Russian-origin MiG 21 fighter jets are on sale, that too online. Inter Avia Group, which specializes in the worldwide sale or lease of aircraft, has listed 20 Soviet-made MiG-21 ‘Fishbed’ jet fighters for sale on trade-a-plane.com website. The used jets clearly display the insignia of the Nigerian Air Force.
The Nevada-based company has not listed the price for 20 jets but requested the interested customers to contact them directly. The list of Soviet-made jets includes 5 single-seat MiG-21 MF, 4 dual-seat MiG-21 UM, and 11 MiG-21 BIS single-seat. There will be no sale individually; one has to buy all the 20 jets.
The MiG-21b is among the most advanced and massively produced versions of the renowned Cold War-era jet fighter.
The used jets are the Nigerian Air Force’s entire remaining Fishbed fleet. The picture of the jets with the listing shows a line of out-of-service MiG-21s that clearly display the colors and insignia of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
According to the listing, jets have hardly been used — the MiG-21b aircraft have between 43 and 165 flying hours on each airframe, the MiG-21MFs have between 250 and 469 and the two-seat models have accumulated between 199 and 547 hours each. Also, there are 15 new engines and spares inventory as part of the offer.
The limited flying hours indicate “they could theoretically still offer many more years of service” but their storage in the open for upward of 30 years could mean that a significant amount would go into bringing them back to airworthiness.
The Nigerian Air Force strike fleet 1986. 22 MiG-21 Fishbeds, 18 Sepecat Jaguars and 24 Alpha jet trainer/light attack pic.twitter.com/4JGSJ6HD4G
— Defense News Nigeria (@DefenseNigeria) April 29, 2020
Nigeria had acquired 24 MiG-21MFs and six MiG-21UMs from the Soviet Union in 1975 to replace its aging MiG-17 Fresco fighter jets. However, by 1984, only 12 MiG-21MFs and five MiG-21UMs were left operational, as per the African MiGs.
Nigeria had ordered another 13 of the more advanced MiG-21bs, plus two more MiG-21UM jets to make up for these losses. Most of the Nigerian MiGs were withdrawn from service and put into storage during the early 1990s, The Drive reported. They have been left in the open at Makurdi, in eastern Nigeria, ever since.
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