Stephen Bryen, Asia Times: It’s MiG-21 versus the F-16 over Kashmir
Questions still remain over whether India shot down a Pakistani jet, but the planes on both sides perform quite differently.
Can an old MiG-21 aircraft destroy a more modern F-16? Yes, in fact an Indian pilot flying a version of the MiG-21 called Bison allegedly shot down a Pakistani F-16 using a Russian R-73 Vympel air to air missile, known as a high off bore-sight air-to-air weapon.
For the record, Pakistan continues to deny one of its F-16s was shot down. But denials notwithstanding, the evidence seems increasingly compelling against Pakistan’s denial.
The R-73, a short-range missile, can be controlled by a helmet-mounted sight, allowing the pilot to look to his right or left and launch a missile that will turn in the direction the pilot’s head is pointing. Later Russian aircraft including the MiG-29 had a helmet-mounted site (HMS) called the Shchel-3UM.
Read more ….
Update #1: Why Did India Send Old MiG-21s To Take on Pakistan’s F-16s? (David Axe, National Interest)
Update #2: MiG-21 vs F-16: Is the Russian Fighter Really A Vintage Machine? (Arun Dev, The Quint)
Update #3: Could Indian MiG-21 have downed Pakistani F-16? Military expert says it’s up to pilot, not plane (RT)
WNU Editor: If A MiG-21 was successful in shooting down a Pakistani F-16 (which Pakistan is denying), there may be consequences on this possible deal …. MiG21 Downing Pakistan’s F-16 Could Soil Lockheed’s $21Bln India Dream (Sputnik). Russian experts are also saying that the Mig-21 is as good as Pakistan’s F-16 …. India’s MiG-21 upgraded by Russia equal to Pakistan’s F-16, says analyst (TASS).