Merseburg Airfield, East Germany, 10:00 Zulu Time
"Are you JOKING, Comrade? What's that piece of garbage under my wing?"
Air Major Koloda Stroganov was out of his grace; he simply could not believe what he was seeing mounted on the pilons of every MIG-21 of his squadron.
The ground crew technician sprang to attention before answering.
"It's a K-13 model A air to air missile, Comrade Major! It has been properly and thoroughly tested tonight and I can assure it's working perfectly, Comrade Major!"
Stroganov struggled for a few seconds against the impulse of hitting the soldier with his helmet. Then, he placed himself just a few inches from the technician's face.
"I don't FUCKING CARE if it's been tested! Do you have an idea of the time needed to lock on a target using that piece of shit? TWENTY seconds! Do you think I have TWENTY FUCKING SECONDS up there?"
"I want you to remove NOW that pathetic excuse for a missile and replace it with the usual, reliable, FAST K-13 model R, Object 320. IS THAT CLEAR ENOUGH?"
Stroganov's wingman approached, shaking his head. "Leave the boy alone, Koloda Andreyevich. Do you really think he came up with this idea on his own? Obviously some brass here decided that K-13 A is more than enough to shoot down fat, slow, overloaded NATO bombers. Too bad they sometime have pumped-up, fast, overarmed escort fighters with them."
Seeing a hope, the technician tried to justify himself. "That's how the Lieutenant said, Comrade Major! Yesterday evening we were ordered to spare the K-13 R missiles for MIG-23 wings only and to mount K-13 A on everything else! I'm sorry, Comrade Major!"
Major Stroganov sighed, trying to calm down. "I'm going to talk to the Colonel. Keep the boys in the cockpits, engines off until I come back."