At the world's largest aerospace museum - the National Museum aviation and astronautics in Washington - there is a remarkable corner of the exposition. Side by side, having slightly turned their nasal intakes to each other, there are two implacable opponents: the American Phantom F-4 and the Soviet MiG-21. Eternal rivals, long-standing enemies, first encountering each other in the Vietnam War - and continuing the confrontation for more than two decades.
Hereinafter - quotes from the article “Winged Legend:“ Flying Kalashnikov ””, published last week on the Internet.
In the National Museum of Aviation and Astronautics in Washington there is neither a “Phantom” nor a MiG-21.
And further - according to the list. In Washington, there is no "the world's largest aerospace museum." And there are no “eternal rivals and old enemies” either. The Soviet MiG-21 and the American “Phantom” almost never met each other.
A definitive “never” is appropriate in this context. Several dozen episodes for more than two decades of continuous wars. Now they love to argue about the results of those air battles. We them, or they us? Yes, what a difference, the result was most likely equal, but it didn’t matter at all against the background of the general situation in the sky. All these battles “MiG-21 vs Phantom” are statistical errors due to the theory of probabilities and random coincidence of events.
In Vietnam, the cause of 3 / 4 aircraft combat losses was barreled artillery. In the area of Hanoi, an unprecedented density air defense system was organized for the entire history World Wars: Over 7000 anti-aircraft guns in caliber over 37 mm! The Americans fumbled on this wall of fire, suffering enormous losses.
At low altitudes - a fiery storm. On the big ones - hell and doom. The Union has set up the Vietnam 60 divisions of the Dvina C-75 air defense system and the 7500 powerful anti-aircraft missiles to them.
What then is left to the MiGs?
Answered me that slant that he commanded the interrogation:
“I was shot down by anti-aircraft gunner Li Si Tsyn”.
It is worth noting that the official losses of American aircraft (Air Force, Navy, Marines) for all the years of the war amounted to 3374 aircraft. Three thousand three hundred! Of which only a quarter fell on the famous "Phantoms". And the other three quarters? “Skyhawks”, “Skyreaders”, “SuperSybry”, “Thunderchiefs” ... Almost always lined with fire from the ground.
Due to their small size and poor equipment, the air forces of the DRV did not mean anything. As a rule, the Vietnamese from ambushes, from disguised aerodromes of jump, occasionally attacking the enemy's attack groups.
Instead of the swift MiG-21, the main type of the fighter of the Air Force of North Vietnam was the outdated MiG-17. It was this nimble subsonic machine, with the most powerful cannon armament and the minimum load on the wing was the main (albeit very rare) trouble in the air. The second largest in the Air Force DRA was the J-6 (Chinese copy of the MiG-19).
Something similar was observed in the enemy. “Phantom” became the main type of combat aircraft only at the end of the war. In the early years, the F-105 “Thunderchief” fighter-bombers (the non-returning 382 fighter) were considered the main force of the United States Air Force.
The possibility of meeting with the Vietnamese aviation, of course, added adrenaline to the pilots of “Phantom”. But, to be honest, the chance of meeting the “Phantom” with the MiG, and even the rare model “21”, was two orders of magnitude lower than the chance to get a piece of 85 mm projectile into the hydraulic system.
All these conversations “Phantom vs MiG” are not worth the candle. The first, loaded with bombs, rushed between heaven and earth, choosing from two evils (anti-aircraft guns or air defense systems). The latter were often unable to get off the ground.
I run to takeoff on the sand
Hermoshlem buttoned on the go,
My Mirage with the Star of David -
The power and pride of Hel Avira,
With a roar gaining height ...
The Mirage has traditionally been an implacable rival of the MiG-21 in the Middle East.
Mirage IIIS of the Swiss Air Force
He combined the best of the fighters of his generation. The highest maneuverability. Excellent radar Thompson Cyrano with instrumental range 50 km, able to notify the pilot of obstacles exceeding a given height, and find radio contrast objects on the ground. The indicator on the windshield (the world's first ILF CSF97), which allowed to reduce the information load on the pilot and simplify aiming in air combat. Two “ordinary” rockets with an IK GOS and one long-range Matra R.530 with a radar guidance head and a warhead of 30 kg. However, the pilots of Hel Aavir relied more on the proven Mirage cannons capable of “shredding” the enemy in a split second (two DEFA caliber 30 mm). There was also an additional rocket engine - 80 seconds of continuous fire - with the help of it, the Mirage could get out of the battle with an arrow and soar up 29 kilometers.
