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Thread: Mig-21bis vs F-5E/F

  1. #1
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    Mig-21bis vs F-5E/F

    What do you guys think of these two aircraft in terms of AA and A2G. Both have been used in both of the roles, especially the Mig-21.

    The F-5 has 5 hardpoints and 2 wingtips while Mig-21 has 5 hardpoints, the F-5 has a MUCH bigger payload, has a quite a large nose to accomodate a good BVR radar. The Mig-21 has a single engine=less maintenance, it has better climb rate, it's faster and has higher ceiling. What do you guys think about their previous performances and also as AA machines? They both have similar turning/roll rates and both suffer from short range, and view outside the cockpit.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srbin
    What do you guys think of these two aircraft in terms of AA and A2G. Both have been used in both of the roles, especially the Mig-21.

    The F-5 has 5 hardpoints and 2 wingtips while Mig-21 has 5 hardpoints, the F-5 has a MUCH bigger payload, has a quite a large nose to accomodate a good BVR radar. The Mig-21 has a single engine=less maintenance, it has better climb rate, it's faster and has higher ceiling. What do you guys think about their previous performances and also as AA machines? They both have similar turning/roll rates and both suffer from short range, and view outside the cockpit.
    Mr Jabotinsky,

    I say the F-5 is preferable.. why? along with more hard points and a larger payload, it also has very good range for such a baby sized fighter.. I mean seriously.. it's range is something that the Gripen might not be able to match!

    As for the single engine thing.. true single engine light fighters are nice..but you got to remember, the MiG-21 isn't made with today's engines since most MiG-21s are still using engines from that era not to mention the numerous crashes..I think i'd feel safer in the F-5.

    As for the radome..the BIS looks like it has a larger one..

    But if I was a poor ass nation or one that's hurt.. I say using upgraded F-5s might be more preferable than upgraded MiG-21s, although the Bison sure does look good.

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    I agree, the F-5 seems to be better in most of the ways. How did they both do in combat, against each other? I think they were involved in Iraq-Iran War and few other wars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Srbin
    I agree, the F-5 seems to be better in most of the ways. How did they both do in combat, against each other? I think they were involved in Iraq-Iran War and few other wars.
    well I know you have access to ACIG, why not check there for starters
    Iran has both a MiG-21 variant (not Bis, but J-7) and F-5s maybe Tom might know something.

    Anyways it seems that maintenance and operationale rates wise, the F-5 still seems to be running well after all these years. the same could be said about the MiG-21.. but you don't hear too much about F-5 crashes or F-5's getting shot down!

    Does anyone know if there's any project going around that allows F-5s to use BVRAAMs similar to how the BISON allows use of the Adder?

  5. #5
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    the Chilean air force is in the process of integrating the Derby to their F-5, they've installed already the ELTA M-2032 among other things
    Camaro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camaro
    the Chilean air force is in the process of integrating the Derby to their F-5, they've installed already the ELTA M-2032 among other things
    Camaro.
    Pics my sexy Peruvian friend!

    and if possible how bout pics of the cockpit of Singaporean and Brasilian upgrades

  7. #7
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    I'd choose the F-5 for many of the reasons mentioned above. Twin engines may equal a bit more maintenance, but it does provide a nice safety feature, and with the engines being so closed together the yaw differential wouldn't be quite as bad as say an F-14, when an engine goes out for whatever reason.

    The MiG-21 has more in the way of power, and is probably a better short-range interceptor, but the F-5 has its merits, and is quite a good dogfighter.

    As far as BVRAAM F-5's, I believe Singapores F-5S's and F-5T's have the capability to fire the AIM-120 AMRAAM, but I don't believe the missiles are in-country.

    Chile's F-5E/F Tiger III's have the capability to fire the Derby BVRAAM as well as the Python series of IR-guided AAM's.

    The F-20 had the capability to fire the AIM-7 Sparrow!

    The F-5 also has a larger range than the MiG-21, as well as more hardpoints, and a better variety of A/G weapons generally speaking.

    The cockpit view while terrible with the MiG-21 is actually okay to the front and sides with the F-5, with just the rear view suffering.

    I also think the F-5 looks better, though the MiG-21bis is by far the best looking Fishbed variant. The J-7MG and E would look better if they didn't have such a small freaking radome.
    Fox-4!

