MiG-21 vs F-16: Is the Russian Fighter Really A Vintage Machine?
On 28 February, the Indian Air Force claimed that a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was shot down by an Indian MiG -21 Bison.
On 28 February, the Indian Air Force claimed that a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was shot down by an Indian MiG -21 Bison.Graphic: Arup Mishra

MiG-21 vs F-16: Is the Russian Fighter Really A Vintage Machine?

On 28 February, the Indian Air Force claimed that a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was shot down by an Indian MiG -21 Bison. The announcement was historic for several reasons. Firstly, it was the first close aerial combat between Indian and Pakistani fighter planes since 1971. Secondly, this was the first time an F-16 was shot down by the Russian MiG-21.

The aerial battle between these fighter planes was soon projected as a David and Goliath story, where a vintage aircraft brought down a modern jet fighter. But is there a huge technological gap between these two aircraft? And is the Bison variant of MiG-21 really a Soviet vintage aircraft?

The Quint spoke to two retired Air Marshals, who had served as the air officer commanding-in-chief (C-in-C) of the IAF’s training command, to pitch these aircraft against each other on paper.

Graphic: Arup Mishra
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Expert’s Take

Graphic: Arup Mishra

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Graphic: Arup Mishra

Avionics

Graphic: Arup Mishra

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Graphic: Arup Mishra

Air Battles

Graphic: Arup Mishra

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