Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG) Fighter’s
Since the USSR was temporarily our enemy, one of the most feared pieces of machinery in the world has been the MiG. The MiG is a Russian fighter, many versions of the MiG were produced, and some are still used today. MiG’s are famous all around the globe, but especially in the USA and Russia. Russia is proud to have created the MiG, while American fighter pilots aspire to shoot down a MiG. When you read anything about the tools of the Cold War, you will hear about MiG’s.
Even in training today, in modern aircraft, pilots still dream of getting into an intense, aggressive dogfight with a MiG. During the Cold War the ultimate achievement was to shoot down a MiG. There were no Soviet-American dogfights; but later in time the military did get their chance at killing MiG’s.
This chance came up after the Cold War and during the Gulf War, when the Iraqi Air Force began to attack the Coalition Air Campaign with MiG’s. The Iraqi’s were completely outnumbered and no match for the USAF’s advanced technology. The ones that were not shot down retreated, causing another problem (more on that later). 38 MiG’s were shot down during the Gulf War.
The problem (tactical-wise) is that the retreating Iraqi Air Force was able to land with extra MiG’s. The US government was concerned that these MiG’s would end up in the wrong hands, so recently the US bought nine MiG-29’s. The MiG-29 is the model still used today by the Russian Air Force. The US said that they were trying to prevent “rogue” countries (Iran) from getting the MiG’s. Now the US has knowledge of the systems in MiG-29’s and has taken some threat from the market.
MiG’s are now mostly a part of history (apart from the MiG-29), and are now a treasured antique. The Historic Flight Foundation (HFF) in Everett recently bought an older version of the MiG-29. The HFF is owned by Paul Allen (local rich guy, involved with Microsoft). The MiG flew right over my house, very low. It was very cool, but at the same time I was kind of wondering why Russian jets were flying around here in Seattle.
MiG’s contributed to many wars, they are always going to be one of the most notorious fighter jets of all time. With so many variations and so much history, MiG’s are the perfect machine. Unlike aircraft such as the B-17 Flying Fortress, the MiG is not nearly extinct. In fact there are almost too many at times. You can find them in foreign militaries, museums, and who knows where else. Just outside Baghdad, a MiG was discovered buried in the ground!
Used by many nations around the globe, reaching speeds of 1,520 MPH, and flying at 55,000 feet. How could you not like the MiG? Enemy or antique, people will always love the MiG. I hope they will always be flying and I hope they can be used as a tool to help educate people about the Cold War.