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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19

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Type Fighter
Manufacturer Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB
Maiden flight 18 September 1953
Introduced March 1955
Status Few operational
Primary users Soviet Air Force
People's Liberation Army Air Force
Number built 8,500
Variants Shenyang J-6
Nanchang Q-5

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 (Template:Lang-ru) (NATO reporting name "Farmer") is a Soviet second-generation, single-seat, jet-engined fighter aircraft. It was the first Soviet production aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight. A comparable U.S. "Century Series" fighter was the F-100 Super Sabre, although it would oppose the more modern F-4 Phantom and F-105 Thunderchief over Vietnam.

Design and development

On April 20 1951, OKB-155 was given the order to develop the MiG-17 into a new fighter called "I-340", which was to be powered by two Mikulin AM-5 non-afterburning jet engines (a scaled-down version of the Mikulin AM-3) with 4,410 lbf (19.6 kN) of thrust. The I-340 was supposed to attain 725 mph (1,160 km/h; Mach 0.97) at 6,560 ft (2,000 m), 675 mph (1,080 km/h; Mach 1.0) at 33,000 ft (10,000 m), climb to 33,000 ft (10,000 m) in 2.9 minutes, and have a service ceiling of no less than 55,000 ft (17,500 m). The new fighter, internally designated "SM-1", was designed around the "SI-02" airframe (a MiG-17 prototype) modified to accept two engines in a side-by-side arrangement. The aircraft was completed in March 1952. The aircraft suffered from poor cockpit pressurization and the engines proved temperamental with frequent flameouts and surges with rapid throttle movements. The engines were upgraded to the AM-5A standard with 4,740 lbf (21.1 kN) thrust each, which exceeded the power output of the Klimov VK-1F in afterburner while providing better fuel economy. The SM-1 was barely supersonic, reaching 745 mph (1,193 km/h, Mach 1.03) at 16,400 ft (5,000 m). This was deemed insufficient for the new supersonic fighter and an afterburning version of the engine, the AM-5F, was proposed. While not implemented, the AM-5F served as the basis for the Tumansky RD-9 which powered production aircraft. Further development of the twin-engine concept resulted in a government request for the "I-360", internally designated "SM-2", also powered by the AM-5F engines, but featuring a highly swept wing.

On August 15 1953, the Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB was given a new order to create a frontline fighter. The OKB was asked to create two designs — a single-engined version with the Klimov VK-7 and a twin-engine version with Mikulin AM-9Fs. The twin-engine fighter, internally designated "SM-9" — but also assigned the production name MiG-19 — was based on the earlier SM-2 prototype. The first airframe, "SM-9/1" flew on January 5 1954. The afterburner did not light in the first flight, but in the second flight the aircraft reached Mach 1.25 at 26,400 ft (8,050 m). This was improved to Mach 1.44 in subsequent flights. Based on this promising performance, the MiG-19 was ordered into production on February 17 1954, even though government acceptance trials did not start until September of that year. The first production aircraft rolled off the assembly line in March of 1955.

File:MiG-19 armament.jpg
MiG-19 armed with four air-to-air missiles.

Initial enthusiasm was dampened by several problems. The most alarming was the danger of a mid-air explosion due to overheating of the fuselage fuel tanks located between the engines. Deployment of airbrakes at high speeds caused a high-g pitch-up. Elevators lacked authority at supersonic speeds. The high landing speed of 145 mph (230 km/h) (compared to 100 mph or 160 km/h in the MiG-15), combined with absence of a two-seat trainer version, slowed pilot transition to the type. Handling problems were addressed with the second prototype, "SM-9/2", which added a third ventral airbrake and introduced all-moving tailplanes with a damper to prevent pilot-induced oscillations at subsonic speeds. It flew on September 16 1954, and entered production as the MiG-19S.

A total of approximately 8,500 MiG-19s were produced, mainly in the USSR, but also in the People's Republic of China as the Shenyang J-6 and in Czechoslovakia as the Avia S-105. The aircraft saw service with a number of other national air forces, including those of Cuba, North Vietnam, Egypt, Pakistan, and North Korea. The aircraft saw combat during the Vietnam War, the 1967 Six Day War, and the 1971 Bangladesh War.

All Soviet-built MiG-19 variants are single-seaters only. Although the Chinese developed the JJ-6 trainer version of the Shenyang J-6, the Soviets believed the MiG-19's handling was easy enough no special conversion trainer was needed (other than the MiG-15UTI).

In the USSR, the MiG-19 was superseded by the MiG-21. The Shenyang J-6 remained a staple of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force, and has also been developed into the Nanchang Q-5 (NATO reporting name "Fantan") attack aircraft. Despite its age, the MiG-19 and its descendants exhibit good handling characteristics at low altitude and a surprisingly high rate of climb, and their heavy cannon armament — a one-second burst from 3x30mm NR-30 cannons had a projectile mass of 40 lb (18 kg) — makes them formidable adversaries in close combat.

