MiG-21-2020 Advanced Front Fighter, Fictional


MiG-21-2020 Advanced Fishbed
MiG-21 and the Variants are most popular Super-Sonic Jet-Fighter in the World. That Production amounts maybe reach approximately 15,000. Its' Prototype Ye-5's first flight was January 09, 1956. So It maybe quite out-of-date even it is updated unfinishedly. But it is still on production and on use several ten countries. Some countries select it as a successor from MiG-23 and/or MiG-29. Why not?. MiG-21 is quite simple and cheapest as a Jet-Fighter. It was said that one of its variants' cost is only 3 million dollars, even in today. F-15 or Su-27 generally costs 120-150 million dollars, and even AH-64D Attack Helicopter costs 40-60 million dollars. Those where to mind not make heavy payment for Air-Force and Air-industries, only could to choose Mig-21. But I think MiG-21 has some fatal weak-points. One of it is maneuver and stability at low-altitude. Even high-altitude, It can meet uncontrolable spin easily and it prevents to do "Immelmann turn" or "High/Lo speed yo-yo". The other weak-point is very short range and radius. It has only six hard-points and maybe two are usually occupied with drop-tanks, by the reason to attach enough amount of fuel. Last weak-point is 'sight'. pillars and pitot tube attached in big nose. I think these must be developped and overcome with some way. Maybe Russia do not will such cheap and simple machine, but to wish earn money with Flanker or Fulcrum.

What's meaning "2020"? --- It is the era that many MiG-21 and/or 'Life sustained Third Generation Jet Fighters', which introduced 1970's will be Retired.

1. Turbo-Fan Engine

MiG-21-2020 Advanced Fishbed Generally, Turbo-jet engines consume more than 20 to 40 per-cent gas than Turbo-fan engines, it maybe 150,000 to 300,000 dollars per year. But it is needed to enlarge air-intake to convert Turbo-fan engine for MiG-21. So it is enlarged horizontal 40 percent and vertical 10 percent (totally 50 percent) to shape oval and remove 15cm lower to make good sight. Since air-duct is seted lower both side part of fuselage from cockpit and behind fuel tank, so it is suitable to set air-intake. and it combined and set center from main-tire-house to engine. Air-duct also must be enlarge 50 percent larger, so front-lower fuselage enlarged and shaped from half-circle to near rectangular. Why I don't like to remove air-intake to side-air-intakes? That maybe increase area and resistance of the air. And Nose-Air-intake is likely and fitted proportion for MiG-21. Chin air-intake type is more bad that maybe prevent the cannon fire line and front landing tire house locates near chin. And the dust easily come inside.
When begin to start after-burner, it is needed to take in breath for much more fresh air at high altitude where thin-air circumstance. So an extra air-intake prepared at basilar part of fuselage, in forward of engine.

MiG-21-2020 Advanced Fishbed At same time, the pitot tube remove to under the nose. Pulse-doppler antenna removed under the engine where is not prevent cannon ball line. So tail vertical fin which mounted center removed and separated for both side. They shaped like 'Project-41'. Wide strake which include fuel tank attached for both side and get lift. Cockpit is lifted 10cm upper, and main fuselage fuel tanks are enlarged. It increase lift and take long-range ability that make free hard-points. It also increase area and air-resistance, but it is better as low gas-consumption than the case to attache external drop tanks. Many country do not prepare enough amount of 'Drop tanks'. 'Drop tanks' are used as 'External fuel tanks' are not drop off at usual use. That maybe 50% of fuel is consumed with increased air-resist. So Internal fuel tanks are more effective to operate with low cost. Today, many fighters attached conformal gas-tank that is effective measures.

Front pillars removed and takes good sight.

Engines: Dry thrust 50kN Segment
NameTypeBypass ratio ThurustWith A/BDiameterLength weight*Note
Tumansky R-25-300Turbo-Jet55kN68.5kN 1,191mm4,615mm*1,212kgMiG-21Bis
Klimov RD-33MKTurbo-fan0.49:153kN 88.3kN 1,000mm4,229mm*1,145kgMiG-35
Snecma M-88Turbo-Fan0.30:150kN75.6kN 698mm3,531mm897kg Rafale
Snecma M-53-5Turbo-Fan0.36:154.4kN88,2kN 1,055mm4,853mm1,470kgMirage-2000
Eurojet RJ-200Turbo-Fan0.4:160kN89kN 737mm4,000mm983kgTyphoon
F404-GE-402Turbo-Fan0.34:148.9kN78.7kN 889mm3,912mm1,036kgF/A-18
*Russian weight method is different and maybe 20 percent reduced from Western method

