Hobby Master HA0143 Syrian Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-21MF (2300) Fighter - 5th Squadron, Tiyas AFB, 1973 - 1982 (1:72 Scale)
"God willing, we shall come to a stage where the world looks at the Palestinian question, and Palestinian rights on Palestinian national soil, as well as the questions of the occupied Syrian and Lebanese territories. These are the bases on which peace will be built."
- Jordanian King Hussein I
The MiG-21 saw frequent action in the Vietnam War and was one of the most advanced aircraft at the time. However, many North Vietnamese aces preferred flying the MiG-17, due to the high wing loading on the MiG-21's. With high wing loading, the MiG-21 was not as agile or manueverable as the MiG-17. Employing a delta wing configuration, it was the first successful Soviet aircraft combining fighter and interceptor in a single aircraft. It was a lightweight fighter, achieving Mach 2 speed using a relatively low-powered afterburning turbojet, and is thus comparable to the American F-104 Starfighter and French Dassault Mirage III.
It was also used extensively in the Middle East conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s, by the air forces of Egypt, Syria and Iraq against Israel. The plane was outclassed by the more modern F-15 Eagle (designed primarily to combat the Soviet MiG-25 "Foxbat"), which was acquired by Israel in the 1970s. The Indian Air Force has been one of the largest users of this plane after it was used in the 1971 war with good results. The war also witnessed the first supersonic air combat in the subcontinent when a MiG-21 shot down a F-104 Starfighter. It was also used as late as 1999 in the Kargil War with mixed results, and employed during the early stages of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but was soon outclassed by the newer MiG-23 and MiG-27.
Due to the lack of available information, early details of the MiG-21 were often confused with those of the similar Sukhoi fighters also under development. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1960-1961 describes the "Fishbed" as a Sukhoi design, and uses an illustration of the Su-9 "Fishpot."
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Syrian Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-21MF fighter that was attached to the 5th Squadron, then deployed to the Tiyas AFB, from 1973 to 1982.
Wingspan: 8 inches
Length: 3.75 inches
Release Date: June 2009
Historical Account: "East Meets West" - The Syrian Air Force, despite its training and capabilities never fared well against Israel. In the Six-Day War, the Syrian Air Force was defeated rapidly, losing two-thirds of its forces with the rest retreating to bases in remote parts of Syria. This in turn helped the IDF in defeating the Syrian Army on the ground and led to the loss of the Golan Heights.
The Yom Kippur War provided initial success for both Syria and Egypt. Though again Israel scored far more casualties in the air than it endured.
Following this conflict, the Syrian Air Force continued to remain in the Eastern sphere of influence, whereas Egypt abandoned Eastern aid, and began building its Air Force with Western-made equipment.
During this war the Pakistani Air Force sent 16 pilots to the Middle East in order to support Egypt and Syria but by the time they arrived, Egypt had already been pushed into a ceasefire. Syria remained in a state of war against Israel. Eight (8) PAF pilots started flying out of Syrian airbases; they formed the A-flight of 67 Squadron at Dumayr Airbase.
The Pakistani pilots flew Syrian MiG-21 aircraft conducting CAP missions for the Syrians. Flt/Lt. A. Sattar Alvi became the first Pakistani pilot, during the Yom Kippur War, to shoot down an Israeli Mirage in air combat. He was honored by the Syrian government. Other aerial encounters involved Israeli F4 Phantoms; The Pakistani pilots stayed on in Syria until 1976, training Syrian pilots in the art of air warfare.
With Syria's continued supply of Eastern equipment its Air Force did not achieve any success during conflicts with Israel over Lebanon in the early 1980s, losing 87 planes while the Israeli Air Force lost none.