Romanian Air Force Supends Flight Activites With The MiG-21 LanceR

MiG-21 LanceR
Two Romanian MiG-21 LanceR (Image credit: RoAF)

Given their “considerably high mishap rate”, all the Romanian MiG-21 LanceR airplane haveactually been grounded.

The Romanian Air Force hasactually suspended all the flight activities of the staying MiG-21 LanceR airplane beginning Friday, Apr. 15,2022 The order was released by Chief of the Defense Staff Major General Daniel Petrescu, following a substantially high mishap rate taped by the RoAF MiG-21 fleet that triggered “multiple casualties and harmed or ruined airplane”.

The newest such events tookplace on Mar. 2, 2022, when a LanceR, that had left for a night objective from the 57th Air Force Base Mihail Kogălniceanu at around 19.50LT vanished from radars coupleof minutes lateron, inbetween Gura Dobrogei and Cogealac, west of Costanta, in the eastern part of Romania, not far from the Black Sea. During the subsequent SAR objective, an IAR-330 (Romanian-built variation of Aerospatiale SA 330) Puma helicopter likewise crashed in the location of Gura Dobrogei about 11 km from Mihail Kogălniceanu. Both the MiG-21 and the IAR-330 aircrew lost their lives in the events.

The MiG 21 LanceR is the updated avionics and weapons systems variation of the MiG-21 Fishbed, established by Elbit Systems and Aerostar Bacău for the Romanian Air Force. The veryfirst LanceR flew in 1996 and was a LanceR A variation. The LanceR program saw the upgrade of a overall of 114 MiG 21 airframes in 3 variations: the ground attack variation (LanceR A), the 2 seater fitnessinstructor variation with ground attack abilities (LanceR B) and the air supremacy variation (LanceR C). The upgrade intended at making the old Cold War airplanes capable to usage both eastern and western weapons systems, primarily focused in the cockpit setup with the intro of contemporary avionics, HOTAS and NATO suitable weapon systems. However, inspiteof the upgrades, the MiG-21 LanceR stays a rather old airplane generally utilized to brought out QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) tasks under the NATO control network by method of the Combined Air Operations Center in Torrejon.

According to the Romanian Air Force, throughout the suspension of the flight activities with MiG-21 LanceR airplane, the Romanian Air Force will continue to bring out the Air Policing service with its F-16 airplane, supported by allied airplane released to Romania, as part of NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing: MiG-21s had currently been enhanced by Eurofighters from Italy, Germany and the UK, moved to the Black Sea area following the stress around Ukraine and the subsequent Russian intrusion.

At the verysame time, “measures haveactually been made to speedup the actions in view of the purchase of the 32 F-16 airplane from Norway […] The draft law to authorize this acquisition hasactually passed the legal openness phase and is in the notice circuit, following to be provided to the Romanian Parliament quickly,” states an authorities RoAF declaration.

With the former-RoNAF (Royal Norwegian Air Force) Vipers the Romanian Air Force will field 3 F-16s squadrons, that will guarantee connection for a duration of at least 10 years. Romania strategies to run the F-16s upuntil 2030, when the airplane must be changed by the F-35: “The 3 [F-16] squadrons will makeup an aerial functional capability of shift to the F-35 5th generation airplane”.


David Cenciotti is a freelance reporter based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most popular and read armedforce airtravel blogsites. Since 1996, he hasactually composed for significant aroundtheworld publications, consistingof Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and lotsof others, covering airtravel, defense, war, market, intelligence, criminalactivity and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown numerous fight airplanes with various air forces. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a personal pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He hasactually composed 5 books and contributed to lotsof more ones.

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