2. Wings

MiG-21-2020 Advanced Fishbed Maybe United States Strategic Command wants to refresh B-52H with new re-constructed wings. Because there are much advancement in wing design between 1950s' to 2000s'. It realized to decrease weight and gas consumption, to increase payload and STOL efficiency.
Since Mig-21 lacks stability or righting moment, so it is dangerous to get one roll within less than four second. It maybe occur with the reason of main wing area and shape.
So wing area enlarged 45 percent from MiG-21 Bis. Wing area becomes from 23 m2 to 34 m2 (approximately same as MiG-23 when swept-backed). Its secondary purpose is to increase hardpoints and payload that is suitable to use as an attacker or ground supporter. I think MiG-21-2020's weight maybe reach Self 7t/Gross 10t (MiG-21 6.2t/8.75t) so wing loading decrease from 380kg/m2 to 280kg/m2 at gross weight.

Wings are replaced dramatically and maybe they will take smooth air-flow and lift, good stability at low altitude. Speed-brake removed for the tail-end, that maybe effective. Chaff dispenser attached at near end of strake, and flair dispenser attached beside vertical tail fin. Four Infra-Red sensor or seeker attached. These are standard equipment of modern Jet-fighter. Enlarged canopy and cockpit set-off 50mm higher to upper. It also enlarge inner air-duct. Body shaped and mentioned with area-rule to decrease air-resistance as available.

3. RCS

MiG-21-2020 Advanced Fishbed
As to real "Stealth (Low-radar/IR-Visility)" maybe needed highly initial cost and running cost. User must prepair its surface maintenance factory and hands even in Forward Operating Base. They frequently clean-up dust and correct surface hollow and damage. And sometimes check with technical test in the highly modernized factory.
MiG-21 is smaller frontal area originally, and turbin-blades are hidden. It's radar reflection maybe 1/3 to 1/4 than Su-27 or F-15. There are some way to reduce RCS. One is to use materials which include Carbon-fiber (like "PEEK", engineering plastic) in nose section and slats, leading edge of wings and fin. Another is to use radar absorbing coating in windshield. Last, to remove external antennas to internal antenna which covered with Frequency-selectable plastic. They maybe effective to decrease RCS with lower cost.

4. Armament and Avionics

MiG-21-2020 Advanced Fishbed Armament and avionics are consult with MiG-21Bis and the Lancer. But Many Variants available like Western avionics and missiles, and other weapons system or equipments.

'Digital-Fly-By-Wire' system maybe is available with current technology, but it is much costly, in other wards, "Not fit". "Conservative and simple" is the character of MiG-21, I think. nevertheless, some basic and efficient avionics needed to match modern battle, like as Stand-off Attack System, enhanced Global Positioning System (GPWS, EGPWS).

Another modern technology, like synchronized computer network system with communications satellite and radar Base, is desirable within Military Budget. It is too difficult to attache self-covered tactic system.

If it is possible, "Buddy" aerial refuel system is respectable. It is suitable such a air-base which consist with short-runway that is hard for air-tanker.

NameCariberVelocityFire RateLengthWeightNote
M61A220mm1050m/s6000rpm1827mm*112kg*Except feeding unit
BK-2727mm1025m/sec1000-1700rpm2310mm100kgGermany, Tornade, Gripen, Typhoon
Oerlikon KCA30mm 1030m/sec350rpm2690mm136kgViggen
Oerlicn KCA

Cannon should be selectable to match each country, especially political position and military history. The other side, mission selects to attach what kind of cannon. For example, 30mm canon is suitable to attack tanks, ships and buildings of operation base. 20mm could prepair enough amount of rounds to hit attackers and fighters. Valuable Dip (angle of depression) Cannon is effective for surface attack. It is desirable for one of options.

IAI EL/M-2032X150km/air 150km/Ground 300km/seaIAI Lavi (Israel)
GE AN/APG-67X148km/MaxF-20 Tiger Shark
Kopyo--90 to 200 kmMiG-21-93 (R-77 avaiable)
Because of the size of Mach cone, suitable radar is limited. But range and resolution is very advanced than 60's and 70's. F-104 "Star Fighter" attached AN/ASG-14T analogue radar which had only 30 to 50km of range. And F-104 used the end of 20th century.

