Tag Archives: Mig-21 LanceR

U.S. F-15s and Romanian MiG-21s taking part in Dacian Eagle 2016 exercise in eastern Europe

Eagles and LanceRs at Campia Turzii airbase.

On Jul. 2, eight F-15C Eagles belonging to the 131st Fighter Squadron, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, and the 194th Fighter Squadron, Fresno Air National Guard Base, California, depolyed to the 71st airbase Campia Turzii, Romania, to take part in exercise Dacian Eagle 2016.

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The Eagles belong to the latest iteration of a Theater Security Package (TSP), a temporary deployment from CONUS (Continental US) of a force whose aim is to augment the Air Force presence in a specific region, for deterrence purposes: the F-15Cs are spending 6 months in the European theater for a support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

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The arrival of these F-15s occurred on the same day the Romanian Air Force MiG-21s returned home after a few months deployment at the 95th Airbase in Bacau, while the runway at Campia Turzii was being repaired.

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Both aircraft types will take part in Dacian Eagle between July and September.

According to the Romanian Air Force, along with 200 American personnel from the California and Massachusetts ANG, more than 200 romanian pilots and technical personnel from the 71st Airbase are taking part with MiG 21 LancerRs and IAR 330 Puma helicopters (SOCAT and MEDEVAC) in the traditional drills at the 71st airbase with the purpose of increasing the level of preparation and interoperability between the participants.

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“The excercise is an opportunity to practice the techniques, tactics and standard procedures common in air operations, according to NATO standards by performing flights in cooperations with the American partners” and to deter further Russian aggression….

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The LanceRs are modernized MiG-21s that were given new avionics for all-weather operations, more modern avionics and the ability to employ PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions).

Although they have a limited endurance (30-45 minutes “play time”), the LanceRs are fast and maneuverable and quite good to perform the adversary role against more modern fighters.

They will start being replaced by F-16 MLUs starting this autumn.
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Image credit: Liviu Dnistran

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Jaw-dropping air-to-air photographs of the Romanian Air Force Mig-21 LanceRs and Portuguese F-16s

The latest variant of the legendary Mig 21 as you have never seen it before.

The MiG 21 LanceR is the upgraded avionics and weapons systems version of the MiG 21 Fishbed, developed by Elbit Systems and Aerostar Bacău for the Romanian Air Force. The first LanceR flew in 1996 and was a LanceR A version.

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The LanceR program saw the upgrade of a total of 114 MiG 21 airframes in three versions: the ground attack version (LanceR A), the two seater trainer version with ground attack capabilities (LanceR B) and the air superiority version (LanceR C).

The upgrade aimed at making the old Cold War planes capable to use both eastern and western weapons systems, mainly focused in the cockpit configuration with the introduction of modern avionics, HOTAS and NATO compatible weapon systems.

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One major upgrade of the RoAF MiG-21s was the DASH mounted displays, the LanceR being one of the first fighters to employ this type of technology.

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The MiG 21 LanceR fleet is split between the 71st Air Base Câmpia Turzii and the 86th Air Base Feteşti.The main mission of the MiG 21 LanceRs of the RoAF is providing QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties under the NATO control network by way of the Combined Air Operations Center in Torrejon.

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The awesome photographs in this post were shot by photographers Liviu Dnistran and Bogdan Pop during the Falcon Defence 2015, an exercise that saw the Portuguese Air Force training with the MiG 21 LanceR jets of the Romanian Air Force, 71st Air Base. The Portuguese AF deployed four F-16 fighter planes and support personnel for almost two months.

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In particular, Dnistran and Pop took part in one of the training missions during which 5 MiG 21s were joined by two F-16s: a great opportunity to see mixed formations of LanceRs and Vipers and some very nice angles of the MiG 21.

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The LancerRs at Câmpia Turzii had a busy 2015, training several times with external partners like the USAF F-16s and A-10s of the TSP (Theater Security Package), the Portuguese AF F-16s, ANG F-16s and F-15s.

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Image credit: Liviu DnistranBogdan Pop

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