MiG-21S (R-13-300)

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This page is about the Soviet jet fighter MiG-21S (R-13-300). For other versions, see MiG-21 (Family).
MiG-21S (R-13-300)
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MiG-21S (R-13-300)
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While the Soviet Air Defence Force (PVO) was content with their MiG-21 variants, the Soviet Air Force (VVS) set out to acquire a better fighter-interceptor, as their current MiG-21PF were mainly suited for heavy interception and light ground attack, with little emphasis on air-to-air combat. Research from Mikoyan OKB quickly resulted in the Ye-7S prototype, a MiG-21PF with the new Sapfir-21 radar, allowing it to mount not only the ASP-PF-21 radar-computing gunsight, but also R-3R (K-13R) semi-active radar guided (SARH) air-to-air missile, increasing the lethality of this aircraft during interception and especially during head-on and side-on engagements with enemy aircraft. The design was greatly favoured by the VVS, and after a small request to also increase the fuel capacity, the MiG-21S was born. The MiG-21S had the extra fuel incorporated in the larger saddle tank taken from the MiG-21R variant, while mounting all the avionics upgrades of the Ye-7S prototype. This aircraft would begin delivery to its only operator, the Soviet Air Force (VVS) in 1965, and would see active combat shortly after, most notably participating in the Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Introduced in Update "Winged Lions" as a GE Ge icon.png premium, the MiG-21S is doctrinally very similar to its contemporary second-generation Fishbed variants of similar battle rating. In simple terms, the MiG-21S is just a MiG-21PFM with more fuel and extra hardpoints due to using the chassis of a MiG-21R. The biggest selling point of this aircraft after its incredible flight performance for its battle rating, is the R-3R radar-guided missiles, which allow for head-on and side-on engagement against unaware or overconfident aircraft, if the radar lock conditions permit. The MiG-21S, while excelling in the flight performance and weapons department for its battle rating, is strongly offset by its abysmal survivability. At a battle rating where it is regularly faced with high-G all-aspect missiles such as the AIM-9L and R-60M, this aircraft is strongly limited by the fact that it lacks any form of countermeasures to defend itself against such threats.

General info

Flight performance

Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Drogue parachute
Reduces braking distance when landing on any runway
Max speed
at 13 000 m2 240 km/h
Turn time35 s
Max altitude16 000 m
EngineTumansky R-13-300
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight10 t

Like all MiG-21s, the MiG-21S is a very fast interceptor. With a powerful engine (the same used by the MiG-21SMT), the MiG-21S has very good acceleration and top speed compared to other supersonic fighters like the MiG-19, the F-100 Super Sabre and the F-105D. Being a delta wing fighter, it's capable of extreme manoeuvres, but it loses speed very quickly and in a few turns it would be stuck at less than 600 km/h.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 13,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 2,190 2,172 16000 36.2 37.0 134.7 126.5 750
Upgraded 2,313 2,240 34.2 35.0 187.6 160.0


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1365 700 N/A 500 450 ~12 ~6
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 650 < 600 < 950 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Tumansky R-13-300 1 5,962 kg 359 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight (each) Type 11m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 38m fuel
1,135 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 6,651 kg 7,169 kg 7,773 kg 8,258 kg 9,900 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 11m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 38m fuel MTOW
Stationary 3,825 kgf 6,483 kgf 0.97 0.90 0.83 0.79 0.65
Optimal 3,825 kgf
(0 km/h)
6,977 kgf
(1,200 km/h)
1.05 0.97 0.90 0.84 0.70

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural1 365 km/h
Gear700 km/h

The MiG-21S (R-13-300) can take hits from calibres lower than 30 mm guns in minor parts, but if the engine is damaged it will surely fall. A missile hit will knock out the fighter instantly or cause it to crash.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 316 Sl icon.png
RB7 225 Sl icon.png
SB6 616 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts850 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 900 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 130 / 370 / 600 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 220 / 220 / 220 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods jet engine.png
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods armor frame.png
Mods g suit.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods napalm fire bomb.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods air to air missile.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
Mods air to air missile.png


Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs) CCRP (Bombs) EEGS
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Suspended armament

The MiG-21S (R-13-300) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5
Hardpoints MiG-21bis.png
23 mm GSh-23L cannons (200 rpg) 1
250 kg OFAB-250sv bombs 1 1 1 1
500 kg FAB-500M-54 bombs 1 1
ZB-500 incendiary bombs 1 1
S-5K rockets 16 16, 32 16, 32 16
S-24 rockets 1 1 1 1
R-3R missiles 1 1 1 1
R-3S missiles 1 1 1 1
490 l drop tanks 1 1 1
Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 570 kg
Default weapon presets
  • 1 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon (200 rpg)
  • 2 x R-3S missiles + 3 x 490 l drop tanks
  • 2 x R-3S missiles
  • 4 x R-3S missiles
  • 4 x R-3R missiles
  • 64 x S-5K rockets
  • 64 x S-5K rockets
  • 4 x S-24 rockets
  • 4 x 250 kg OFAB-250sv bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x 500 kg FAB-500M-54 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x ZB-500 incendiary bombs

The GSh-23L is a very powerful weapon, that requires practice to be used properly. It has a low muzzle velocity and a small ammo pool compared to other planes at its BR. But it compensates this with a very good damage output, being capable of destroying almost any aircraft with a small burst.

The MiG-21S can equip several ordnance options for both air-to-air combat and ground support.

For air-to-air combat, the R-3S and R-3R missiles are the only options. These missiles share the same properties but the R-3S is a caged IR missile, which means that it needs to point directly to the back of an enemy aircraft in order to get a lock. The R-3R in the other hand is a radar guided missile. Unlike the R-3S, it has a small area in which the aircraft can change direction, making it possible to lead the missile towards the direction in which the enemy is heading. The R-3R is overall a better missile but it's hard to use close to the ground due to the lacklustre radar in the MiG-21, and the R-3S is excellent in picking slow moving enemies at any altitude and moment.

For ground ordnance, the MiG-21S has ballistic computers for both rockets and its cannon. So in ground RB it's possible to use it as a multirole fighter, with 2 rocket pods and 2 missiles for air-to-air combat, providing cover to the team.

Usage in battles

The MiG-21S (R-13-300) is an excellent fighter when used in high altitudes or support roles, where its powerful engine makes it a very awkward opponent.

Arcade Battles:

In AB, the MiG-21S will constantly see a multitude of enemies, but the most dangerous ones would be the A-10, the F-5C, and other MiG-21s. In these battles, staying at high altitudes and managing the afterburner use is very important, since missiles like the AIM-9L and R-60M and early radar missiles are a dangerous threat to the MiG-21S due to its lack of countermeasures. Thus, staying fast and high, and using its radar missiles from good positions would make you survive longer and be a more useful teammate.

Realistic Battles:

In RB, the MiG-21S should also be used in a support role and at high altitudes but it can also be used as a frontline fighter, with more risk. When flying at altitudes above 5,000 m the MiG-21S easily reaches Mach 1.3, and its radar is free of ground clutter. At this altitude, common enemies are the F-104 Starfighter, other MiG-21s, Harriers, and the F-8E Crusader, the Crusader being the most dangerous thanks to the AIM-9C radar-guided missile and countermeasures. At higher altitudes, the missiles can fly longer and faster, while aircraft became more sluggish due to the thinner atmosphere, which is very beneficial for the R-3Rs since they are very early missiles and can't pull very hard. In a support role, attacking slow aircraft, especially those focused in fights or bomb runs, is a good way to help your team. Its good speed also makes the MiG-21S a very good hunter, attacking damaged aircraft that are retreating back to their airfield.

The usual preferred tactic is to fly between 3,000-4,000 m so that most unaware players space climbing at near 5,000 m, such as F-104s or Harriers, won't see your missile being fired in front of them. Some of these planes (exceptions such as the F-5Cs) won't even detect your radar bandwidth as they are limited to I band while the MiG-21S' is J band. And once you reach within 8 km of lock range, fire the missile. At such altitudes the missile will easily intercept them.

Speaking of F-5Cs, those planes which are aware of your missiles and evade them when you fire it within 8 km range. Another tactic is to fool them into thinking you will be going for a head-on gun attack. And once you both close-in within 2 km range, fire your R-3R and evade immediately to avoid their canons. Most of the time the enemy in front will not have the time to react to the missile fired just 1 km in front of him.

Also, if you keep flying high and each the other end of the map at the start of a match, you are bound to face a bunch of A-10 players flying low just beneath you. So another tactic is to be sneaky and dive sneakily behind them with airbrakes. Achieving a radar lock as you are heading low will be difficult, so its best advised to sneak just behind them slowly and use your guns on them.

Simulator Battles:

In SB, the MiG-21S is a more tricky fighter. Because it has a radar with IFF (Identification friend or foe), it can be used in high altitudes to intercept enemy bombers and other fighters. But its lack of countermeasures would cement its future in that role. Fortunately it has an RWR. Something very useful to know when another plane has a radar lock on you. Aside from that, pilots should be extremely careful, because even with an IFF system, the MiG-21S can lock onto allied aircraft and cause friendly fire incidents. For ground loadouts, the MiG-21S has a very bad frontal cockpit visibility, making CAS duties really hard even with the ballistics computer for bombs and rockets.

Pros and cons


  • Fast aircraft, possesses a powerful engine that will get you to the battle much quicker than most
  • Multiple loadouts allow decent CAS/AA options for Ground RB
  • Radar missiles can surprise opponents not expecting to be engaged at such a distance
  • Tight turn rate


  • Air-to-air missiles are underwhelming and are mostly effective only against inattentive pilots
  • Bleeds excessive amounts of energy during turns
  • Cannon requires careful use due to the limited amount of rounds
  • Energy retention isn't the greatest
  • Fuel-hungry engine, 20 minutes of fuel will quickly disappear if not paying attention
  • Slow at 30 minutes of fuel
  • Lack of any Countermeasures means its a vulnerable target for aircraft with high aspect IR missiles in uptiers


The MiG-21S was a variant of the MiG-21 family for more multipurpose design. It fitted more fuel capacity, a cannon pod, four hard points and an RP-22 radar. It was delivered exclusively to the Soviet Air Force. This variant included a more capable powerplant, the R11F2S-300 engine, which gave it significantly more thrust.

The MiG-21S radar, was a production version of the Sapfir-21 and included several more features for increased survivability and multirole capabilities. It included an ASP-PF-21 computing gunsight with ballistics computer. Included an AP-155 autopiloting system, with an auto recovery system for use in emergencies. The airframe was similar but not the same as that of the MiG-21PFM, since it used the same saddle tank as the MiG-21R. It was capable of carrying the GP-9 cannon pod for the GSh-23L 23 mm gun. Its four hardpoints made it capable of carrying drop tanks, for increased fuel capacity at long flights.

In its arsenal, it included the R-3R radar guided missile (K-13R), a semi-active radar-homing missile based in the R-3S (K-13) missile, which was not present in the MiG-21PFM even though it had the same radar as the MiG-21S. This variant of the MiG-21 was produced for 1965 to 1968 and saw no use outside of the Soviet Union.



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (Микоя́н и Гуре́вич Опытное конструкторское бюро)
Fighters  MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34
Jet fighters  MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l)
  MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH
  MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis
  MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD
  MiG-27M · MiG-27K
  MiG-29 · MiG-29SMT
Export/Licensed  ␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)
  ◊MiG-15bis · ◔MiG-15bis · J-2*
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  ◔MiG-29 · ◊MiG-29 · ◄MiG-29G
  *Licensed and domesticated with Chinese designations.
  **Unlicensed, reverse-engineered and domesticated with Chinese designations.
See Also  Shenyang · Chengdu

USSR jet aircraft
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  MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis
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