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    as fighter bomber the F-5 seems to have better endurance and payload, but as fighter interceptor, well, forget about the F-5 intercepting supersonic target expect in exceptionals cases ,like hapepned with Mig 25s. As modernization there isn't much difference as spaces for the radars. I think that the Mig 21 needs a better engines as RD 33 or F 404.

    In the AA role, the F-5 is better agile at low levels but not at the highers. The Mig 21 bis is regarded as a cheap F 16 while the F 5 could be seen as a basic F 17 (with modernizations).

  9. #9
    junipergoth Guest
    well could the updated F-5 fighter carry four underwing BVR missiles like AMRAAM or Derby? i think it would be able to lift them, plus a centre fuel drop tank and two heat seekers on the tips. is this a possible warload? id guess so. the old F-5A series never had a radar did it? but could it be updated with a radar in the nose like the F-5E has? what are the differences in the F-5A and E updates considering the airframes are a bit different? very interesting indeed. would love to see photos of nice F-5s with underwing BVR missiles

  10. #10
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    F-5EM, the first pics of the monoplace upgraded Brazilian Tiger



    regards,

    Carlos Eduardo

    Defesa Brasil

  11. #11
    junipergoth Guest
    nice lovely plane like a brand new penny

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srbin
    I agree, the F-5 seems to be better in most of the ways. How did they both do in combat, against each other? I think they were involved in Iraq-Iran War and few other wars.
    One F-5E was captured by northern vietnamese and tranferred to the USSR to evaluation. There were several combats against Mig-21bis and Mig-23M, and F-5 won all combats. Source: Kondaurov, test-pilot of Mig.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by F-18 Hamburger
    but you don't hear too much about F-5 crashes
    I think that's mostly perception: without even cross-checking I can think of the Jordanian F-5E a week or so ago, two Spanish AF F-5s in 2003, a couple of South Korean, a couple of Taiwanese, a Philippines AF one and a US Navy one that have all crashed within the past year or 18 months.

    I guess they tend to be operated under less press scrutiny than the Indian AF MiG-21s do.

    Steve ~ Touchdown-News

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=F-18 Hamburger]Pics my sexy Peruvian friend!

    thanks for the "sexy" thing

    i've spent the whole morning trying to find a pic of the chilean f-5 armed with the derby but...no luck, there seems to be a lot of contradiction about yes, not yet, a few etc etc etc, one thing for sure "they are trying hard".
    maybe one of our chilean friends has some pic or something
    Camaro

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    One F-5E was captured by northern vietnamese and tranferred to the USSR to evaluation. There were several combats against Mig-21bis and Mig-23M, and F-5 won all combats. Source: Kondaurov, test-pilot of Mig.
    The TigerII(F-5E) was not even in the developmental stage at the time you are reffering to.The only F-5 variant serving in Vietnam(and in existence) at that time was the Freedom Fighter(F-5A/B).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camaro
    the Chilean air force is in the process of integrating the Derby to their F-5, they've installed already the ELTA M-2032 among other things
    Camaro.

    Brazil is putting an italian one capable of launching 2 AMRAAMs at the same time ( forgot its name but its the same tiype Pakistan is putting on their fleet I think ) , but no previson of aquiring BVR missiles .

  17. #17
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    Chileans said that they have 84 Derby AAM, it´s strange,because they show everything they get in the market...the modernization of the F-5E´s, the Phyton IV etc etc

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BME330
    Chileans said that they have 84 Derby AAM, it´s strange,because they show everything they get in the market...the modernization of the F-5E´s, the Phyton IV etc etc
    perhaps you could find some pics for our good friend "the hamburger man"

    Camaro.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by redgriffin
    The TigerII(F-5E) was not even in the developmental stage at the time you are reffering to.The only F-5 variant serving in Vietnam(and in existence) at that time was the Freedom Fighter(F-5A/B).

    On the contrary actually. The US gave the Saigon goverment F-5A/B, F-5C and F-5E. Will find a photo if needed.

  20. #20
    junipergoth Guest
    yes please put nice pics of bvr missiles under the wings. it seems like so much rumour that F-5s with bvr weapons, yes the radar can be in the plane to use such weapons but a picture is worth a thousand words

  21. #21
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    Attached is a pic of a F-5E in Vietnamese Air Force markings.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Quote Originally Posted by nani!
    On the contrary actually. The US gave the Saigon goverment F-5A/B, F-5C and F-5E. Will find a photo if needed.
    At least two F-5E's found their way to the Soviets, one each being passed on to Czechoslovakia and Poland. In the museums of Kbely (near Prague, Czech Republic) and Kraków (Poland) you can find Vietnamese F-5E's.
    Regards,

    Arthur
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nani!
    On the contrary actually. The US gave the Saigon goverment F-5A/B, F-5C and F-5E. Will find a photo if needed.
    Like this one? :diablo: According to the source page it is a captured ex-SVAF gone VPAF F-5E currently residing in a museum in Poland.


