MiG-21 LanceR Romania Scramble Pursues 'UFO' – Soviet Era Fighter Jet With Israeli Technology

MiG-21 LanceR Romania Scramble Pursues 'UFO' – Soviet Era Fighter Jet With Israeli Technology

As the United States did earlier this month, the Romanian Air Force recently reported having ordered the scramble (quick take-off 12 minutes after the operation order was given) on two MiG-21 LanceR fighter jets, in which the scramble was carried out to monitor the object in question. it looks like a weather balloon.

Romanian defense authorities deployed fighter jets after detecting a suspicious 'weather balloon' in its airspace. The Romanian Air Force sent two MiG-21 Lancer fighter jets to the southeastern region 10 minutes after a radar surveillance system detected the object, the Romanian Defense Ministry said, as quoted by news.sky.com (14/2/2023).

The strange thing is, after the fighter jets were directed by the Ground Control Intercept (GCI) radar to the location of the object, however, they (MiG-21 pilots) could not confirm the existence of the object in question.

The country's air force sent two MiG 21 LanceR jets to the area in the southeast 10 minutes after its surveillance systems detected the object, but they were unable to confirm its presence, the Ministry of Defense said. The two fighter jets circled the location indicated by the radar for approximately 30 minutes, before finally the fighter jet returned to base after failing to get visual confirmation of the target.

The Romanian Ministry of Defense said that the suspected balloon object was flying at an altitude of 11,000 meters, which means it could endanger civil aviation.

The sighting of the mysterious object over Romania came on the same day that Moldova, which borders Romania and Ukraine, closed its airspace for undisclosed security reasons.

Because it has not been clearly identified, the object suspected of being a balloon is included in the UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) category, although it cannot necessarily be associated with the presence of aliens.

Apart from the mysterious incident above, what is interesting to note is the figure of the MiG-21 LanceR. Even though it is a single-engine fighter who is no longer young. The MiG-21 LanceR is a modified variant that underwent modernization after the collapse of the Soviet Union. One of them is the modernization of the LanceR carried out by Elbit Systems, Israel.

With modifications from Israel, the MiG-21 LanceR gets a cockpit upgrade package and the use of the Elta radar. MiG-21 LanceR besides being able to fire R-60 and R-73 air-to-air missiles, it also has the capability of launching Rafael's Python 3 air-to-air missiles.

Actually, the Romanian Air Force announced on April 15 2022 that it had stopped using the MiG-21 LanceR aircraft on the orders of the Chief of the Defense Staff General Daniel Petrescu. Local media reported that as many as 23-28 aircraft were previously still operating and are now starting to land due to successive accidents.

Instead, the Romanian Air Force will rely on the F-16 Fighting Falcon as part of the NATO Enhanced Vigilance Activity.

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