The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 - is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed “Balalaika”, from the aircraft’s planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage
Boeing B-52D “Big Belly” Stratofortress Tail Gunner Station
Credited with two confirmed air-to-air kills against North Vietnamese and one additional unconfirmed kill) MiG-21 Fishbeds during Operation Linebacker II, these quad .50 Caliber machine gun stations were remotely operated by an airman in the tail of the B-52. The kills during the Vietnam War were the last air-to-air kills made by a defensive machine gun in a bomber.
In a rare triumph over ‘not invented here’ chauvinism, the United States in 1960 evaluated and enthusiastically accepted the MiG 21C ласточка (“Swallow”) as a replacement for the dangerously hot F-104 Starfighter. Built under license by Douglas as the F-7 Skyshark, in USAF service it made short work of the piston-engine Yak 9s and Il 2 Sturmoviks fielded by the PLAAF during the Quemoy Crisis in 1966. A lack of parts and technical support meant few of the Mig 15 jet fighters still possessed by the Red Chinese were able to operate, the Soviet Union having withdrawn all aid during the Damanskii Island Border Dispute, which raged throughout the 1950s and forced a reconciliation between Russia and the West.
As mentioned in the previous post, during the late 60s, the US Air Force, US Navy and several federal agencies, created a program to “dissect” the rival aircraft that they encountered in the skies of Vietnam. These aircraft were MiG-17s and MiG-21s.
Have Doughnut focused on the MiG-21.
The USAF acquired a single MiG-21 from Israel in 1967.This aircraft had been flown into Israel, on the 16th of August, 1966, when an Iraqi Air Force Captain had defected to this country, during a training mission. Read more: Operation Diamond
Here’s a video explaining what US Pilots learned about the Fishbed, as a result of Have Doughnut.
After the Have Drill/Have Ferry and Have Doughnut programs, a USAF Vietnam veteran F-4 pilot, Colonel Gail Peck, with the support of USAF General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Jr., created the Constant Peg training program, that would once more train US airmen against several MiGs, from 1980 until 1988.
Here are several pictures of MiGs flown as a part of Constant Peg: