In addition to the old, slow MiG-15 and IL-28 reconnaissance aircraft a new more modern type was required. Therefore in 1969 six MiG-21R model arrived from the Soviet Union. For recce missions, the MiG-21R could carry a Type D daylight PHOTINT pod, a Type N nighttime PHOTINT pod, a Type R general-purpose ELINT pod or a Type T pod housing a TV system, making the MiG-21R one of the first Soviet recce aircraft to make use of ELINT equipment.
In addition to the small number of MiG-21R Fishbed-H, they received additional MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C type from Graf Ignatievo. These early MiG-21s were used as a training machines equipped with AFA-39 reconnaissance camera.