Air International 2016-02
A.Mladenov, K.Grozev - Fishbed Finale /Military/
When pitted against US Air Force F-16s and F-15s in TIs, the Fishbed still has some inherent survivability features, such as its low radar cross-section and small size, which combined with suitable camouflage rendered it difficult for visual detection
The Bulgarian Fishbeds participated in their last international exercise in October 2015, were they flew air combat missions with Polish Air Force MiG-29s during a joint Bulgarian-Polish training event at Graf-Ignatievo.
MiG-21 bis serial number 114 returns to the flight line at Graf Ignatievo Air Base home of the 1/3 IAE.
Armament comprised four R-60MK missiles carried on the outboard pylons and two longer range R-13Ms carried inboard.
The Fishbed saw three more years of service in Bulgaria than originally planned, but was finally retired on December 31, 2015.
The Tumansky R25-300 turbojet provided 40.20kN (9,038 lbf) dry thrust and 67.20 kN (15,653 lbf) with maximum reheat.
Critics say the MiG-21 possessed little more than training value, but until late 2015 the BuAF used it for QRA duties.
The MiG-21 bis has a small and cramped cockpit with antiquated instruments. The black-hooded radar display is in the centre.