Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21bis SAU Fishbed-N (24+53) as used by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) at the Luftwaffenmuseum, Berlin-Gatow (Germany)
This MiG-21bis SAU flew from July 1976 to October 1990 in the East German Air Force (Luftstreitkräfte der Nationalen Volksarmee) as 990 Red
and belonged to the Jagdfliegergeschwader 8 (8th Fighter Squadron) "Hermann Matern" at Marxwalde (today known as Neuhardenberg).
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-21bis SAU version is equipped with the Polyot ILS system and a slightly different avionics package exported to some Warsaw Pact countries. In Bulgaria and East Germany these were designated MiG-21bis SAU (SAU referring to "Sistema Avtomaticheskovo Upravleniya" or "Automatic Control System").
This variant was also manufactured under licence by HAL in India from 1980 to 1987.
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.