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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Fishbed)
Chengdu J-7

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The MiG-21 was designed largely as a result of combat experience in Korea.  This high-performance short-range air-superiority fighter became the most extensively used fighter aircraft in the world.

The E-5 prototype was first flown in 1955.  Since then over 30 countries have flown the MiG-21.  More than 8,000 were produced including license built aircraft (per the U.S. Air Force), the largest production figure for any modern jet aircraft.  The last MiG-21s were produced by China and India in the late 1980s.

The MiG-21 was flown by the North Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnamese War.  NATO gave the MiG-21 the code name Fishbed.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) license built the MiG-21 under the name Vikram (Valor).

The Chinese reverse engineered the MiG-21 to produce the J-7, first manufactured by Shenyang, then by Chengdu.  The designation has been changed to F-7 on some export models.

 Specifications (MiG-21MF)  Designations
Type: Fighter
Engines: one 14,550 lb (64.7 kN) afterburning thrust Tumanskii R-13-300 turbojet
E-5: Initial prototype designation
MiG-21: Standard designation
MiG-21U: Tandem two-seat trainer (NATO code name Mongrel)
J-7: Chinese "reverse engineered" version
F-7: "Westernized" Chinese designation (named Airguard or Airbolt)
 Related Pages
More about Mikoyan-Gurevich
More about Chengdu Aircraft
More about Hindustan Aeronautics
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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
Gordon & Gunston


page updated 11 February 2008



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010