|This page is about the Soviet fighter MiG-3-15 (BK). For other versions, see MiG-3 (Family).|
The MiG-3-15 (BK) is a rank II Soviet fighter with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.37. It follows the MiG-3 in the tech tree and differs only in the additional non-synchronised suspended armament. It is armed with 2 x ShKAS 7.62 mm MGs and 3 x 12.7 mm Berezin UB MGs. It also has a Mikulin AM-35A engine sporting 1,200 hp.
Being a fighter with an inline engine distinguishes the MiG-3 greatly from its predecessors, the I-16 Ishak line, and they have very different play styles. The MiG-3 is an excellent early Boom & Zoom fighter and should be used accordingly.
The Mig-3-15 is relatively unique owing to the fact that it has the highest number of Berezin UB MGs as the main armament of any plane in War Thunder. To put this into perspective, compare the efficacy of the Berezin to the M2 Browning. The Berezin UB has a heavier round due to the longer length (12.7 x 108 mm vs. 12.7 mm x 99 mm) which thus gives it a higher muzzle velocity, also. Additionally, the fire rate of the Berezin UB is faster at about 900-950 rpm (vs. about 850 rpm with the M2). Also, the Berezin has access to cermet-core rounds, which give it better penetration.
Now how does this benefit the MiG-3-15 (BK)? Well, when combined with the ShKAS for range finding, the Berezin MGs can be devastating. A 2- to 3-second burst is all that is needed to either slice off a wing or set the engine on fire, whether it be a BF-109 F-1 or an A6M2 (especially). Always aim for the wings, however, as many air-frames can absorb the 12.7 mm bullets. Against bombers, however, the MGs may be slightly less effective than cannon. Use either the Air-Targets Belt, pure API-T (Tracers), or Ground Targets (which have cermet core rounds). The MGs are also more effective than the ShVAKs at longer range, as they are generally more accurate and lose less velocity.
Therefore, depending on whether you enjoy the larger ammo reserve or are a weaker player who prefers spraying over taking careful shots, the Mig-3-15 could be the plane for you, or it may not (in terms of armament).
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,800 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 300||< 280||< 440||> 320|
Survivability and armour
- 8 mm Steel plate behind the pilot.
- 8.5 mm Steel plate under the pilot.
Modifications and economy
The MiG-3-15 (BK) is armed with:
- 1 x 12.7 mm Berezin UB machine gun, nose-mounted (280 rpg)
- 2 x 12.7 mm Berezin UBK machine guns, wing-mounted (145 rpg = 290 total)
- 2 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns, nose-mounted (750 rpg = 1,500 total)
Usage in battles
Even in Arcade, the Mig-3-15 is relatively inferior to most competitors. Its BR of 2.3 puts it with fighters such as the A6M2-N, F4F, and even the early Yak line. However, high altitude performance is one redeeming aspect, as is its top speed as well as level speed. Use this to your advantage, and BnR is very effective and BnZ is do-able as well.
The armament in AB is actually quite effective. The Berezin UB MGs are more than effective for bringing down any fighter, but may struggle with larger and faster bombers such as the A-20. In most aspects, the Berezin UB is more effective and versatile than the M2 Browning .5 calibre MG.
Like the successor to the I-16 and ultimately itself, the I-185, the Mig-3-15 is an excellent BnZ fighter. Strangely enough (for a Soviet plane), it has better performance at higher altitude than it does at low altitudes due to the specialized high-altitude engine meant to remedy the problems of the Mig-1 (not in War Thunder). Additionally, it has a good climb rate and excellent speed for a BR of 2.3. Start a match by climbing fairly high- 3-4 km should be enough depending on your opponents (biplanes or Bf 109s). From there you can either make work of the bombers or lower-altitude fighters. Roll rate is average while durability is also average for a plane at 2.3. The high speed makes Boom & Run manoeuvres a breeze.
The armament, though considered weak by some players, can be extremely deadly if used correctly. Aim for the wings and/or engine of all planes, bomber or fighter. The Berezin UB is very effective when used with the Tracers (API-T) or Ground Targets (with the fantastic cermet core rounds). Visit the "Armament" section for more details.
Visibility is quite poor due to the lack of a good canopy. However, most other planes at this BR or similar do not have good visibility either.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- High speed, especially for its battle rating
- Good climb rate, though inferior to most biplanes and the Spitfire
- No cannons, which can be a pro or a con depending on your battle style.
