Knights over Croatia

It started with a sole aircraft in 1992, but since then the Croatian Air Force MiG-21 fleet has ballooned to a robust 39. It hasn’t been an easy ride, as Vladimir Trendafilovski discovers

The Knights emblem found on the nose of the MiG-21 is a combination of the old 21 ELZ/EBA and 22 ELZ/EBA motifs 
Morana Bencal/MORH
MiG-21bisD s/n 117 and 118 in a dramatic takeoff as a pair with full afterburner on during the air-to-ground training in September 2020. Both carry four 16-shot UB-16-57UMP-73 rocket pods under their wings, but interestingly, there is nothing in them
All images by Chris Lofting unless stated

With the third decade of the 21st century upon us, Croatia is still flying the Soviet MiG-21 Fishbed, the delta-winged icon of the Cold War era. There are just two European NATO air forces continuing to operate the legendary jet – the other being Romania with its Israeli-modified MiG-21 LanceR Cs.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active subscription to view. You can also access it if you’re subscribed to one of our Key Publishing magazines.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our introductory offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content

Subscribe now