Name*1TypeWar headLength RangeWeightNote
R-77ARH22kg3.6m40-80km175kgRussia. Su-35, MiG-35
R-27RSemi-ARH39kg4.1m50km253kgRussia, 75,000 US dollar
AIM-120INS+ARH7.26kg3.7m75-175km152kgAMRAAM, M=4, 400.000 U.S. dollars
R-73IRH,/IIR--2.9m20-40km105kgRussia, M=2.5
AIM-9XINS+IIR9.4kg3m40km+85.3kgSidewinder, M=2.5 100,000 U.S. dollars
Rafael Python 4IR/UVH11kg2.95m15km+120kgIsrael, Mach=3.5
Rafael Python 5IIR11kg3.1m20km104kgIsrael, Mach=4+
ASRAAMIIR--2.9m18km87kgUK, M=3.5
MICAIIR or ARH12kg3.1m60km112kgFrench, M=4
IRIS-TIIR--2.94m25km87.4kgGermany+Sweden+Italia, M=3
NameTypeWar headLength RangeWeightNote
AGM-65IIR, etc.57kg-200kg2.5m3/20/25km210-300kgUS, Maverick
A/R/UGM-84 HarpoonPreset+ ARH272.2kg3.8m124km+691kgUS, Harpoon. Air to Ship
Kh-23M*2108kg3.49m10km286kgRussia, 700km/h Air to surface
Kh-31AARH30kg4.7m50/70km600/700kgRussia, M=2.5-4.5, Air to Ship
Kh-31PPassive RH90kg4.7/5.2m100/200km600/625kgRussia, M=4.5/hi 2.5/Lo, Air to radar
*1ARH:Active radar Homing IIR:Imaged Infra Red INS:Inertial Navigation System
*2Radio command-guidance
*Each missile requires its control and/or command/guide system
Russian AAM

Missiles are also selectable fo fit domestic conditions and circumstances. radar-Homing missiles are suitable for stand-off attack, but expensive. IR missiles are more selectable and low cost. Unguided missiles Like S-8, S-13 (Russia) and Unguided bombs available. Also Matra Durandal maybe effective with IR sighting system mounted in nose.

5. Overall

MiG-21 2020 Advanced Fishbed Then, it becomes an All-Day-Multirole-Jet-Fighter which would not to be despised.

Its most suitable use maybe as the succesor of A-4 'Skyhawk' or 'IAI Kfir', A-10 'Thunderbolt', A-7 'Corsair II', of course MiG-21, MiG-23 and F-4.
Most of current MiG-21 used as such a Strike-Fighter or attacker. Russia used Mig-21 as a main bomber at Afgan, 1979-1989. To say frank, it maybe impossible to hit Sukhoi Su-27 or F-15 which assisted with AWACS or radar-Base.
Even so, it could escape from their attack with good maneuver, chaff/flair and ECM systems. And in case there is own country air-territory, enough amount of fighters could force invader to act give-up and withdraw. Any kind of AEW, like Embraer R-99 or E-2C is suitable for support MiG-21-2020.

It is said that 200 hours per year of training needed for one pilot to skill-up or maintain his ability. But even Su-27 pilots has less than 50 hours in Russia. It suggests that many countries lacks expert pilots. That is one of reason "Why the Fishbeds are weak?". It is obvious that Tough Jet-Fighter needs Tough Jet-Pilots.

Refer Trihedral Figure

Expected Performance to Compare with MiG-21Bis and Variants
ModelSpanLengthHeightSelf WtGross WtEngineDryWet C FuelVmax/HiVMax/LoZ CeilingClimb RateCombat RFerryCost
MiG-21-20207.90m*114.9m4.55m 6.35t8.15-13.5tRD-33MK53kN88.3kN 3.6kl2000km/h1300km/h16,000m 300m/s*2660km*22000km*3
MiG-21Bis7.16m15.65m4.12m 6.2t8.75-10tR-25-30055kN68.5kN 2.4kl2175km/h1300km/h17,000m--m/s*2315km*21200km 30,000,000 US$
Lancer C7.15m15.76m4.71m 5.35t8.82-10.5t(R-25-300)40.2kN69.6kN --2230km/h--km/h--m--m/s350-750km*21200km
Chengdu J-7E8.32m*113.95m4.11m 5.29t7.54-9.1tLMC 13-F44.9kN*492.9kN 2.384kl2175km/h1200km/h17,500m254m/s350-750km1800km Romania/Israel
Chengdu J-179.45m14m4.77m 6.41t9.1-12.7tKlimov RD-9349.4kN86.4kN 2.56klM~1.8/hi--km/h--m --m/s700-1350km3480km China Thunder-Jet
*1Not include pitot tube
*2Internal fuel only
*3Expected price maybe 12 to 15 million US dollars in case 25 to 50 total amount where constructed in Eastern European countries or NICs.
*4(maybe) emergency
F-4E PhantomII11.71m19.2m5.02m 13.7t18.8tJ79-GE-17A52.5kN×279.6kN×2 7.55klM=2.23/hi--km/h19,000m 210m/s*680km*2,600kmP/L 7.26t/Max
*with three external drop tanks 12,6kl (Total 20.2kl)

This content depend on Wikipedia Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

UPDATED 2011/09/30