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camaro
    perhaps you could find some pics for our good friend "the hamburger man"

    Camaro.
    Count me in too, I have been looking for pictures of Chilean Tigers packing Derby's for a long while now. Thankfully the Chileans seem to be rather relaxed about people photographing their birds. Finding good pictures of Egyptian MiG-21's and F-7s, just for example, is alot harder even though that airforce is alot bigger than Chile's.

  25. #25
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    ...and here's a shot I snapped of the F-5E at Kbely that Art mentioned.



    More on the VPAF F-5s courtesy of Joe Baugher:


    The Republic of Vietnam received 18 F-5Es in 1972, all aircraft
    diverted from deliveries scheduled for Iran. Other F-5Es followed
    later. However, it seems that these F-5Es were relatively little used
    by the South Vietnamese Air Force, since their more advanced
    electronics suite made them more difficult to maintain. Most air
    action still took place with the earlier F-5A/B model.

    During the final North Vietnamese assault on Saigon in 1975, many
    SVNAF Tiger IIs and earlier F-5A/Bs were flown to refuge in Thailand.
    A total of 26 F-5s arrived, 22 Es and four As made it to Thailand.
    They were returned to the USA and stored at MCClellan AFB, pending
    sale to other customers. However, most remained in the USA to form
    the nucleus of agressor training programs,

    87 F-5As and 27 F-5Es were left behind when the South Vietnamese
    government fled in 1975. These were pressed into service with the
    Vietnam People's Air Force. There are reports that these planes were
    used by Vietnam during its invasion of neighboring Kampuchea in 1978.
    In 1979, nine Tigers were reported to be operating from bases near
    Hanoi as part of a composite squadron also equipped with the MiG-21.
    The Hanoi unit is believed to have been joined by three other
    F-5/MiG-21 regiments. The F-5E/Fs were reportedly more popular with
    their Vietnamese crews than were the Russian-built aircraft that
    provided the primary strength of the Vietnamese air force, which is a
    a rather unique testimonial. They were particularly appreciative of
    the comfortable cockpits and the ease of handling of the F-5.

    There were several attempts by the Vietnamese government to sell its
    captured F-5s to other customers. By now, it seems likely that no
    F-5Es remain flying in Vietnam, the lack of spares probably leading to
    their grounding, despite cannibalization.

    Steve Rush ~ Touchdown-News

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by nani!
    On the contrary actually. The US gave the Saigon goverment F-5A/B, F-5C and F-5E. Will find a photo if needed.
    Some of the F-5A/B actually were from the inventory of ROCAF. US Government needed those aircrafts in short period of time, so it's kind like exchange: US gave some other aircrafts to ROCAF and then took those F-5A/B to Vietnam.

  27. #27
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    Wasn't this thread about comparing the F-5E with the MiG-21bis? Let's get it back on topic.

    It seems to me the F-5E and MiG-21 are not quite 100% directly comparable although they are still very similar in concept. The MiG-21 began as a lightweight, misslie carrying, tactical fighter for point defense as part of a GCI network. It's secondary ground attack capability seems to have been added as a bit of an after thought. The F-5E on the other hand came into being in the oppisite way to the MiG-21. It was born as an aircraft optimized for air-to-ground work and it was only redesigned later to be more effective for air-to-air work as an afterthought. Both aircraft were of course later upgraded significantly. Here is my bid at a short comparisons of features for the stock MiG-21bis and F-5E, i'll leave discussion of general performance other than range to others.

    Some general data on ranges with various loads:

    F-5E:
    - Ferry range with maximum fuel (ie. all drop tanks fitted) was 2483 Km = 1543 miles.
    - Combat radius with 2360kg = 5200 lb ordnance load, maximum fuel, and two Sidewinders 313 km = 195 miles.
    - Combat radius with maximum fuel and 2 Sidewinder missiles 1055 km = 656 miles.

