The MiG-21SMT is a rank VI Soviet jet fighter with a battle rating of 10.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.95 "Northern Wind".
As an evolution of the previous MiG-21 F-13, the MiG-21SMT inherits some flight characteristics of its older sibling.
Both of them can pull high angle-of-attack (AoA) which enables its pilot to easily get guns on target at the cost of extreme speed loss. Both of them are light aircraft which enables them to climb with ease. And both of them have high wing loading, which can hinder manoeuvrability, particularly at high altitudes where the atmosphere is thinner. However, that's where the similarities end, as the MiG-21SMT comes with upgrades, most notably removed armour which shaved 500 kg off its scale and an uprated engine, the R-13F-300, which outputs 5722 kgf, 700 more than R-11F-300 on MiG-21 F-13. In practice, this means that the MiG-21SMT is best in class when it comes to acceleration and climbing performance.
Maneuverability wise, SMT is extremely nimble at lower altitudes, where its high AoA can outweigh its high wing load, and high acceleration can mitigate speed loss, allowing it to pull hard turns, provided the pilot monitors the speed. At high altitudes, the story is different, as it proves to be very unresponsive, leaving the user vulnerable to attacks, particularly to missiles. One more characteristic any prospecting user should note is that the aircraft tends to break its wings beyond 11 G, and considering the MiG-21SMT will merrily pull over 12 G at high speed turns if the boosters modification is equipped, unequipping it may help if the pilot has trouble with wings ripping.
When it comes to raw straight-line speed, the MiG-21SMT can get to its top speed much faster than its contemporary fighters at any altitude. In fact, speed should always be monitored, as it can easily reach its relatively high wing speed limit of ~1300 kph indicated airspeed (IAS), even at level flight. High acceleration and high top speed mean that the MiG-21SMT is more than able to intercept almost any target, the only exception being F-4C which is already sitting at its top speed. One more notable feature is that due to its low weight and high thrust, energy management is a breeze and the aircraft will quickly both lose and gain speed, which may prove useful when trying to stay on the target's back.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 13,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|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|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 650||< 600||< 780||N/A|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|0 m||3,840 kgf||5,722 kgf|
Survivability and armour
The MiG-21SMT is a light fighter and its survivability reflects that. It lacks armour and the airframe is fragile. On top of it all, MiG-21, in general, has a very unstable airframe, which means that any changes to its aerodynamic properties may make it difficult to control. Exercise caution when flying it.
The MiG-21SMT is outfitted with the following offensive weapons:
- 1 x 23 mm GSh-23L autocannon (200 RPG)
The MiG-21SMT can be outfitted with the following suspended ordnance:
- Without load
- 64 x S-5K unguided rockets
- 96 x S-5K unguided rockets
- 4 x S-24 unguided rockets
- 4 x R-3S air-to-air missiles
- 4 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
- 2 x R-35 air-to-air missiles + 64 x S-5K unguided rockets
- 2 x R-60 air-to-air missiles + 64 x S-5K unguided rockets
- 2 x R-35 air-to-air missiles + 2 x S-24 unguided rockets
- 2 x R-60 air-to-air missiles + 2 x S-24 unguided rockets
- 4 x 250 kg OFAB-250-270 bombs (1,000 kg total)
- 2 x 500 kg FAB-500M-54 bombs (1,000 kg total)
- 2 x R-3S air-to-air missiles + 2 x 250 kg OFAB-250-270 bombs
- 2 x R-60 air-to-air missiles + 2 x 250 kg OFAB-250-270 bombs
The MiG-21SMT can be armed with both anti-air missiles and ground strike ordinance on its four hard-point pylons under the wing. While most of the weapons can be seen on other aircraft, the unique weapon that this aircraft can carry is R-60 IR air-to-air missile. Compared to R-3S which can be found on most Russian aircraft capable of launching missiles, R-60 has a much more sophisticated IR tracking system, allowing it to track targets up to 5 km away, and keep them on its sights at a much faster pace, which results in a reliable lock that not many targets can shake off. R-60 can also be fired in a wider range of situations, as the missile can track targets while on the pylon. This is critical to how the missile works which means that the missile has a much higher launch load factor and is able to intercept targets immediately after being launched. This is much different than the R-3S which tracks targets only half a second after launch and needs the platform to stay still in order to track the target, leaving the aircraft vulnerable to attacks. R-60 is a much smaller missile than R-3S, weighing at 44 kg instead of 77 kg that an R-3S weighs. Missile's explosive payload is also significantly smaller, weighing at 3.5 kg. Rocket motors on R-60 are much smaller than on R-3S and this means that R-60 is much slower than R-3S, and even though it can lock on targets at 5 km, it has a lower range than R-3S. In practice, R-60 is a reliable and potent anti-aircraft weapon that excels at taking out even nimble targets in dogfights at ranges from 300 m to 2 km but is unable to reach targets beyond 3 km due to its less powerful rocket motors. R-3S, however, can only be used reliably at targets which are not paying attention or are unable to react quickly to a missile launch, but they can also be used to intercept targets at much further ranges than R-60.
When it comes to dumb-fire rockets, MiG-21SMT can carry S-5K 55 mm rockets and S-24 240 mm rockets. S-5K have a small warhead that is able to penetrate 150 mm of armour at 0°. However, due to their small warhead, they need a direct hit on the target in order to do any damage and even if they do connect, the damage is minimal to any armoured target. S-24, though, is a 235 kg behemoth, capable of taking out most targets with a single hit.
Usage in battles
Combining its ability to pull high angle-of-attack on demand, excellent acceleration, high top speed and powerful dogfighting weaponry, MiG-21SMT is a potent air superiority dogfighter/interceptor. It allows the pilot to intercept any target, quickly get on its back and stay there, while also giving the user a safety net in the shape of its acceleration that enables it to break from any engagement with ease. If the pilot is feeling less adventurous, a slow and methodical boom and zoom attrition on the enemy air targets is also a possibility. However, it should be noted that at high altitudes, the aircraft is not responsive due to its high wing load and may pose an easy target to more nimble foes. While MiG-21 SMT can handle air targets with ease, ground targets may pose more of a problem, due to its lacklustre ground attack weaponry, fragile airframe and its low turn rate which may spell doom for its user trying to pull from a dive. Not all is lost, as it still has access to S-24 rockets, which can easily crack even the most hardened ground target.
Pros and cons
- High thrust-to-weight ratio
- Excellent acceleration from 1,000 - 1,200 kph
- R-60 missile is second highest G loading missile in-game (can lock on in some side aspect scenarios)
- Maintains speed in turns better than MiG-21 F-13
- Much higher rate of fire than earlier cannon-armed Soviet jets
- One of the only aircraft in game to feature a radar warning receiver
- Belly-mounted cannon can cause shots to go lower than expected
- Less agile than other MiG-21 variants
- Extra care on takeoff and landing must be taken to prevent the ventral fin from hitting the runway
- Using afterburner on the deck can cause the airframe to overspeed and rip near 1,300 kph
- R-60 has less explosive mass than R-3S
- Radar is of shorter range than most competitors
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|USSR jet aircraft|
|Yakovlev||Yak-15 · Yak-15P · Yak-17 · Yak-23 · Yak-30 · Yak-38 · Yak-38M|
|Mikoyan-Gurevich||MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l) · MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH · MiG-17 · MiG-17AS · MiG-19PT|
|MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis|
|Lavochkin||La-174 · La-15 · La-200|
|Sukhoi||Su-9 · Su-11 · Su-7B · Su-7BKL · Su-17M2|
|Ilyushin||IL-28 · IL-28Sh|