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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21PF “Fishbed-D”

The MiG-21 is one of the world's most famous jet fighters. This Soviet-made aircraft first flew in 1955, and more than 50 countries have used various versions. Western forces code-named the MiG-21 "Fishbed," and some versions have flown well into the 21st century. The USSR built more than 10,000 MiG-21s before ending production in 1985.

In the Southeast Asia War, the MiG-21 was a dangerous adversary. Fast
as U.S. jets, it was more agile than the F-4 Phantom, its main opponent. Although American forces lost about 50 aircraft to North Vietnamese MiG-21s, the U.S. Air Force shot down 68 MiG-21s in air combat.

North Vietnam had more than 200 MiG-21s. The aircraft on display, a MiG-21PF, carried air-to-air missiles but no guns. It is painted to represent a plane from North Vietnam's elite 921st Fighter Regiment.

Tumansky R-11F2-300 with more than 13,000 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 1,300 mph
Armament: Two K-5 "Alkali" radar-guided or K-13 "Atoll" heat-seeking missiles
Range: 870 miles, 1,110 miles with auxiliary tank
Ceiling: 62,000 ft.

Click here to return to the Southeast Asia War Gallery.


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