye enabled me to slew the seeker head of the missile onto my adversary at high angle off [target].” The Fulcrum’s ability to lock a missile even though its nose was pointed far away from its target “watered many eyes,” says Steiniger.

    As good as the Fulcrum was in a knife fight, most Western pilots soon discovered its flaws. Mike Jaensch, a former F-16 pilot and Air Force Weapons School graduate with a background in air defense, returned to active duty in 1994 after being furloughed from American Airlines. Fluent in German, he won a spot in a small group of exchange pilots posted to Laage in 1998 with a combined MiG squadron. Jaensch loved the MiG’s power and maneuverability, but felt hampered by its radar and associated systems. “The Soviet philosophy was that basically pilots were stick actuators,” he says. “It was obviously very different from what we were used to. The avionics were marginal. That same philosophy meant [the Soviets] didn’t see the need to pass information on to the pilot.” Since the MiG’s systems couldn’t convey a complex battlespace to the pilot, combat deployments were vetoed. In 1998, NATO forces had considered dispatching the Laage MiGs to Kosovo but scrapped the idea. The Airborne Warning and Control System operators would have had to offer the MiGs special handling. “With AWACS calling out [information] to three to six combat air patrols, they’d have to give us extra information,” Jaensch says. “We decided we’d get more in the way than help.” In addition, the Serbs also flew Fulcrums, making identification in the air difficult.

    In 1996, Fred “Spanky” Clifton became the first American MiG-29 exchange pilot with JG 73. A Weapons School graudate in the F-16, with thousands of hours in F-15s, F-5s, and MiG-29s as well, he turns an analyst’s cold eye on the Fulcrum. “It’s a great [basic fighter maneuvers] machine,” he says. “But of the four fighters, it’s easily the worst-handling of any I flew.” Before becoming a Fulcrum driver, Clifton had his first pilot-scholar assignment as an aggressor, flying F-5 Tigers in intensive training aimed at honing the skills of experienced pilots against known threats, including the MiG-29. When he joined JG 73, it was a unique opportunity to judge the Stateside syllabus. “I got to see if what I was teaching as an aggressor pilot was correct,” he says. “Much of what we ascertained through intelligence was indeed accurate.” Yes, the Fulcrum was a highly capable dogfighter, and its ability to fire a shot regardless of where the nose was pointed was impressive. (The Russians lost the aiming advantage by 2002, according to Fred Clifton, when the U.S. military fielded the AIM-9X missile and the Joint Helmet-mounted Cueing System.) But it had low fuel capacity, a head-down, knob- and switch-congested cockpit, a so-so radar, and not much versatility: It wasn’t designed to do much besides intercept and shoot down adversaries who were flying not far from its airfield. Eastern bloc pilots were trained to slavishly follow ground controllers, so the Fulcrum’s systems, including its head-up display, were not highly developed, and the situational awareness the pilots got was very limited.

    Doug Russell, an airline pilot who flew exchange with JG 73 and today occasionally flies a civilian-registered MiG-29 obtained from Kyrgyzstan and owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (Clifton sometimes flies the other U.S.-registered Fulcrum, which is owned by Air USA in Illinois), loved his time in the jet, but says it was like a weekend in Vegas—heavy on hedonism, with little redeeming value. “We stood alert with live ordnance, but we weren’t going anywhere,” he says of his time with the Luftwaffe. “It was hard as a Western guy to fly it because you didn’t have the level of awareness…. We would never be invited to the dance.” Russell believes that NATO analysts were very interested in the MiG and pressured the German government to keep flying it.

    Shortly after Clifton arrived at JG 73, he learned that technical analysis in the United States would soon reveal the Fulcrum’s remaining secrets. On a trip to Ramstein Air Base, he had attended a classified briefing on the U.S. Air Force purchase of the Moldovan MiGs. It was widely assumed that the Air Force would launch an aggressor squadron of MiG‑29s, but only a few of the purchased airframes were airworthy, and the cost of getting the rest into the air—not to mention the embarrassment of having to bargain with the Russian Federation for parts—made an aggressor squadron impractical.

    Peter Steiniger runs a website that enthusiastically chronicles the German MiG experience, and is replete with stunning photos and heartfelt tributes to the Fulcrum. And yet Steiniger says: “Would I want to go to war with it? No. Except for the [AA-11 Archer system], the cockpit was terribly labor-intensive. Our overall [situational awareness in beyond visual range] setups was in the map case.” In other words, the pilot had to put his head down, break out the paper, and figure out where he was.