Operational history

During their service with PVO Strany and in East Germany, MiG-19s were involved in multiple intercepts of Western reconnaissance aircraft. The first documented encounter with a Lockheed U-2 took place in the autumn of 1957. The MiG-19 pilot reported seeing the aircraft, but could not make up the 7000ft (2100m) difference in altitude. When Francis Gary Powers's U-2 was shot down in the 1960 incident, one pursuing MiG-19P was also hit by the salvo of S-75 Dvina (NATO: SA-2 'Guideline') missiles, killing the pilot Sergei Safronov. In a highly controversial incident, on July 1 1960, a MiG-19 shot down an RB-47H (S/N 53-4281) reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace over the Arctic Circle with four of the crew killed and two captured by the Soviets (they were released in 1961). In another tragic incident, on January 28 1964, a MiG-19 shot down a T-39 Sabreliner which had strayed into East German airspace while on a training mission; all three crewmembers were killed.


File:MiG-19 Farmer.jpg
MiG-19PM with drop tanks.
MiG-19 (NATO: "Farmer-A")
First production version armed with 3x 23 mm NR-23 cannons.
MiG-19P (NATO: "Farmer-B")
Version equipped with RP-1 Izumrud radar in the nose and armed with 2x 23 mm NR-23 (later 2x 30 mm NR-30) cannons in the wings. Had provision for an unguided rocket pack under each wing, elongated tailfin fillet, all-moving tailplane, third airbrake added behind the ventral fin. Vympel K-13 (AA-2 'Atoll') air-to-air missile (AAM) capability was added late in its service life; entered production in 1955.
MiG-19P equipped with the Gorizont-1 ground control datalink.
MiG-19S (NATO: "Farmer-C")
Development of the MiG-19P equipped with Svod long-range navigation receiver and armed with 3x 30 mm NR-30 cannons. Had provisions for an unguided rocket pack or a FAB-250 bomb under each wing; entered service in 1956.
Reconnaissance version of the MiG-19S with cameras replacing the nose cannon and powered by uprated RD-9BF-1 engines.
Late production MiG-19S powered by the same uprated RD-9BF-1 engines as the MiG-19R.
High-altitude version for intercepting reconnaissance balloons, reached 68,044 ft (20,740 m) on December 6 1956; entered service in 1956.
MiG-19SV with a new wing, small increase in altitude above MiG-19SV. Did not warrant production.
MiG-19SU (SM-50)
High-altitude version to intercept the Lockheed U-2, equipped with a self-contained liquid-fuel booster rocket pack. Appears to have been abandoned because of inability to control the aircraft at very high altitudes and the aircraft's tendency to enter supersonic spins.
Single-seat radar-equipped, all-weather interceptor figther airaft. Built in small numbers.
MiG-19PM (NATO: "Farmer-E")
Variant with removed cannons, armed with 4x Kaliningrad K-5M (NATO: AA-1 'Alkali') beam-riding missiles. Entered production in 1957.
MiG-19PM with Lazur ground control datalink.
Rocket pack fit similar to MiG-19SU.
A single MiG-19P equipped to carry Vympel K-13 (NATO: AA-2 'Atoll') missiles.
Target drone converted from the MiG-19 and MiG-19S.
Two MiG-19 Ps converted to flying laboratories for testing the Grushin K-6 developmental AAM (intended for the Sukhoi T-3 jet fighter) and Almaz-3 radar.
New fighter prototype, developed into the MiG-21. 4 aircraft built
Missile simulator for testing the Raduga Kh-20 (NATO: AS-3 'Kangaroo') cruise missile.
Zero-length launch (ZEL) version with PRD-22 booster rocket.
Missile simulator for testing the Raduga K-10 (NATO: AS-2 'Kipper') cruise missile.
Avia S-105
Czechoslovak-built MiG-19S airframes with Soviet internals.
Polish-built MiG-19 aircraft.
Shenyang J-6
Chinese-built version of the MiG-19. This version was inducted in to the Pakistani Air Force as the F-6. The F-6 was later modified by the Pakistani Airforce to carry US-built AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.


File:Mig-19 operators.PNG
Operators of the MiG-19

Specifications (MiG-19S)

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 12.5 m (41 ft)
  • Wingspan: 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 25.0 m² (270 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 5,447 kg (11,983 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,560 kg (16,632 lb)
  • Powerplant:Tumansky RD-9B afterburning turbojets, 31.9 kN (7,178 lbf) each
  • Fuel capacity: 1,800 kg (3,960 lb)



  • 3x 30 mm NR-30 cannons (70 rounds per gun for wing guns, 55 rounds for fuselage gun)
  • Up to 250 kg (550 lb) of bombs or unguided rockets on 4 underwing pylons

External links

See also

Related development
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 - Nanchang Q-5 - Shenyang J-6 Comparable aircraft
F-100 Super Sabre - Dassault Super Mystère Designation sequence
MiG-13 (I-250) - MiG-15 - MiG-17 - MiG-19 - MiG-21 - MiG-23 - MiG-25 Related lists
List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS - List of fighter aircraft Template:Mikoyan aircraft

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19".