- Cermet core ammo belt option
- Good acceleration and energy retention
- Engine is forgiving in terms of overheating
- Able to use interceptor spawn.
- If down-tiered, it is far superior compared to any biplane fighters it will encounter
- Poor turn rate when compared to other fighters at 2.3
- Average durability, wings can rip fairly easily at high speeds, which are easily attainable
- No leading edge slats
- No cannons
- High wing-loading
- Difficulty pulling up from a high-speed dive attack
Though riddled with shortcomings, the I-200/MiG-1 fighter/interceptor aircraft proved to be both a popular and capable aircraft with pilots that had experience flying them. To address the oft-cited shortcomings, aircraft designers Mikoyan and Gurevich set out to rectify these issues, not only to make the aircraft more pilot-friendly but to make it a more effective fighter/interceptor.
By utilizing a full-sized model of the aircraft in a wind tunnel, designers quickly set about documenting necessary changes in the aircraft's configuration. The increase of the outer wing dihedral improved the wing's overall stability and lengthening the fuselage by just four inches improved the horizontal stability of the aircraft. By happenstance, the minute change in length created enough space for an additional 66 gallon (250 litres) fuel tank installation behind the pilot seat. Inert exhaust gases were routed to the fuel tanks to help improve the survivability of the aircraft and pilot by reducing the likelihood of fuel fires if enemy gunfire punctured the fuel tanks. Other improvements included strengthening the landing gear, larger main wheels, extending the canopy glazing aft for better visibility, improved gunsight, updated configuration of the instrument panel and an overall increase to 750 rounds of ammunition per machine gun.
After making the recommended updates and changes, the heavily modified I-200/MiG-1 (fourth revision) made its maiden flight on 29 October 1940. The Soviet state accepted this version of the aircraft during December 1940 State acceptance trials and due to the significant changes made to the plane was renamed to MiG-3. Though the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau rectified many of the MiG-1's deficiencies, unfortunately, the resulting aircraft ended up being 550 lbs (250 kg) heavier and reduced service ceiling by 1,500 ft (457 m). They also took approximately a minute longer to reach 16,000 ft (4,900 m) than the original MiG-1s. Two other positive outcomes for the MiG-3 was an overall increase in the aircraft's speed at altitude and sea-level along with an increase in its service range.
Many of the initial MiG-3 airframes pushed out to the VVS regiments which were considered poor quality and unusable. After an inquiry completed, a panel found that the Soviet Air Force Research Institute was negligent in their duty to monitor the quality of the aircraft coming off the assembly line. After several demotions of senior managers and the execution of the institute head, new management set to address the problems with the MiG-3.
Though designed as a high-altitude bomber-interceptor, the MiG-3's pilot's oxygen supply was woefully inadequate, both fuel and oil pumps failed to keep necessary pressure at altitude and pilot inexperience with high altitude flying all played against the aircraft's abilities. Once again, the MiG Design Bureau set out to fix these deficiencies and when complete, the MiG-3 design teams optimized it for high altitude operations above 20,000 ft (6,000 m). Here the MiG-3 boasted almost a 20 mph (26 kph) speed advantage over the German Bf 109E, though at sea-level, this advantage disappeared and the MiG-3 had roughly the same top speed as the Bf 109.
The weapons of the MiG-3 always seemed lacking compared to other aircraft such as the Bf 109 which typically sported a 20 mm canon along with machine guns. MiG-3s of all iterations only had machine guns in the 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm varieties. Though experiments with wing-mounted gun pods and rockets took place, reduction of airspeed due to them often resulted in the pilots having them removed, one of the few times where fighter pilots prefered streamlined aircraft over firepower. Ultimately the new gun sight was not fit for the task, so pilots often relied on getting as close to the enemy aircraft as possible before opening fire, sometimes within point-blank range to ensure a hit.
