MiG-23 Flogger

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Manufacturer: Mikoyan-Gurevich, Russia
Designation: MIG-23
Nickname: Flogger
Type: Fighter
Length: 52 ft 1 in  
Height: 15 ft 10 in  
Wingspan: 45 ft 10 in with wings extended  
Crew: 1  
Armament: Cannon: GSh-23L 23mm AS-7 Kerry, UV-16-57, FAB-500, AA-7, ,AA-8, AA-10,
Gross Weight: empty - 22,485 lb;  max. takeoff - 39,250 lb  
No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: Tumansky R-35-300 turbojet
Pounds of thrust (each): 28,660 lbs. with afterburner
Range: 970 nm  
Max Speed: Mach 2.35, 2500km/hr    
Ceiling: 59,055 ft  


The Mig-23 came from the successful design bureau of Artem Mikoyan and
Mikhail Gurevich.

Meant as a point defense fighter, the Flogger offered a powerful radar, an
infrared search and track system, a selection of radar and infrared guided
weapons and tremendous speed (Mach 2.35) to counter its adversaries. The MiG-23
was designed in 1964-66 as a successor to the MiG-21. In addition to a much more
powerful engine, the MiG-23's most significant new feature was its variable
sweep wing. Like the USAF's swing wing F-111, the sweep of the wings could be
changed in flight. Fully spread, this gives a shorter takeoff/landing roll while
carrying a heavier weapons load. With the wings fully swept back, the MiG-23 has
greater speed. The wing has three sweep settings: 16, 45, and 72 degrees. The
prototype first flew in April 1967 and MiG-23s began entering operational
service in 1971. The aircraft is in widespread use in Eastern Europe and the
Middle East. The MiG-23/27 FLOGGER series of aircraft has been used extensively
by the former Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies including Poland, Hungary,
Bulgaria, East Germany, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia. Other countries including
Libya, Syria, Egypt, India, Cuba, Algeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea
have imported FLOGGERS. The MiG-23 series served as fighter-interceptors, with a
secondary capability of ground attack. The MiG-23BN and MiG-27 were
fighter-bomber variations. The Flogger B is a standard interceptor. Other
versions of this aircraft are: C--two seater; G--improved interceptor; and
E--export. The MiG-23MLD FLOGGER K version was a modification of the MiG23ML
FLOGGER G and incorporated improved avionics, armament, and aerodynamic
features. The MiG-23MLD is the most advanced version of the Flogger. It features
a different identification-friend-or-foe system, a more advanced missile
capability and a distinctive notch in the leading edge of the wing to improve
flight characteristics. More than 4,000 MiG-23/27s are estimated to have been
built. The wings are high-mounted, variable, swept-back, and tapered with blunt
tips. There is one turbofan engine inside the body. There are rectangular,
box-like air intakes forward of the wing roots and a single exhaust. The
fuselage is long and tubular, except where intakes give a box-like appearance.
It has a long, pointed nose and a stepped canopy. There is a large, swept-back,
and tapered belly fin under the rear section. The tail is swept-back, has a
tapered tail fin, has a curved dorsal in the leading edge and an angular tip.
Swept-back, tapered flats have angular tips and are high-mounted on the
fuselage. MiG-23 aircraft acquired by the United States under the Foreign
Materiel Acquisition/Exploitation program are designated as the YF-113.

There are many similarities between a MiG-23 and a MiG-27. Based on the
MiG-23, the MiG-27 introduced simplified intakes, a two stage afterburner
nozzle, an extra hardpoint and a strengthened undercarriage to allow the
carriage of over 8800lb of ordnance. The most distinctive feature of the MiG-27
is that it's 'duckbill' nose contains a laser rangefinder and other sensors
allowing for all weather operations, as well as tactical recon using recce pods.
The museum's MiG-23 contains the duckbill nose configuration that is normally
seen on MiG-27's.

The Mig-23BN Flogger H shown above, with 5744 painted on its side fuselage,
was donated by Lillie Hornak, of Palm Springs, CA. It once flew with the
Czechoslovakian Air Force.