History[edit | edit source]
One of a number of MiG 21s acquired by the United States during the Cold War, 68-0965 was intensively flight-tested in a programme codenamed HAVE DOUGHNUT that took place from January 23 to April 8, 1968. According to some reports, this MiG-21F-13 was the "007" handed over by the Israeli Air Force. It was tested together with a number of other aircraft, including an F-8 Crusader, an F-4B Phantom and a B-52. The final report concluded that the MiG-21F-13 was comparable to USAF types and though it was lacking in range and payload, it was "very manoeuvrable with an excellent rate of climb and acceleration", making it a good interceptor. Its "smokeless" engine was singled out for special praise. Later variants were almost certainly tested after 1969; this is lent weight by the crash of a MiG-23M on Nellis Range on April 26, 1984 in which the pilot, Lt Gen Robert M. Bond was killed, which suggests that the reports of an organisation called "Red Hat Squadron" have a basis in fact. In US service, like with the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron, the Aircraft, The MiGs in US service were given Century Series designations to cover for their origins and direct attention away. The MiG-21 was given the original designation for the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II In USAF service: YF-110, to designate it was "experimental".