MiG-21 In Service In Syria

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At present, the Syrian Air Force successfully use 40 yearold fighters, and which should be in the museums a long time ago. This is a necessary measure. There are an acute shortage of spare parts, fuel and ammunition in the country which is torn by war for over 5 years. So, MiG-21 comes to help the Syrian Air Forces. One of the areas of operations where the fighters perfectly proved themselves not only as in their main role of interceptors, but also as bombers has been the city of Deir ez-Zor.

We see an elderly pilot in the rank of colonel. This officer of the Syrian Air Force is an extra class professional pilot. Experienced middle-aged pilot could leave his service for staff work but due to the civil war he decided to stay. He’s been flying on such aircraft for many years and believes that it is still too early for him and his plane to retire. The usual pre-flight operations are servicing and testing of the onboard systems. There is a minimum of avionics – only a full manual control. The pilot, before flying, traditionally examines and touches the fuselage and the wings by arms.

Today, the Syrian pilots have a lack of ammunition, so they have to make their own bombs in small workshops. The main body of the bomb has visible traces of rust and uneven welding, but in general, they work. The number of flights is limited not only due to the the state of the equipment but also to the lack of fuel and explosives. The aircraft are capable of perform spot bombings, since they’re flying below 2000 meters, and this is the SAM envelope of terrorists.

Soviet equipment, which was developed more than 50 years ago, is still successfully carrying out its tasks. This fact demonstrates excellent quality, easy maintenance and reliability, which was provided by the Soviet military industry in the 60s.

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“Today, the Syrian pilots have a lack of ammunition, so they have to make their own bombs in small workshops”

Sorry, but that reminds me of that blogging 7-year old girl in Aleppo. The claim seems designed to evoke sympathy. But in reality the Syrian army would operate very inefficiently if it wasted the time of its scarce pilots with such tasks for which they aren’t educated.


Sadly It seams in survivor mood one tends to forget time and productivity, lingering for friendly help in time!
Gladly It seams the help is sufficient for the moment.

Daniel Rich

@ wimroffel,

I think something got lost in translation. In this case the word ‘they’ is a reference to the Syrian Army/Armed Forces. But Russia has delivered over 700,000 tons of military hard- and software, but don;t know how that has been spread throughout said Armed Forces.

Nevertheless, it’s always good to remain vigilant..


From the video, the bombs didn’t look home made, but they did look very old – maybe some of that military hardware shipped from Russia is just a little passed its used by date.

Jay Silent

yeah, thats why they are liberating Aleppo so fast. god bless the syrian army!


Marek Pejović

this doesn’t make sense. if they work and can be manufactured cheaply on sight, why not? it certainly relieves the logistical load of syria express. secondly, fuel shortage still might be an issue though not a burning one. the country uses up lot of oil for it’s operations and winter is also here so fuel shortage might mean cautious fuel usage. sympathy? well, yes. in the sense that these people were operating with minimum resources. older pilots also might be there “to protect the kids”, meaning younger pilots. i remember this was done in Serbia when during NATO bombing a sortie of a (barely functional, no parts) MiG-29 was ordered to counter a number of NATO planes. essentially, a suicide mission. so this older pilot took the place of younger pilot saying along the lines: “i won’t let you kids do the deing”. he took off and was shot. a hero.


Make their own bombs? Seems unlikely… what would a pilot know about making bombs?… unless they’re just doing some ‘value added’ work like screwing in a fuse which some journalists might mistake for ‘making’ a bomb…


Many of the images in this compilation are of the SU-22. It does look a bit like the MIG-21 but the SU has variable wing, smaller nose air intake and larger fins on the wings.