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Eastern Order of Battle

The Bulgarian Air Forceís tactical fighter units
  in the early seventies
 

The Bulgarian Air Force's two tactical fighter regiment changed significantly in the first half of the seventies.

The Bulgarian Air Forceís 19th Fighter Air Regiment at Graf Ignatievo

The 19th Fighter Air Regiment at Graf Ignatievo received twelve MiG-21M Fishbed-J type 96 aircraft (from batch 6 and 7) in August 1969. The Bulgarian Air Forceís first nuclear-capable aircraft were a dozen MiG-21M Fishbed-Js. These were followed by three (batch 23) aircraft in early 1970 (built in 1969). All aircraft received a three-digit bort number. The MiG-21M Fishbed-J was fitted with a built-in GSh-23L Cannon. The remaining MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C were later converted to MiG-21F-13R reconnaissance variant and transferred to the 26th Reconnaissance Air Regiment at Dobrich.
 

The Bulgarian Air Force's 19th Fighter Air Regiment's MiG-21M Fishbed-J tactical fighters at Graf Ignatievo. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters The Bulgarian Air Force's 19th Fighter Air Regiment's MiG-21M Fishbed-J tactical fighters at Graf Ignatievo. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters

Eleven jets of old MiG-19PM Farmer-E interceptor equipped with radar formed the backbone of the regiment's first squadron. Beside them served a few MiG-19S Farmer-C type too. The following pictures are showing the 19th Fighter Air Regimentís first squadron's MiG-19PM Farmer-E interceptors. At the beginning of the line a few of the second squadron's MiG-21M Fishbed-J combat fighter can be seen.

The Bulgarian Air Forceís 19th Fighter Air Regimentís MiG-19PM Farmer-E interceptors. Behind a regimentís MiG-21M Fishbed-J tactical fighters at Graf Ignatievo. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters The Bulgarian Air Forceís 19th Fighter Air Regimentís MiG-19PM Farmer-E interceptors. Behind a regimentís MiG-21M Fishbed-J tactical fighters at Graf Ignatievo. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters

 

The Bulgarian Air Forceís 21st Fighter Air Regiment at Uzundzhovo

In 1972 a very strange type change took place at Uzundzhovo airport. The 21st Fighter Air Regiment replaced the twin-engine MiG-19S Farmer-C model to the older MiG-17F Fresco-C and MiG-17PF Fresco-D type. In the sixties the Soviet Union delivered more than a hundred used MiG-17 Fresco to Bulgaria, which replaced the complicated MiG-19S Farmer-C. The supersonic MiG-19S Farmer-C was slowly withdrawn, the regiment regressed.
 

The Bulgarian Air Force's 21st Fighter Air Regiment's pilots at Uzundzhovo front of his MiG-17 Fresco. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters The Bulgarian Air Force's 21st Fighter Air Regiment's pilots at Uzundzhovo front of his MiG-17 Fresco. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters


Its unreliable RD-9B turbojets mean that the attrition rate in the BVVS hands was extremely high.  Of the 58 MiG-19S Farmer-C eventually delivered, many were lost in various accidents. This equals an overall loss rate for the Bulgarian ďFarmerĒ fleet of 48.2 percent, near that of the F-104 in European service. The actual accident rate was one loss per 1,000 flying hours. The low service reliability and their high attrition rate of the S variant forced the BVVS to replace the ĎFarmersí of the 21st Fighter Air Regiment in 1972 with well-proven MiG-17F Fresco-C and MiG-17PF Fresco-Ds.

The Bulgarian Air Force's 21st Fighter Air Regiment's crews at Uzundzhovo front of his MiG-17F Fresco-C and MiG-17PF Fresco-D. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters The Bulgarian Air Force's 21st Fighter Air Regiment's crews at Uzundzhovo front of his MiG-17 Fresco. Source: pan.bg Retrospotters

Photos: pan.bg Retrospotters

Tags:
Peopleís Republic of Bulgaria, Bulgarian Air Defence and Air Force, Protivovazdushna Otbrana i VoennoVazdushni Sili, Bulgarian PVOiVVS, Bulgarian Tactical Air Force units, Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact, Cold War, 10th Composite Air Corps, 10th Composite Aviation Corps, 19th Fighter Air Regiment, Graf Ignatievo, MiG-21M Fishbed-J, MiG-19PM Farmer-E, MiG-19S Farmer-C, 19th Fighter Aviation Regiment, 21st Fighter Air Regiment, Uzundzhovo, MiG-17F Fresco-C, MiG-17PF Fresco-D, 21st Fighter Aviation Regiment, 26th Reconnaissance Air Regiment, Dobrich, MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C, 26th Reconnaissance Aviation regiment, Mikoyan and Gurevich

Адрес:
Народна Република България, Българските ВВС, ПВО и ВВС, Студена война, Съветски Съюз, Варшавски договор, 10-а изтребител-на авиодивизия, 10-а ИАД, 19-и изтребителни авиополка, 19-и ИАП, Граф Игнатиево, МиГ-21М, МиГ-19ПМ, МиГ-19С, 21-и изтребителни авиополка, 21-и ИАП, Узунджово, МиГ-17Ф, МиГ-17ПФ, 26-и разузнавателен авиополк, 26-и РАП, Добрич, МиГ-21Ф-13, Микоян-Гуревич