In general, the Dassault Mirage III had too many advantages, forcing to reckon with this machine. The Phantom Soviet and Arab pilots treated with some disdain, considering it less dangerous than the French “tailless”.
And this Phantom appeared too late! The six-day war went by without him. The first F-4 appeared in the Middle East only in September 1969.
It remains a mystery why the Israelis bought these cars. With “Mirages” there were problems in connection with the French weapons embargo (1967). In the conditions of the Middle East theater, the F-5 Tiger could become the best replacement. The proximity of airfields to the front line and maneuverable cannon battles are precisely the conditions under which this fighter was created.
The choice in favor of the heavy "Phantom" was due to two circumstances.
Its combat radius, with the result that the F-4 acquired the properties of a regional “strategic” bomber capable of reaching targets in the depths of Egypt.
And the presence of these machines in the US Air Force, making it easier to replenish combat losses, without attracting too much attention from European countries.
In general, “Fantômas” was a complete log, whose characteristics were hardly compensated by the high training of pilots Hel Aavir. In the air battles, F-4 preferred to keep a distance, firing missiles at the gaping MiGs. All the main work continued to perform “Mirage”.
Crew - 2 person. Normal take-off weight is 18 tons. A heavy interceptor with missile weapons (4 “Sidewinder” with thermal guidance + 4 long-range “Sperrow” with RLGSN) and “modern” avionics, assembled from monstrous 1960 chips.
As practice has shown, the Yankees are too hasty. The era of air-to-air missiles will come a little later, with the development of electronics.
A “Phantom” and remained strumming their useless rockets.
No better was his “eternal rival” MiG-21. Only instead of the multifunctional Westinghouse radar, capable of directing URs, and the infrared sighting system for ground targets, the MiG only had a RP-21 radio receiver.
And instead of eight missiles - two (K-13, a copy of “Sidewinder” with thermal guidance).
The weak weaponry was partly compensated for by the speed of the aircraft, as the pilots recollect, “21-y” at a speed of 900 km / h could perform a barrel in a second.
Being empty, the MiG-21 was 2,5 times lighter than the “Phantom”. Normal take-off weight - 8 tons.
As on the Phantom, the gun on the MiG was completely absent at first. The ability to suspend the container with the GSH-23 appeared only in 1964. Built-in guns began to be installed, starting with the modification of the MiG-21М (1968 year).
Perhaps someone will cause a shock, but the “Phantom” built-in gun appeared much earlier (F-4E, the most numerous series, 1965 year). Yes, and the gun itself was more decent - six-barrel Vulcan with ammunition 640 shells (against 200 in GSH-23L).
So what else is necessary to see how “MiGs were chasing artillery-armed Phantoms from cannons”. If, of course, they even met in the air ...
As for the Middle East, the Six-Day War, like most of the war of attrition, MiG-21 held in the sky without the "Phantom".
The only meeting opportunity is the Doomsday War (1973 year). Israeli aviation losses vary from 109 (Hel Aavir) to 262 (Soviet data) of all types of aircraft and helicopters. As always, the vast majority of aircraft was brought down by fire from the ground.
Then how much LA was lost in aerial combat? And how many “Phantoms” were among them?
The answer is too obvious. Very little. So little that no one noticed.
MiG-21 extremely rarely met with its “sworn enemy”, and nothing depended on the results of these meetings.
As time went. By the end of the 70s, the F-15 and F-16 became the main opponent of the MiGs in the sky of Palestine. And the MiG-21 itself has already faded into the background, giving way to a more modern MiG-23.
How often did the MiG-21 and “Phantom” fight?
With each other - almost never.
Against others - plenty. Vietnam - “Phantom” burns jungle with napalm. Indo-Pakistani conflict - MiGs smash Pakistani Starfighter. Vietnam - “Phantom” continues to burn with napalm; Egyptian-Libyan massacre (1977) - “MiGs” fight with “Mirage” Ethiopian-Somali war (1978) - “MiGs” fight with their own kind, as well as with F-5 “Tiger”. Afghan war - “MiGs” smash the Mujahideen. Iran-Iraq war - several meetings of “21s” with “Phantoms” were recorded. Nevertheless, the main opponent of the MiGs in this war was the F-5 “Tiger”, which is confirmed by the statistics of victories and defeats.
All this once again indicates that, even being of the same age, both superheroes did not have time to get to the same theater of military operations. In addition to shooting at each other, they had many other, much more serious opponents. And the rapid progress in aviation finally ruled out the possibility of any “long-standing hostility”.
Like most military equipment models, the MiG and Phantom underwent several modernization cycles. The last member of the family (MiG-21-93) completely changed the concept of the MiG-21. Equipped with a helmet-mounted target designation system and a “Spear” radar, he acquired the possibility of using medium-range SD. In other words, it went beyond the framework of a light front-line fighter intended for maneuvering fights at close range.
