Mikojan i Guriewicz MiG-21 R. 2009.

Kraków 2009-04-01


215b Section 1968-09-28.

OKB Mikojan and Guriewicz MiG-21 R in Poland.

MiG-21 R nb 1125 nr 94R021125 Czyżyny 2008. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
MiG-21 R nb 1125 nr 94R021125 Czyżyny 2008. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

History MiG-21 R.

The MiG-21 R reconnaissance aircraft (Type 94 R) with the R-11 F2S-300 engine and the SPS installation (blowing air on the flaps) was developed on the basis of the MiG-21 PFM. There is no tank 1 in the hull. Fuel tank 7 for the fuselage has been increased to 340 liters. The total capacity of the fuel installation is 2,800 liters. The aircraft received an additional two external suspension hooks for 2 x 490 liters fuel tanks. The aircraft to be rearranged has the ability to carry 3 suspended tanks. The aircraft has a ground speed of 1 150 km / h.

The aircraft has new equipment; autopilot AP-155, warning station SPO-3, which warns from every direction (previous SPO-2 only from the back), this station automatically fires or manually dipoles from the ASO-21 ejector. From the plane, you can manually fire the PRP-26 thermal cartridges (more commonly known as flares).

The aircraft can move containers:

Type R - radio-electronic reconnaissance station; SRS-6, SRS-7 M, Rhomb-4 A, Rhomb-4 B and A-39 photo camera.

Type D - for daytime photography of 7 cameras.

Type N - for night photography 1 camera UA-47 and 152 illuminating cartridges FP-100.

Type T - TV reconnaissance, used only in CCCP, Barij-M apparatus.

Recognition containers are described in detail in separate chapters.

MiG-21 R aircraft were built in Gorki in 1965-1971.

MiG-21 R in Poland. 1968.

Reconnaissance aviation in Poland has always been appreciated. It can be said that aerial reconnaissance was a priority in Poland. Another thing is that CCCP did not want Poland to be equipped with modern means of reconnaissance. We can recall, for example, the history of Jak-27 R aircraft.

The reconnaissance aviation at the airport in Sochaczew.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Poland had one reconnaissance regiment. It was the 21st Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment. It was based at the Bielice airport near Sochaczew. During this time, reconnaissance aviation was developing and a new aviation technique was introduced. That is why organizational changes were necessary. On April 12, 1963, the Order of the Air Force Commander No. 030 / Org. Appeared. On its basis, the 21st Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment became the 21st Regiment of Tactical Recognition Aviation, and based on its part the 32nd Regiment of Artillery Reconnaissance Aviation was established, as JW. 1031. From the beginning, the regiment was subject to Operational Aviation.

21 PLRT had Il-28 R aircraft in use, which were long-range aircraft. 32 PLRA was equipped with various types of „Lim” planes and helicopters, used for reconnaissance in a near zone.

In 1968, 21 PLRT is transferred to the Powidz airport.

At that time, the main reconnaissance aircraft were; single-seat Lim-2 R, Lim-2, two-seat SB Lim-2 A, SB Lim-1. Helicopters are the second group; SM-1, SM-2.

MiG-21 R.

In 1968, the first two copies of the MiG-21 R aircraft No. 94 R 011422, 94 R 01423 were delivered to Poland, which replaced the Lim-2 R aircraft. The aircraft were equipped with 41 PLM in Malbork and began their service on September 28, 1968.

In 1969, another two MiG-21 R aircraft arrived to Poland. In 1971, there were already 12 of these aircraft.

It was planned that the most important hunting regiments would be equipped with a key (4 aircraft) for such aircraft. Just like it was with the Lim-2 R aircraft. However, it turned out that the machines collect information very quickly, but later there is a problem with their interpretation. The range of MiG-21 R is sufficient in relation to the country. All MiG-21 R aircraft were collected in one Regiment. The airport in Sochaczew was selected (32 PLRA).

The next MiG-21 R reconnaissance aircraft purchased by Poland were transferred to Sochaczew on January 13, 1972, by Soviet pilots. The machines adopted had serial numbers: 94R01064, 94R021071, 94R021125, 94R021273, 94R021311, 94R021375, 94R021412, 94R022051, 94R022097, 94R022213, 94R022355, 94R022426, 94R022503 and 94R022617.

Simultaneous "D" and "R" type storage tanks were supplied with the aircraft. 
In the same month (January 1972) another batch of MiG-21 R aircraft was delivered, with serial numbers: 94R021085, 94R021101, 94R021139, 94R021507, 94R022089, 94R022111, 94R022301, 94R022402, 94R022533 and 94R022657.

In total, over 4 years, 36 aircraft in 5 batches were brought to Poland, equipped with 32 PLRTiA, forming the core of reconnaissance aviation.

Reconnaissance flights of the MiG-21 R aircraft with R-type tanks made in the years 1973 - 1990. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Reconnaissance flights of the MiG-21 R aircraft with R-type tanks made in the years 1973 - 1990. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

During the operation of the MiG-21 R aircraft, several incidents occurred, but no incident caused any loss of health or life for anyone and did not cause any international crisis.

MiG-21 R nb 1125 in the museum in Czyżyny. 2007. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
MiG-21 R nb 1125 in the museum in Czyżyny. 2007. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

MiG-21 R aircraft served in Poland for a very long time. As early as 1990, there were 32 items in the Polish Air Force. Due to the lack of financial resources, in the first half of 1991, the first batch of 7 machines was sent for cassation to the airport in Mierzęcice.

In mid-1991, 32 PLRT had 24 MiG-21 Rs and 6 MiG-21 UMs at its disposal. Machines sent for cassation were newer machines, which, however, awaited the second renovation. Other machines were already after the second renovation, which was carried out at the end of the 80's and had a lot of resources ahead of them. Still in 1990, there were 32 pieces, and in 2000, 10 more.

In 1997, 32 PLRT was dissolved in Sochaczew. His still-functional MiG-21 R and MiG-21 UM planes were all transported to 3 PLM (former 62 PLM) in Krzesiny. The regiment handed over 11 operational MiG-21 R. Unnecessary reconnaissance equipment was dismantled in Krzesiny, and the aircraft were operated as typical fighters.

In 3 PLM / 3 ELM in Krzesiny, MiG-21 R aircraft crumbled very quickly. After a year, some were out of order, and they had 26 years of service behind them. The last MiG-21 R was written from October 2000.

During the service, seven machines were lost, only one in the catastrophe.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman