MiG-21 Bison (Great Britain)

From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is about the Indian jet fighter MiG-21 Bison (Great Britain). For other versions, see MiG-21 (Family).
▄MiG-21 Bison
GarageImage MiG-21 Bison (Great Britain).jpg
▄MiG-21 Bison
Show in game


During the 1990s, India decided to undergo an upgrade program for their fleet of MiG-21bis aircraft, based on the newly unveiled MiG-21-93 modernization package. After a lot of negotiation and prototyping, it was decided that with Mikoyan OKB's help, HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics) would produce the "kits" to upgrade the aircraft. The MiG-21Bis-UPG aircraft, affectionately named the "MiG-21 Bison" was a specially tailored upgrade package that left out some of the original upgrades of the 21-93, but also incorporated some indigenous avionics and systems that the original did not. One such system was the TARANG radar warning receiver and jammer suite. The Bisons were slated to remain in indian service as rear-line interceptors until at least 2025, however, due to political reasons, this was cut short and all MiG-21s in the IAF's fleet were retired in 2024.

The ▄MiG-21 Bison was introduced in Update "Seek & Destroy". As a premium aircraft, it provides a great alternative to the F-4J UK for researching the higher ranks of the tech tree. The MiG-21 Bison is a heavily upgraded MiG-21bis airframe, and at its battle rating, the extremities of such upgrade begin to show. While the aircraft has incredible weaponry and avionics for its battle rating, the missile count and overall flight performance begins to show its limits when facing superior aircraft in uptiers such as F-15s, Su-27s, and JAS-39s. The Bison is also one of the very few aircraft in-game fitted with a GTM (Air to Ground) tracking mode in its radar, allowing it to lock on to ground vehicles and maritime targets, and track their movement from far away. This, coupled with targeting of the KAB-500Kr TV guided bombs, allows the Bison to execute quick and precise interdiction strikes. Just be careful of the low amount of ordnance and countermeasures on this aircraft.

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 time37 s
Max altitude16 000 m
EngineTumansky R-25-300
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight10 t

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Characteristics Max speed
(km/h at 13,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock ___ ___ 16000 __._ __._ __._ __._ 750
Upgraded 2,303 2,240 35.6 37.0 262.0 225.0


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 ___ ___ ___ ~__ ~__
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< ___ < ___ < ___ -

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Tumansky R-25-300 1 _,___ kg ___ kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Gross
Weight (each) Type _m fuel __m fuel __m fuel
1,140 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet _,___ kg _,___ kg _,___ kg _,___ kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (___%/WEP)
Condition 100% ___%/WEP _m fuel __m fuel __m fuel MGW
Stationary ___ kgf ___ kgf _.__ _.__ _.__ _.__
Optimal ___ kgf
(_ km/h)
___ kgf
(_ km/h)
_.__ _.__ _.__ _.__

Survivability and armour

Aircraft countermeasures to distract IR and radar-guided missiles and also AA radar
Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural1 365 km/h
Gear700 km/h

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 083 Sl icon.png
RB6 315 Sl icon.png
SB7 096 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 800 000 Sl icon.png
Aces3 600 Ge icon.png
Research Aces2 700 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 100 / 320 / 550 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 256 / 256 / 256 % 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 g suit.png
Mods armor frame.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods optical guided bomb.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png


Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs) CCRP (Bombs) EEGS
alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}}

Offensive armament

Main article: GSh-23L (23 mm)

The MiG-21 Bison (Great Britain) is armed with:

  • 1 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon, belly-mounted (200 rpg)
  • 60 x large calibre countermeasures

Suspended armament

The MiG-21 Bison (Great Britain) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5
Hardpoints MiG-21bis.png
100 kg OFAB-100 bombs 4 4
250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs 1 1 1 1
500 kg FAB-500M-62 bombs 1 1
500 kg KAB-500Kr bombs 1 1
500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs 1 1 1 1
1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs 1 1
ZB-500 incendiary bombs 1 1
S-5K rockets 16 16, 32 16, 32 16
S-8KO rockets 20 20
S-24 rockets 1 1 1 1
R-27R1 missiles 1 1
R-27T1 missiles 1 1
R-73E missiles 1 1
490 l drop tanks 1 1 1
Default weapon presets
  • 3 x 490 l drop tanks
  • 64 x S-5K rockets
  • 64 x S-5K rockets
  • 4 x S-24 rockets
  • 40 x S-8KO rockets
  • 2 x R-73E missiles
  • 2 x R-27R1 missiles
  • 2 x R-27T1 missiles
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs (800 kg total)
  • 4 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 2 x 500 kg FAB-500M-62 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x 500 kg KAB-500Kr bombs (1,000 kg total)

Usage in battles

The best way to use the Bison is to fly at medium to low altitude and use map terrain as cover from BVR missiles, notching and deploying chaff when necessary. The outstanding thrust vectoring R-73s are your main weapon of choice with this vehicle, go for bombers or unaware fast targets above you, there is plenty of large countermeasures to ensure your survival when getting into a firing position. Take advantage of the helmet aiming to get tough angle locks, leading your missile to fire ahead of the enemy. The only real limit of the R-73 is you only get a single pair of them. Your backup offensive weapons are the R-27 (radar or IR): the radar variant makes for interesting playstyles and the aircraft is equipped with a serviceable radar but isn't reliable at any large range, the IR version is no R-73 by any means but it does have a longer range, larger warhead, and boasts impressive characteristics nonetheless. Save these larger missiles for less manoeuvrable targets such as bombers and attackers. Finally, be sure to constantly scan your RWR and radar systems to get a view of the battlefield and potential targets and risks.

Do keep in mind that this is a 1950s airframe flying against 1990s modern jets. Speed, sensors, and payload are not the strong suits of this aircraft, use your turn radius, airbrakes, and strategy to outmatch any difficult enemies, the missiles at your disposal will do most of the work if you can get a launch. This aircraft has very limited ground ordnance and is better off as an air superiority fighter, however, if one wishes to use this plane in the CAS role, there is a few options such as the Soviet KAB-500Kr (500 kg) TV guided bomb and a number of Soviet and NATO unguided bombs and rockets. Fly low and fast and deploy countermeasures during and after each attack run. Of note, at its BR the 23 mm cannon is an afterthought with very limited ammo, only use it to finish off enemies or against slow targets, missiles are the main armament at this range.

Pros and cons


  • Very capable R-73E and R-27 missiles which can be used with a Helmet-Mounted Sight
  • Improved RWR which allows for greater combat awareness
  • Pulse-Doppler radar
  • Good manoeuvrability
  • Small airframe


  • Only 4 missiles
  • Weak energy retention
  • MiG-21bis airframe which may be lacking at the BR
  • GSh-23L has very bad velocity making it difficult to aim
  • Limited arsenal for ground attacking


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).


In the early 1990s, Mikoyan and its partner companies launched an upgrade and modernization package for the MiG-21Bis with the aim of offering it to the many operators of the type over the world. Their aim was to prolong the service life of the aircraft against rapidly advancing newer types of aircraft coming along at the time and on competing offer.

Taking to the skies for the first time in 1995, the new 21-93 variant would see the integration of many modern features, such as R-73 and R-27. The latter made possible thanks to its upgraded pulse-doppler Kopyo radar developed from the Yak-141 / MiG-29 series of radar. A new canopy would be introduced, along with a modernized Heads-Up-Display and Helmet mounted sight to make full use of the R-73s capabilities.

India would officially pursue a contract in 1996, with the HAL company handling domestic modernization work after an initial batch of aircraft modified in Russia. India was already one of the largest operators of the type, having the MiG-21 in service since the 1960s across various types. The new upgrade was planned to take the type into the 21st century for the Indian Air Force. Known officially as the MiG-21UPG (For Upgrade) but later as the "Bison". Internally the cockpit was also reworked to include HOTAS controls. New integrated countermeasures were installed along the wing roots on the upper surface, providing additional protection and survivability in combat.

The Indian Air Force plans to retire all MiG-21 Bison aircraft by 2025, replaced in service by the domestically developed HAL Tejas.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

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*
  MiG-17AS · ◔MiG-17PF · J-4* · Shenyang F-5*
  ◊MiG-19S · J-6A*
  ◄MiG-21 SPS-K · ◊MiG-21MF · ◔MiG-21MF · ▄MiG-21bis · ◔MiG-21bis-SAU · ◊MiG-21bis-SAU · ◊MiG-21 "Lazur-M" · ▄MiG-21 Bison · J-7II**
  ◊MiG-23BN · ◊MiG-23MF · ◔MiG-23MF · ◊MiG-23MLA
  ◔MiG-29 · ◊MiG-29 · ◄MiG-29G
  *Licensed and domesticated with Chinese designations.
  **Unlicensed, reverse-engineered and domesticated with Chinese designations.
See Also  Shenyang · Chengdu

Britain jet aircraft
Blackburn  Buccaneer S.1 · Buccaneer S.2 · Buccaneer S.2B
British Aerospace  Harrier GR.7 · Sea Harrier FRS.1 (e) · Sea Harrier FRS.1 · Sea Harrier FA 2
British Aircraft Corporation  Strikemaster Mk.88
English Electric  Canberra B Mk 2 · Canberra B (I) Mk 6 · Lightning F.6 · Lightning F.53
Gloster  Meteor F Mk 3 · Sea Meteor F Mk 3 · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41F · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41G · Meteor F Mk 8 G.41K · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper
  Javelin F.(A.W.) Mk.9
de Havilland  Vampire F.B.5 · Venom FB.4 · Sea Venom FAW 20 · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2
Hawker  Sea Hawk FGA.6 · Hunter F.1 · Hunter F.6 · Hunter FGA.9 · Harrier GR.1 · Harrier GR.3
Panavia  Tornado GR.1 · Tornado F.3 · Tornado F.3 Late
SEPECAT  Jaguar GR.1 · Jaguar GR.1A · Jaguar IS
Supermarine  Attacker FB 1 · Attacker FB.2 · Scimitar F Mk.1 · Swift F.1 · Swift F.7
Foreign  Phantom FG.1 (USA) · Phantom FGR.2 (USA) · F-4J(UK) Phantom II (USA)
South Africa  ▄JAS39C
India  ▄MiG-21 Bison

Britain premium aircraft
Fighters  Tuck's Gladiator Mk II · ▄Boomerang Mk I · ▄Boomerang Mk II · ▄D.520
  ▄Martlet Mk IV · ▄Corsair F Mk II · ▄Hellcat Mk II · ▄Thunderbolt Mk.1 · ▄Mustang Mk IA
  Hurricane Mk.I/L FAA M · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire F Mk IXc · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XIVc · Prendergast's Spitfire FR Mk XIVe
  Typhoon Mk Ib · MB.5
Twin-engine fighters  Hornet Mk.I · Whirlwind P.9
Jet fighters  Attacker FB.2 · Hunter FGA.9 · Lightning F.53 · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II · ▄MiG-21 Bison
Strike aircraft  ▄Wirraway · Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Wyvern S4
  Harrier GR.1 · Strikemaster Mk.88
Bombers  ▄Avenger Mk II · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Hudson Mk V · Swordfish Mk II