A row of Lancers at Bacau

The Romanian Ministry of Defence decided to upgrade the country's MiG-21 fleet in 1991. The first flight of a MiG-21 Lancer took place in 1995, last delivery to the Romanian AF took place in April 2003.

 

Four units currently operate the three Lancer-variants: BA 71 at Cimpia Turzii, BA 86 at Borcea, BA 93 at Timisoara and BA 95 at Bacau (which doubles as the Lancer-conversion unit).

Lancer versions

The Lancer-A is the groundattack version of the Lancer. The prototype flew for the first time on August 22, 1995. A total of 75 Lancer-A aircraft were delivered to the Romanian Airforce from 1996. So far three were lost in accidents.

The Lancer-A has the Elta EL/M-2001B radar and only a single MFD in the cockpit (with provisions for a second). The radome is green while the aircraft has a fourtone brown/green camouflage. It can carry both Western and Russian weapons on the new pylons.

The Lancer-A conversions were drawn from the pool of MiG-21M, -MF and -MF-75 aircraft.

A MiG-21 Lancer-A
The prototype of the Lancer-B at the Aerostar

The two-seat trainingversion of the Lancer was dubbed Lancer-B. It carries the same camouflagepattern as the Lancer-A and also has a single MFD in the cockpit.

The initial order for ten Lancer-B trainers was changed into fourteen aircraft in the year 2000. The prototype first flew in May 1996.

MiG-21UM aircraft from later batches appear to be main Lancer-B candidates. A single Lancer-B of Grupul 95 was lost shortly after take-off in 1999.

A MiG-21 Lancer-C from BA95

The dedicated air-to-air variant of the Lancer took to the air on November 6, 1996. Initially 25 conversions were ordered but due to the crash of an example on an airtest with Aerostar one extra aircraft was converted.

The Lancer-C carries the Elta EL/M-2032 doppler-radar and has two MFDs in the cockpit. The radome is painted black and this variant carries a remarkable three-tone white/grey camouflage scheme.

Lancer numbers

Lancer-A:

211, 212, 213, 215, 301, 304, 305, 506, 710, 711, 712, 713, 714, 715, 801, 803, 804, 806, 808, 810, 811, 812, 815, 901, 902, 904, 906, 907, 908, 911, 913, 3001, 3002, 3003, 5705, 5907, 5908, 5910, 5911, 5912, 5913, 5915, 6001, 6002, 6003, 6315, 6421, 6503, 6579, 6581, 6693, 6801, 7011, 8102, 8103, 8104, 8105, 8107, 9607, 9608, 9610, 9612, 9613, 9615, 9701, 9702, 9703, 9705, 9806, 9808, 9809, 9810, 9811

Lancer-B:

061, 071, 176 (516999176), 177 (516999177), 327 (516999327), 329 (516999329), 172 (516999172), 6907 (07695167), 9501 (516941016), 9511, 9516 (516953016), 9526 (516953026), 9536 (516953036), 9541

Lancer-C:

5724, 5788, 5801, 5819, 5834, 5917, 6010, 6025, 6105, 6196, 6203, 6207, 6305, 6413, 6487, 6499, 6518, 6607, 6700, 6707, 6721, 6807, 6824, 6840, 7017, 9611

RED = ex-MiG-21M GREEN = ex-MiG-21MF BLUE = ex-MiG-21MF-75 ORANGE = prototype

serialnumbers (c/n):

  • 2xx = 12xx (or 9612xx with izdeliye)
  • 3xx = 13xx (or 9613xx with izdeliye)
  • 5xx = 15xx or 25xx (or 9615xx / 9625xx with izdeliye)
  • 7xx = 27xx (or 9627xx with izdeliye)
  • 8xx = 28xx (or 9628xx with izdeliye)
  • 9xx = 29xx (or 9629xx with izdeliye)
  • 30xx = 30xx (or 9630xx with izdeliye)
  • add 96 before number to obtain complete c/n
  • add 9600 (some sources 96O0) before number to obtain complete c/n

Lancer losses:

-MiG-21 Lancer-B 9511 of Grupul 95 crashed 17 August 1999 shortly after take-off from Bacau. Both pilots ejected safely.

-MiG-21 Lancer-C 7017 from Aerostar crashed 13 July 2001 near Zemes-Paltinis while on a flight from Bacau. The pilot, Viorel Balu, ejected safely.

-On 21 February 2002 LtCom Adrian Savulescu of Baza 86 Aeriana was killed when MiG-21 Lancer-A 6001 plunged into a lake near the town of Cuza Voda, in the vicinity of Calarasi.

-Around 14.20 on March 26, 2002, Lt Catalin Miclos ejected from MiG-21 Lancer-A 9811 of Baza 71 Aeriana. The aircraft crashed near Sandulesti in the province of Cluj. The pilot sustained slight injuries as a result of the ejection.

-Lancer-A 5907 of Baza 95 Aeriana crashed on take-off from homebase Bacau. The pilot , Lt Florin Butcovan ejected safely. The accident occured around 13.20 on 23 October 2002.

More Lancer-related info: see my Aerostar page or click here

Send an e-mail to: easteurair@hotmail.com

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©Robin Polderman 2002 / updated 16 May 2003

Updates thanks to Alex Trandafir & Frank v/d Avoort