    MiG-21bis: (I have found that truly reliable figures are hard to come by.)
    - Ferry range with maximum fuel, probably around of 1200km with 3x480liter tanks and 1600 km with 2x480 liter tanks on the wings and a single 800 liter tank on the centerline.

    I couldn't find any data on MiG-21bis ranges with external loads, but the J-7III should be a usable substitute:
    - Combat radius of a J-7III missiles and a full set of drop tanks 850 km = 525 miles.
    - Combat radius of a J-7 III with 2x250 kg bombs and a full set of drop tanks 550 km = 340 miles.


    Air-to-ground:
    The F-5E had the advantage of the fact that the MK.80 series being aerodynamically superior to the FAB series and its maximum warload of 3200KG was superior to that of the MiGs which amounted to only c.a. 2200-2500 kg. The F-5E also had the extra wingtip hardpoint which has to count as an advantage. Even with FAB-250s the MiG-21 handled badly and with FAB-500s it must have been a handful but this probably had more to do with the suboptimal aerodynamics of the FAB series than any shortcoming of the MiG-21. AFAIK all MiG-21s from the MiG-21PFM forward could carry beam riding air-to- Kh-66 missiles while the F-5E had the Bullpup radio guided misslie. Neither missile was easy to use and both required the aircraft to line up with the target until impact making them vulnerable to FLAK and SAMs and other fighters. The F-5E also had superior range on internal fuel and it could carry more fuel externally by virtue of its wingtip hardpoints. One final advantage of the F-5E is that it had twin engines which contributed to survivability.

    Air to air:
    I don't think there is really much to choose from beween the MiG's twin barreled GSh-23 and the American fighters twin M39 revolver cannon. While the F-5E was limited to the excellent Sidewinder series of heat seekers the MiG-21bis had a more varied selection of air-to-air missiles. At first glance the MiGs R-3R radar guided missile would seem to be an advantage but this missile was of limited use due to it's short range and inability to engage maneuvering targets. The R-3S also had reliability problems. The R-60 however was more reliable and it gave the MiG-21bis an advantage in that the R-60s launch rail made it possible to carry two missiles on one pylon which went some way toward cancelling out the advantages the F-5E derived from its wing rails. The R-13M was also a very definite improvement over the R-3S. I can't really compare the Sapfir-21 to the units used on the F-5E since I kon alot less about the American radars than Russian ones. Perhaps somebody else could elaborate? The MiG-21bis also had the Lazure datalink, I don't know if the F-5E had anything comparable.
    Last edited by savage-rabbit; 19th November 2004 at 10:45.

  28. #28
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    I think the R-60 twin-rail advantage is nice, but the Aphid was simply never as effective a weapon as the AIM-9L and M. The warhead was also simply too small. Also, the twin-rail loadout would probably have been quite draggy, and not as efficient as wingtip mounted AIM-9's.

    The MiG-21 vs. F-5 debate is a classic one, and I suppose looking at Iraqi MiG-21 vs. Iranian F-5 combats is a good indicator of how they performed against one another.

    A new question would be which aircraft do you personally prefer?
    Fox-4!

  29. #29
    junipergoth Guest
    what are the parameters of the R-60 missile like range, any off boresight/dogfight capability? ive an idea that it's shorter ranged than the 'winder. if it had a smaller warhead, that must mean a smaller missile so four missiles could equal warhead size of a 'winder but theoretical capability for4 targets. yet any short range might mean use of more missiles to get a kill. what missile did the indian Mig 21 use on the pakistan Alantique? and how many missiles was fired, was it first kill or more missiles used? i believe the F-5 was used by ethiopia in the ogaden conflict, against some russian built fighters(which ones, Mig 21 by any chance?) of a nation(which country?). and they got some kills. anyone know info on the ogaden conflict? i think it was the original F-5 used, the A version.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Touchdown
    ...and here's a shot I snapped of the F-5E at Kbely that Art mentioned.



    More on the VPAF F-5s courtesy of Joe Baugher:




    Steve Rush ~ Touchdown-News
    In the last few years many reports emerge saying that VPAF F-5s is no longer operational, but in recent pictures published by the Vietnamese Air Force showing U.S-made aircraft such as the UH-1H Huey is still serving with the VPAF, and there are reports indicates that even the CH-47A Chinook is still flying, so I think some F-5s is still operational for training purposes.

    Because the picture is too large I could not post that picture so I suggest you guys pay a visit to ChinaDefence.com (CDF).

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