MiG-21 Fishbed D Interceptor
The MiG-21 Fishbed is a supersonic short range day fighter / interceptor. The prototype of the MiG-21 was first flown in 1955, made its first public appearance during the Soviet Aviation Day display at Moscow's Tushino Airport in June 1956 and entered service in 1959. With a production run spanning 26 years, 11,497 examples and 28 major variants the MiG-21 is one of the most widely used, longest serving fighter aircraft ever built. The MiG-21 was the first Soviet aircraft that combined the fighter and interceptor roles in a single aircraft. First designed as an interceptor, the MiG-21 had the short range common to the type with an endurance of only 45 minutes. The MiG-21 fought during the various Indo-Pakistani Wars, the Vietnam War, the Arab Israeli wars from 1967 through 1982, the Libyan-Egyptian War, the Libyan Civil War, The Yugoslav Civil Wars, the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the Angolan Civil War, the Ogaden War and the First and Second Congo Wars. The MiG-21 was widely exported and continues in service today. The Fishbed is still flown by Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Libya, Libyan Republic, Mali, North Korea, Romania, Serbia, Syria, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen and Zambia. In addition the MiG-21 has flown with Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Chad, China, Congo, Republic of the, Congo, Democratic Republic of, Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, East Germany, Eritrea, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Somalia, Soviet Union, Sudan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, USA, Ukraine, North Yemen, South Yemen, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe. The Mig-21 is also widely used by various civil operators with at least 44 in the US alone. The MiG-21 PF Fishbed D was armed with a pair of AAMs, usually the AA-2 Atol. This model shows a MiG-21 PF Fishbed D flying with the Bulgarian Air Force in the late 1990s. Also see the MiG-21 K-13 Fishbed C.