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#4977 East German Air Force - Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21M Fishbed-J (596)

20110727-131 East German Air Force - Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21M Fishbed-J (596) Luftwaffenmuseum DE.jpg #4978 German Air Force - Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21bis SAU Fishbed-N (24+53)Thumbnails#4976 German Air Force - North American F-86K Sabre (JD-249)

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21M Fishbed-J (596) as used by the East German Air Force at the Luftwaffenmuseum, Berlin-Gatow (Germany)

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor 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 or ołówek (pencil) by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage. Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. A total of 10.645 aircraft were built in the USSR.
The MiG-21M (M = Modernizirovannyy or "Modernised") is the export variant of the MiG-21S with two major differences: the RP-22 radar of the MiG-21S was substituted with the older RP-21MA radar, and featured a built-in GSh-23L cannon instead of a cannon pod. In the air-to-air role it could only carry the R-3S IR-seeking AAM on its four pylons, as the SARH variant, the R-3R, was not cleared for export.

The Luftwaffenmuseum, now known as the Militärhistorisches Museum (MHM) der Bundeswehr - Flugplatz Berlin-Gatow
(Bundeswehr Museum of Military History - Berlin-Gatow Airfield), is the Berlin branch of the Bundeswehr Military History Museum. The museum acts as an independent military department. Entrance to the museum is free. The museum is in Berlin at a former Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield, RAF Gatow. The focus is on military history, particularly the history of the post-war German Air Force. The museum has a collection of more than 200.000 items, including 155 aeroplanes, 5.000 uniforms and 30.000 books. There are also displays (including aeroplanes) on the history of the airfield when it was used by the RAF. Although there are also several helicopters and MiG fighters used during the Cold War by East German forces.


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