Western Aircraft in the USSR.

Most of us are pretty familiar with Have Donut, Have Drill and Constant Peg programs. Nowadays it’s also fairly to see MiGs or Sukhoi’s either flying around or in museums throughout the U.S. What about US military aircraft in the Soviet Union during the Cold War?

Searching around the interwebs doesn’t reveal much but here I’ve started with a photo in the Winter 2002 issue of International Air Power Review.

photo This is a photo of what may be an F-4 Phantom and a Mirage III (with an 3M bomber in the foreground) taken at the Zhukovskiy airfield outside of Moscow. The caption dates the photo 11 August 1971.


Sageburner YF4H-1

Zhukovskiy was (and still is in Russia) the Soviet Union’s equivalent to the USAF’s Edwards, AFB and as such numerous types of aircraft underwent evaluation there. The Phantom in the picture appears to be covered with a protective canvas cover. The nose shape is reminiscent of the YF4H-1 prototypes. I don’t think this is a flyable model and may be a mockup with pieces of actual Phantoms shot down over North Vietnam and aircraft lost in the Middle East wars. The Mirage III also looks like a mockup and include pieces of actual Mirages lost in various Middle East wars.

The Israeli Air Force was the only user of both aircraft at the time.


An RAAF Mirage III

Some other interwebs searching reveals some interesting finds at the Moscow Aviation Institute.


This is a fuselage from a Northrop F-5. This is probably one of the 2 Skoshi Tiger aircraft formerly operated by the Air Force of South Vietnam. This is 1 of 2 F-5s transferred to Soviet soon after the Communist North invaded in 1973.

day_01_025 This is an escape capsule from an F-111 that was shot down over North Vietnam. The USAF lost 6 of these aircraft during the Vietnam.


This is a piece from an A-7A from VA-82 Marauders. I was unable to find the aircraft this piece belonged to.


This is the vertical stabilizer from Scott O’Grady’s F-16C shot down over Bosnia in 1995. These and other pieces of western military aircraft were used by Soviet/Russian experts to examine Western aircraft construction techniques.

Unlike the Constant Peg program, it’s unknown what if any flight evaluations the USSR made of these for any other Western/US aircraft.

There are also rumors of Iranian F-14 Tomcats (along with the aircraft’s AIM-54 Phoenix AAM) and a few F-4Es and F-5 being brought to the Soviet Union for evaluations. Again these are just rumors.


Filed under Air Force, Airplanes, USAF

4 responses to “Western Aircraft in the USSR.

  1. Bill Brandt

    Quite a collection – I had heard that they Iranians like the Tomcat so much they were reengined in Russia. I’d imagine they got pieces of the F117 shot down over Bosnia.

  2. Mav, I did a quick Google Earth look around for the Zhukovskiy airfield and ended up at Ramenskoye Airport. The ramp shows the F-4 still sitting there near the bomber. No sign of the Mirage III.
    Google photo run must have been on an airshow day, there are lots of cars around and there is a B-52 and a KC-10 on the ramp!

  3. Pingback: Soviet F-5 and A-37 | The Lexicans

  4. Pingback: Index – The Rest of Neptunus Lex | The Lexicans

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