    Although a small number of Fulcrums continue to be upgraded—Poland’s MiGs are receiving new mission computers, navigation technology, and even a Rockwell Collins UHF/VHF radio—other air forces, except for an inordinate number of former Soviet-aligned states, never queued up to buy the Fulcrum after the cold war. “The MiG-29 really got exposed with the fall of the Iron Curtain,” Clifton says. “You don’t see further foreign sales. Who’s bought it? Nobody.” As to the wisdom of upgrading the Fulcrum into a modern, data-linked, multi-role fighter, Clifton says, “Go buy an F-16. It would be more economical, and it’s a better airplane.”

    Today the Russians are offering for export a better MiG, the -35. “Over the years, the Russians modified the MiG-29. They tweaked it, improved it,” says Ben Lambeth. “The MiG-35 looks like a MiG-29, but it has much more capability.” So far it has attracted only one potential customer: India. The new jet will reportedly join the Russian air force in 2016. But the attention of Western analysts—and almost certainly the syllabus of the Air Force Weapons School—is now focused on the products of a different aviation design bureau.

    In 2010, the Russians flew a counterpart to the F-22 Raptor. Designed by Sukhoi and descended from the Su-27, the Sukhoi T-50 is a multi-role fighter that may have electronics to rival the F-22’s. According to Lambeth, it will still lag 10 years behind the Raptor. “One widespread suspicion is that it will not be as stealthy,” he says. “There are too many features on it that appear radar-significant.” But it’s difficult from this distance to judge how the T-50 will perform, or even whether Russia will continue its development. It’s the new mystery, and no Westerner will be invited any time soon to take it for a spin.

    GarryB
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 15458
    Points : 16165
    Join date : 2010-03-30
    Location : New Zealand

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  GarryB on Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:40 am

    Up until the end of the cold war the US in particular and the west in general felt it had a clear superiority in fighter aircraft... not just hardware and weapons but also training and tactics.

    They believed the air war in europe would be short and deadly and that they would prevail because of superior technology and superior tactics and individual training.

    Then the cold war ended and they had their chance to prove it... East German pilots in MiG-29s with R-73 and R-27 missiles and they were going to kick their asses.

    Up to that point the low general performance of BVR missiles generally meant an air to air combat scenario would generally start with a ineffectual BVR shot followed rapidly by both aircraft getting into close combat with WVR missiles and cannon.

    The F-16 vs MiG-29 was going to win because despite at that time (1990) not having any BVR missile (it was a sidewinder only fighter in most instances and AMRAAM was not operational), the F-16 was supposed to fly past the MiGs BVR missile (assumed to be as rubbish as Sparrow) and then when in close combat use its superior manouver capability and Sidewinder to get a kill.

    In tests however the MiG did rather well with its BVR missiles putting the F-16s and the other aircraft it was tested against on the back foot and defending against the R-27 so when the aircraft got close enough for a WVR missile launch the MiG tended to win.

    Officially 65% of the time the F-16 managed to manouver onto the tail of the MiG to fire a missile and "win" the dogfight. Unfortunately for the F-16 and the west in general the MiG pilot had the R-73 and a helmet mounted sight and the enemy aircraft had been killed in every case before it got into a position to fire a missile...

    It created shock in the west, because the MiG was now a known factor, but the Flanker became the boogey man, for funding for AMRAAM was suddenly available... it became critical.

    In fact it could be argued it created a panic... to the point where even Hinds were considered to be able to carry R-73s with helmet mounted sights so when two F-15s were tasked with ID'ing to helos detected they flew fast and they did not get very close at all and ended up shooting down two blackhawks...


    _________________
    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

    ― Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    higurashihougi
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 2127
    Points : 2242
    Join date : 2014-08-13
    Location : A small and cutie S-shaped land.

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  higurashihougi on Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:37 am

    GarryB wrote:the F-16 was supposed to fly past the MiGs BVR missile (assumed to be as rubbish as Sparrow) and then when in close combat use its superior manouver capability and Sidewinder to get a kill.

    Really ? Question

    Walther von Oldenburg
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 894
    Points : 951
    Join date : 2015-01-23
    Age : 25
    Location : Oldenburg

    Mig-21 vs early F-16s

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:34 pm

    Early F-16s did not have BVR capability and were designed as pure WVR fighters - weren't late model MiG-21s from 1970s (the MiG-21bis) comparable in performance to the F-16A? Asking this as a new aviation enthusiast...

    Werewolf
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 5390
    Points : 5639
    Join date : 2012-10-24

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  Werewolf on Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:16 am

    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:Early F-16s did not have BVR capability and were designed as pure WVR fighters - weren't late model MiG-21s from 1970s (the MiG-21bis) comparable in performance to the F-16A? Asking this as a new aviation enthusiast...

    Hardly anything to compare here. Different generations.

