All you need to know about IAF’s MiG fighter jets

MiG is Soviet military fighter aircraft produced by a design bureau founded in 1939. MiG gets its named from the team of its designers – Artem Mikhoyen (M) and Mikhail Gurevich (G). The ‘I’ in the MiG refers to the word ‘and’ in Russian.

List of active MiG’s in the Indian Air Force

MiG 27

MiG-27 – MiG-27 is a variable-geometry ground-attack aircraft, originally built by the Mikoyan design bureau in the Soviet Union and later license-produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics as the Bahadur (“Valiant”).

It is a single engine, single seater tactical strike fighter aircraft having a speed of 1700 km/hr (Mach 1.6)

Unlike the MiG-23, the MiG-27 did not see widespread use outside Russia, as most countries opted for the MiG-23BN and Sukhoi Su-22.

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MiG 29

MiG-29 – The MiG-29 is a twin-engine multi-role jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union, developed by the Mikoyan design bureau. MiG-29 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1982.  It is a twin-engine, single seater air superiority fighter aircraft capable of attaining the speed of 2445 per/hr (Mach 2.3)

The aircraft has undergone a series of modifications with the addition of new avionics, sub-systems, turbofan engines and radars.


MiG 21

MiG 21 – This is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed ‘Balalaika’. In 1961, the Indian Air Force opted to purchase the MiG-21 over several other Western competitors. The IAF gained valuable experience while operating the MiG-21 for defensive sorties during the war. The positive feedback from IAF pilots during the 1965 war prompted India to place more orders for the fighter jets.

MiG 21 Bison – MiG 21 Bison is the new name given to the MiG 21 post upgrades and improvements of the MiG-21. Bison is just a new name designated by the manufacturer. This jet was upgraded with new weapons and avionics and is the most capable MiG-21 in the world.

The MiG-21–93 or Bison has the following features:

  1. New multimode radar with improved avionics, navigation IFF and communications equipment
  2. Larger number of chaff and flares
  3. Wrap around windshield derived from the MiG-29 Fulcrum and a bubble canopy


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