This airplane--the Mig dash twentyone, a high performance Russian jet fighter--is appearing in increasing numbers in Soviet bloc air forces, rapidly replacing earlier Migs (-17 and - 19).
This airplane--the Mig dash twentyone, a high performance Russian jet fighter--is appearing in increasing numbers in Soviet bloc air forces, rapidly replacing earlier Migs (-17 and - 19). According to intelligence and news reports, the advanced fighter aircraft in East European countries outnumber NATO air forces by as much as six to one. Western Europe today is defended principally by Starfighters, Phantoms and Lightnings. The need for a new superiority fighter has created an intense, international competition. The West German government last year called for proposals from aircraft manufacturers. The French Dassault works has proposed an advanced version of the Mirage, the F-1, with a choice of engines Snecma (09 K-50) or General Electric (GE1/J1A). From the United States, Northrop reposes a totally new design not available until 1976, the P-530, powered by two GE engines. McDonnell-Douglas's candidate is a special version of the twin-engine Phantom, F4E (F), with the GE engine (J79-19). Lockheed's entry is the CL 1200 ???.
This high performance March 2.5 design uses a new, advanced-technology Pratt and Whitney engine. The Lancer, like the earlier Starfighter, is the design of Lockheed's famed Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson. The Lancer has a high wing 50 percent larger than that of the Star-fighter and a new low tail. It will out-manoeuvre all known aircraft including the Mig-21, according to Johnson. Lockheed's "skunk works" under Johnson has produced some of world's most advance aircraft--the high altitude U-2, the triple-sonic F-12 interceptor and the SR-71 strategic reconnaissance plane. The "skunk works" would conduct Lancer development and flight test-with European engineers participating. Production is programmed entirely for Europe. CL-1200 commonality with the F-104 could mean savings of hundreds of millions of dollars in production costs and jobs for thousands of persons in Europe with the new aircraft produced by the plants and people who turned out the F-104. The new fighter could be in service in 1973.