Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19

Country of originSoviet Union
ManufacturerMikoyan-Gurevich OKB
First flight18 September 1953
IntroducedMarch 1955
Numbers built2,172 (excluding production in China)
Unit costs
Max speedMaximum speed: 1,455 km/h (909 mph)
Max rangeRange: 1,390 km (860 mi) 2,200 km with external tanks
Service ceiling: 17,500 m (57,400 ft)
DimensionsLength: 12.54 m (41 ft)
Wingspan: 9.0 m (29 ft 6 in)
Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 25.0 m² (270 ft²)
WeightEmpty weight: 5,447 kg (11,983 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 7,560 kg (16,632 lb)
Powerplant2 × Tumansky RD-9B afterburning turbojets, 31.9 kN (7,178 lbf) each
ArmamentGuns: 3x 30 mm NR-30 cannons (75 rounds per gun for wing guns, 55 rounds for the fuselage gun)

Hardpoints: 4 underwing pylons and provisions to carry combinations of:

Rockets: unguided rockets

Missiles: 4 Vympel K-13 AAMs

Bombs: Up to 250 kg (550 lb) of bombs
OperatorsCurrent Operators:
Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea and Zambia

Former Operators:
Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Mozambique, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Somalia, Soviet Union, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Vietnam

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19Farmer is a single-seat, twin jet-engined fighter aircraft of the Soviet Union and classified as the second generation of jet fighter. It was the first Soviet production aircraft that could reach supersonic speeds in level flight. The MiG-19 was comparable to the North American F-100 Super Sabre, even though the MiG-19 fought the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and Republic F-105 Thunderchief during Vietnam War.

The Design and Development of MiG-19

The Soviet Union armed force wanted the OKB-155 to develop the MiG-17 into a new fighter labeled “I-340”. It was ordered on 20 April 1951. The I-340 was powered by two Mikulin AM-5 non-afterburning jet engines (a smaller version of the Mikulin AM-3). Then the new fighter, designated “SM-1”, was developed using the MiG-17 prototype and had a modification to take two engines in a side-by-side arrangement and was accomplished in March 1952. Further development of the twin-engine concept generated a government requirement for the “I-360” or “SM-2”, which was also powered by the AM-5F engines, but offered a highly swept wing.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB then created a frontline fighter featuring twin-engine and bearing the production name MiG-19. The MiG-19 was built based on the earlier SM-2 prototype.

Roughly 5, 500 MiG-19s were produced including all production in the USSR, Czechoslovakia (called the Avia S-105) and the People’s Republic of China (named Shenyang J-6). The aircraft had been in service with numerous other national air forces, including those of Cuba, North Vietnam, Egypt, Pakistan, and North Korea. The aircraft witnessed combat throughout the Vietnam War, the 1967 Six Day War, and the 1971 Bangladesh War.

All Soviet-built MiG-19 variants are single-seaters only. Despite the fact that the Chinese produced the JJ-6 trainer version of the Shenyang J-6, the Soviets considered that the MiG-19’s handling was uncomplicated and no special conversion trainer was required.

In the USSR, the MiG-19 was replaced by the MiG-21. The Shenyang J-6 remained in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force right up until the 1980s and the fighter has also been constructed into the Nanchang Q-5 Fantan. Regardless of its age, the MiG-19 and its variants demonstrate good handling characteristics at low altitude and a astonishingly high rate of climb, and their heavy cannon armament-a one-second burst from three 30 mm NR-30 cannons had a projectile mass of 18 kg (40 lb)-makes them powerful fighters in close combat.

As of today, Russian built MiG-19s remain in service in Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea and Zambia.

The Variants of MiG-19

Following are some variants of the MiG-19:

  • MiG-19 Farmer-A – first production version armed with 3 × 23 mm NR-23 cannons.
  • MiG-19P Farmer-B – Version equipped with RP-1 Izumrud radar in the nose and armed with 2 × 23 mm NR-23 (later 2 × 30 mm NR-30) cannons in the wings. Had provision for an unguided rocket pack under each wing.
  • MiG-19PG – equipped with the Gorizont-1 ground control datalink.
  • MiG-19S Farmer-C – further development equipped with Svod long-range navigation receiver and armed with 3 × 30 mm NR-30 cannons. Had provisions for an unguided rocket pack or a FAB-250 bomb under each wing.
  • MiG-19R – reconnaissance version of the MiG-19S with cameras replacing the nose cannon.
  • MiG-19SU – High-altitude version to intercept the Lockheed U-2, equipped with a self-contained liquid-fuel booster rocket pack.
  • MiG-19PM Farmer-E – with removed cannons, armed with 4 × Kaliningrad K-5M (NATO: AA-1 “Alkali”) beam-riding missiles.
  • Avia S-105 – Czechoslovak licenced built MiG-19S.
  • Shenyang J-6 – Chinese-built version of the MiG-19. This version was inducted into the Pakistani Air Force as the F-6.

MiG-19 videos


Soviet MiG-19 Aerobatic Team

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