Warplanes: November 3, 2001


Poland and Israel have created what amounts to a full-sized mock-up of their concept for an upgrade of the MiG-21 fighter. They hope to build a flying prototype next summer and begin deliveries to the Polish Air Force by the end of 2002. The upgrade includes a new missile computer, a navigation system including both inertial and GPS components, a heads-up display, two new head-down displays, and new weapon controls. These are the HOTAS or Hands On Throttle And Stick type, where all of the buttons and switches to control the weapons are either on the throttle or the stick, so the pilot doesn't have to move his hands during a dogfight. The Israelis want to sell Poland a datalink system. The new aircraft can use a wide variety of Israeli and NATO weapons, such as guided bombs (TV, laser, or GPS), Litening targeting pods, Griffin laser-guided bombs, Polish LBOB-100 bombs, RBS-15 anti-ship missiles, and other advanced systems.--Stephen V Cole


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