Leading up to the German invasion titled Operation Barbarossa, MiG-3s found homes at front-line regiments. Here, they could ideally intercept any hostile bomber or reconnaissance aircraft that flew over such as the German Ju-86P. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the German invasion, the MiG-3, though one of the best fighters available to Soviet pilots, proved to be unsuited for the task at hand. Instead of intercepting bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, they instead fought more agile Bf 109s and such in a fashion which negated all of the MiG-3's advantages, and it struggled. With the Bf 109 being more agile and had better weapons, the MiG-3 fought for a foothold but often lost. It was around this time that other Russian fighters such as the Yak and LaGG series aircraft were debuting and showing their effectiveness at lower altitude combat with more agility and better weapon options. Forcing the aircraft to work as a bomber and ground attack aircraft proved to be an, even more, less effective than as a low-altitude fighter.
Some Soviet pilots did find success while flying the MiG-3. Aleksander Pokryshkin was one such pilot, as his initial foray into air combat was at the controls of a MiG-3. It was while flying the MiG-3 that Pokryshkin scored several victories against the German Bf 109. However, it was also during this time he realized that Soviet air combat doctrine was outdated, and he took detailed notes of his and other's accounts at air combat to determine a better way to fight. Pokryshkin's experience in the MiG-3 helped shape future Soviet air combat tactics for pilots flying more capable aircraft such as the Yak-1B, P-39K and Lavochkin fighters. Pokryskin was quoted as saying, "The operational advantage of the MiG-3 seemed to be obscured by its certain defects. However, these advantages could undoubtedly be exploited by a pilot able to discover them."
A single-seat monoplane fighter with an all-metal construction, closed cockpit and retractable landing gear with a tail wheel.
The fighter was initially developed by N.N. Polikarpov, and later by A.I. Mikoyan and M.I. Gurevich at OKB-155.
The experimental I-200 fighter took its maiden flight on 5 April 1940. The plane went into series production in June 1940 at aircraft plant No. 1 in Moscow under the designation MiG-1.
The MiG-3 model joined the series in February 1941, with a modified wing, larger landing gear, an additional fuselage fuel tank, a new radiator, modified flaps and self-sealing for the centre-wing fuel tanks.
The MiG-3 series fighters were powered by the twin-row V12 Mikulin AM-35A engine with a maximum output of 1,350 hp. This was a geared-down engine with a single-stage supercharger and an air pressure regulator.
The armament on the first few MiG-3 series consisted of two 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns with 750 rounds each and one synchronized large-calibre 12.7 mm Berezina BS machine gun with 300 rounds. All three machine guns were placed above the engine.
The design also allowed for the suspension of two containers under the wing, each housing an unsynchronized large-calibre 12.7 mm Berezina BK machine gun.
The plane's bombing equipment consisted of four locking DZ-40 bomb racks mounted under the wing, each able to carry up to 100 kg. The overall weight of its bomb load was no greater than 220 kg. The MiG-3 could carry the AO-8/-10/-25 and FAB-50/-100, cluster bombs and bottles of KS incendiary fluid.
The plane possessed the PBP-1A collimator sight, which allowed it to use all types of anti-air and anti-ground weapons.
Before the Great Patriotic War, the MiG-3 was the most prolific modern fighter in the Soviet Air Forces. From June 1941, it was widely used on the front in Soviet Air Forces units, naval aviation units and Air Defence Forces units.
In total, 3172 of these planes were made. The MiG-3's production ended in December 1941. Its use continued in Soviet Air Forces divisions until 1943, and in air defence fleets until the end of the war.
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|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-21SMT · MiG-21bis|
|Exports/Licensed||␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)|
|J-2* · ▀MiG-15bis|
|J-4* · MiG-17AS · Shenyang F-5*|
|J-6A* · ▀MiG-19S|
|▀MiG-21MF · J-7II**|
|*Licensed and domesticated with Chinese designations.|
|**Unlicensed, reverse-engineered and domesticated with Chinese designations.|
|See Also||Shenyang · Chengdu|
|I-15||I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15R · I-15bis|
|I-153||I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P|
|I-16||I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28 · I-180S|
|I-185||I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)|
|MiG-3||MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34|
|LaGG||I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66|
|La||La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20 · La-9 · La-11|
|Yak-1/7||Yak-1 · Yak-1B · Yak-7B|
|Yak-3||Yak-3 · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U · Yak-3 (VK-107)|
|Yak-9||Yak-9 · Yak-9B · Golovachev's Yak-9M · Yak-9T · Yak-9K · Yak-9U · Yak-9UT · Yak-9P|
|Other countries||▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Fw 190 D-9 · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc|
|P-39||▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15|
|P-63||▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5|