SPRD-99 rocket-assisted takeoff bottle
Notes: The SPRD-99 was a RATO system developed for the MiG-21 “Fishbed” fighter. It was designed by the Kartukov bureau. The bottles were mounted on the MiG-21’s lower rear fuselage, one on each side. They shortened the MiG-21’s takeoff run from 2727’ to 834’. Each SPRD-99 provided 5508lbs of thrust. The bottles burned for about six seconds and dropped off the plane once it was airborne. They were not reusable.
The obvious advantage was that the MiG-21 “Fishbed” could be flown from older (often WWII-vintage) airstrips. Additionally, it was found that in hot, humid environments it enabled a slightly better climb rate immediately after takeoff.
Although it was designed exclusively for the MiG-21 “Fishbed”, a pair could be fitted to the Yak-28 “Brewer” and a small number of MiG-19 “Farmer” fighters were modified to accept it. In the MiG-19’s case, only a single bottle was used.
Not all “Fishbed” operators used the system. The SPRD-99 was manufactured from 1962 through 1990.
USERS: USSR/Russian Federation, Angola, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia (later Czech Republic and Slovakia), East Germany, Hungary, India, Poland, Romania, Syria, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yugoslavia/Serbia