    GarryB
    Colonel
    Colonel

    Posts : 15458
    Points : 16165
    Join date : 2010-03-30
    Location : New Zealand

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  GarryB on Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:12 pm

    The design of the F-16 is a direct response to the US finding itself in big heavy fighters like the Phantom against small nimble fighters like MiG-15 and MiG-17 and MiG-21.

    The F-16 was designed from the outset to have a 30% margin of superiority in acceleration and manouver capability, with a very good radar too.

    Of course it was never intended to go very fast so they used a simple fixed air intake so it could not fly over mach 2... with a more complex intake it should be able to fly at mach 2.4 or more but would never do so, so the complexity of the intake and reduction in weight was chosen.

    In combat flying at mach 2+ is rare because it burns up fuel very rapidly and makes you vulnerable to a turning fighter... but does not make you safe from enemy missiles.

    With hindsight if you wanted to make the 1990s MiG-21 superior to the F-16 of the time a larger better radar and of course a helmet mounted sight and R-73 missiles and a new bubble canopy would have made the MiG-21 superior to the F-16 in combat... In fact the MiG-21-98 upgrade would do it too.

    This would be a raw upgrade that would have allowed the MiG-21 to shoot down F-16s rather than replace them as it would lack the F-16s air to ground capability... but it would be a very effective interceptor.


    _________________
    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

    ― Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    nemrod
    Major
    Major

    Posts : 806
    Points : 1309
    Join date : 2012-09-11

    Mig-21 or the legend of soviet air force

    Post  nemrod on Sat May 28, 2016 10:18 pm

    I did not wait Robert Farley to understand, or realize what the Mig-21 is. In Vietnam war 50 north vietnamese Mig-21 were downed by F-4 Phantom, meanwhile at least 130 F-4 Phantom were shot downed by the Mig-21. If you add that for each Mig-21 downed, it asked at least 15-20 air air missiles, requiring a ratio of 8-10 US fighters engaged against a single Mig-21. In order to reach the pitiable score 50 Mig-21 downed, US had to outnumber north vietnameses fighters. The same score occured during israelo-arabs war of 1973- except the attrition war between Egypt and Israel-, the situation was so desperate the US and Israel threatened to use nuclear weapons.

    Nowadays the Mig-21 is still redoubtable. With a fair upgrade of its engines -vector thrust-, and avionics as new radar, IRST, the Mig-21 could easily challenge the F-35, and even the F-22.

    http://sputniknews.com/military/20160528/1040425871/russian-legendary-fighter.html


    Legend of the Sky: This is Russia's Most Reliable Fighter Jet


    The third-generation Soviet supersonic tactical fighter MiG-21 is one of the world’s most reliable military aircraft ever produced, according to military analyst Robert Farley.



    It is a known fact that the life of military aircraft is extremely short-lived, especially when technology is constantly evolving. The best aircraft of WWI and WWII went obsolete within just a few months.

    Only very few aircraft are able to withstand the test of time. One such aircraft is the Soviet MiG-21, Farley wrote for the online magazine National Interest.

    The MiG-21 was created in the mid-1950s and could reach a supersonic speed of Mach 2. It was also equipped with two aeroguns, could carry up to six missiles and was code named the ‘Fishbed’ by NATO.

    The aircraft was typically used for assault operations. A total of 10,645 MiG-21 aircraft were produced in the USSR in the period from 1959 to 1985.

    Under the agreement with Russia, India built 657 of these fighters, and Czechoslovakia 194. The license for production of the MiG-21 was acquired by the Chinese government as well. From 1966 to 2013 about 2,400 fighters were released in China.

    “Modern fighters don’t fly much faster than the MiG-21, or maneuver much more capably. While they do carry more ordnance and have more sophisticated electronic equipment, many air forces can treat these as luxuries; they simply want a cheap, fast, easy-to-maintain aircraft that can patrol airspace and occasionally drop a few bombs. The Fishbed fits the bill,” Farley wrote for National Interest.

    If the total number of these aircraft is added up, the MiG-21 is “the most produced supersonic fighter in history,” the author further noted.

    MiGs were involved in combat operations in Vietnam, in the Middle East during the Arab-Israeli conflict and in the Indo-Pakistani conflict. In all these operations the fighters proved more than worthy, Robert Farley wrote.

    The number of MiG-21s began to decline in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they began to be replaced by more modern models. However, even now the Soviet fighter is in service with the air forces of 18 countries, including two NATO member states — Romania and Croatia, the columnist added.

    According to Farley, the MiG-21 will easily welcome its sixtieth and seventieth anniversary since its inception, because the fighter jet remains “one of the most legendary fighters” of the supersonic era.


    Sponsored content

    Re: History of Cold war Soviet aircrafts

    Post  Sponsored content Today at 3:22 am


      Current date/time is Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:22 am