The story of the MiG-21F-13 in East German service is a short one, which started on the 4th May 1962, when the first East German MiG-21F-13 landed on the airport of Neuhardenberg. A total of 76 MiG-21F-13 would be delivered over the course of two years, with the last ones being delivered in 1964. The MiG-21F-13 was East Germany’s first mach 2 capable fighter and entered service in the same year as delivery began, 1962.
The plane was rugged and simple, and was designed to take off and land on rough runways, which made it a very versatile and easy to maintain fighter, plus the ability to carry air-to-air missiles was a big upgrade from the MiG-15, MiG-17 / Lim-5 and MiG-19, of which only the MiG-19PM could carry early beam-riding AAMs.
Though even with these advantages, the MiG-21F-13 specifically, only stayed in active service until 1974, and the type was already being replaced by more modern MiG-21PFMs and MiG-21SPS’ as early as 1964, the same year the delivery of the 76 MiG-21F-13s concluded.
The MiG-21F-13 was very popular among East German pilots, sometimes being called a “sports plane” and being praised for it’s acceleration and easy handling, as well as it’s high maneuverability, and it is stated, that no other MiG-21 variant, which was used by the LSK, was able to achieve the same level of agility as the MiG-21F-13.
One drawback was the high fuel-consumption, which required the mounting of a ventral fuselage drop-tank.
The MiG-21F-13 saw no combat deployment with East Germany and was exclusively stationed in East Germany, with no expeditionary-forces being known. Though later in the cold-war, East German pilots and officiers themselves were highly praised for their value as teachers and advisors to other countries’ younger airforces, and often those advisors would fly the host country’s planes, mainly other MiG-21 variants.
Overall, the MiG-21F-13 played a comparatively small part in East German military-aviation history, it being quickly replaced with newer, more modern MiG-21 variants, however, it was still an important aircraft, considering it was East Germany’s first mach 2 capable fighter with infra-red air-to-air missiles, which is why I still want to suggest this plane for the German tech-tree in War Thunder.
Empty weight: 4.871kg
Max take-off weight: 8.386kg
Max speed: 2.175 km/h
Armament: 1x NR-30 30mm cannon (60 rounds) and either 2x R-3S missiles or 2x 250-500kg bombs or 2x UB-16 rocket-pods
I think the MiG-21F-13 could be a great stop-gap rank VI jet for Germany between the MiG-19S and the MiG-21MF, as it would be the first proper mach 2 jet with a comparatively lower BR, so it would help to ease players into the experience of flying a proper mach 2 fighter with air-to-air missiles. Furthermore, it’s a really cool airplane, which is visually quite distinct from later MiG-21 variants.
Thanks for reading, if you spot any mistakes, or want to add something, feel free to write a comment.