However, by the beginning of the 90's modernization potential of the design was completely exhausted. By the beginning of the new century, the MiG-21 is hopelessly outdated. Also, as his “eternal rival” - “Phantom.”
The miniature size and layout of the MiG-21 prevented the increase in the combat load and the installation of the new avionics (what is the maximum diameter of the radar antenna installed in the nose cone of this “flying tube”?). Nothing better than Phantom: with its specific gravity and high wing loading, there is nothing even to dream of battles with modern fighters.
His main rival, Phantom, is currently serving only in Iranian aviation, where 225 machines remain in the ranks.
In addition to Iran, about 70 "Phantoms" are still in service with the Japanese Air Force.
47 "Phantoms" in service with the Turkish Air Force. 40 from South Korea. 50 from Greece. Germany wrote off its last F-4F in June 2013 of the year.
“Phantom” of the Luftwaffe takes off from a / b Siauliai (Lithuania, 2011)
This is not to say that someone likes to fly on obsolete trash. Especially when fighter jets of the “5” generation hover in the sky. But there is nothing to do - the money for the purchase of new aircraft are allocated long and reluctantly. “What are summer shoes? You didn’t take down skates. ”
Behind the shoulders of the front-line fighter MiG-21 is service in the military air forces of the 48 countries of the world, which represents an absolute record for combat jet aircraft.
There is no limit to the breadth of the Russian soul. Like the F-5 “Freedom Fighter”, the MiG was given in every kind (and unkind) hand. They always gave away for free, through all kinds of “military assistance” programs - in exchange for the loyalty of the satellite countries to their overlord.
As a result, Freedom Fighter (Tiger) was only a little behind the MiG, having entered into service with the 35 countries of the world. As of 2015, the year around the world still flies around 500 fighters of this type.
But “Phantom” was heard badly. Still, the car is expensive, specific. It would be unwise to give for free to everyone. As a result, the Americans managed to attach “Phantom” only in the Air Force of 11 countries.
It is curious that the most successful fighter of that era, in spite of its deafeningly successful combat use, was not particularly popular. The French did not believe in friendship and demanded to pay in foreign currency, as a result, “Mirage III” entered service in less than 10 countries. But what! Israel, Australia, Switzerland ...
The French showed a touching concern for “our younger brothers”. For the most inadequate customers, a simplified version was built (“The MiN 5”) - without radar at all, with the laboriousness of servicing the 15 man-hours. on 1 flight hour. There were buyers like Zaire, Colombia, Gabon ... However, the simple fighter-bomber for the action in the daytime liking the very same Israel (an unlicensed copy, “Nesher”).
Currently, the "Mirage" remain in service. The Egyptian Air Force “Mirage 5” serves side by side with its old acquaintance, the MiG-21.
The purpose of this satirical article is to expose the myths of the Cold War. The real use of aviation looked different than in the staging pictures “the pilots are alerted”, “MiG attacks Phantom”.
In fact, they were terrible fighting vehicles that shed rivers of human blood.
... And in the National Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics in Washington, the MiG-21 was not accidental.
In some US aerospace museums, the MiG vs Phantom exposition is indeed present. This photo is most likely from Virginia.
Why did the Americans put next to the Phantom MiG? Otherwise, how will they explain to the children with whom their fathers fought. Do not put the layout of the huts and figures of the Vietnamese partisans side by side ...
The correct exposure would look like this: F-4E Phantom II with eight 500 pounder bombs props its nose against the KS-18 rusty anti-aircraft gun (caliber 85 mm).
MiG-21 is also great, did not disappoint.
9 January covered another column from Termez on Faizabad. It was a motorized rifle regiment, with trucks and equipment, covered with "armor" from the head and tail. The column passed Talukan and headed towards Kishim. Stretching out, the column formed a gap of a kilometer, where there was neither “armor” nor fire weapons. There the rebels struck.
From our Chirchik regiment, we were the first to raise a pair of flight commander, Captain Alexander Mukhin, who was in readiness No. 1 from his plane. Behind him flew a group of leadership. Excitement was great, everyone wanted to make war, to be noted in the case. On returning, the commanders immediately changed the plane, transferring to the trained fighters waiting. The rest had to be content with sitting in the cabs in readiness, waiting for the queue. The pilots flew excited, told just like in the movie about Chapaev: they shot at NURS from the UB-32 units at a crowd of cavalry and foot dushmans, practically in open areas. Then they chopped decently ...