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MiG-23 Flogger

The origins of the MiG-23 and its legacy
MiG-23 prototypes and variants
MiG-23M and its siblings
The MiG-23 light
The MiG-23 in France and Finland
The MiG-23ML manual
The MiG-23MLD Flogger K
The MiG-23 versus other fighter aircraft
The Soviet Phantom
The MiG-23 combat record
MiG-23 users
Favorite Links


The MiG-23 is a variable geometry wing aircraft developed by the former Soviet Union.
The F-111 became the first operational variable geometry wing aircraft in aviation History, however  because it was too heavy for its original fighter role and barely could hold 7Gs it became a tactical bomber and strike aircraft; therefore the MiG-23 was the first variable geometry wing fighter developed in the world and in the Soviet Union.
 The MiG-23 was designed as a variable geometry wing fighter with beyond visual range armament. The MiG-23 was greatly influenced by the F-111 and the F-4 however it shows the design trends of the 1960s specially if we consider other aircraft programs such as the Dassault Mirage G or the Mirage Balzac. 

Soviet MiG-23MLD
This is a MiG-23MLD fully armed patrolling the Afghan air space



In 1964 the MIG-OKB (Mikoyan Design Bureau) started the development of a new combat airplane which was given the designation "Aircraft 23-1" . On 22 May 1967 the prototype known as "aircraft 23-11" was taken for trials at the Zhukowsky LII Flight Experimental Institute and a few days later, on 26 May made its maiden flight at the hands of the MIG-OKB's chief test pilot A. Fedotov. In 1969 the new aircraft entered full-scale production designated as MIG-23, from the 1970s to the 1980s, the MiG-23 was the Soviet Union's most capable tactical fighter.

The MiG- 23 Flogger is a single seat supersonic fighter interceptor with variable sweep wings.

Russian MiG-23MLD
This is an excellent picture showing a Russian MiG-23MLD

These are the MiG-23ML specifications:
Crew: One.
Length: 16.70 m (56 ft 9.5).
Wingspan: Spread, 13.965 m (45 ft 10 in).
Height: 5 m.
Wing area: 37.27 squared m spread, 34.16 squared m swept (402.05 squared ft / 367.71 squared ft) .
Empty weight: 9900 kg (21,825 lb). Loaded weight: 14,670 kg (34,407 lb) . Max takeoff weight: 17,800 kg (39,242 lb).
 Powerplant: a single Khatchaturov R-35-300 afterburning turbojet, of 13000 kg of thrust at max after burner and 8,550 kg of thrust at military power , 83.6 kN dry, 127 kN afterburning (18,849 lbf / 28,260 lbf).
Maximum speed: Mach 2.35, 2,500 km/h at altitude; Mach 1.14, 1,350 km/h at sea level (1,553 mph / 840 mph).
Range:2,820 km ferry (570 mi / 1,750 mi) .
Service ceiling: 18,500 m (60,695 ft).
Rate of climb: 240 m/s (47,245 ft/min).
Wing loading: 477 kg/ square m at max take off weight and 396.29 kg/ square m  at normal take off weight.
Thrust/weight: 0.88.
Here are some MiG-23 performance and handling data based upon the MiG-23ML Manual  

One the MiG-23ML that visited France and Finland in 1978

The MiG-23ML has a flight range on internal fuel at the speed of Mach 0.74-0.77 with the wings set at a sweep angle of 16 degrees at ceiling of 14km-16km, of 1450km, this increases to 2360km with three fuel tanks. The MiG-23ML has a Max range with three external fuel tanks and two R-24/AA-7 Apex of 900km at a ceiling of 200 meters. The MiG-23 will accelerate at the altitude of 1 km from the speed of 630km/h to 1300km/h in just 30 seconds and at the altitude of 10km-12km will accelerate from Mach 1 to Mach 2 in just 160 seconds, however it will accelerate from 600km/h to 900km/ just 12 seconds.  The MiG-23ML with its engine at full afterburner, with a fuel remnant of 2000 litres and carring two R-23 missiles will accelerate from 600km/h to 1100km/h in just 22 secs with its wings set at 45 degrees and at 1 km of altitude
The MiG-23ML has an instantaneous turn rate of 16.7 deg/sec and a sustained turn rate of 14.1 deg/sec.

The Mikoyan Bureau designates each MiG-23 variant with its own particular designation.
The MiG-23PD was called aircraft 23-01, later models have the following designations, the MiG-23 swing wing prototype was the aircraft 23-11; the MiG-23S was aircraft 23-21 and 23-22; the first MiG-23 trainer variant bears the designation aircraft 23-51/1, the MiG-23 etalon 1971 was called aircraft aircraft 23-11, from it spawned the first truelly mass produced MiG-23M called aircraft 23-11M and 2M; the MiG-23ML is called aircraft 23-12; the MiG-23MLD is the aircraft 23-18, other MiG-23 variant designations are aircraft 23-16 for the MiG-23MLA and aircraft  23-14 for the MiG-23P.
All the unbuilt and experimental variants had also designations, among them we have the MiG-23 aircraft 23-41 the base for the unbuilt MiG-23R. The MiG-23MLD had several experimental versions among them the MiG-23MLG known as aircraft 23-37 and the MiG-23MLDG 23-75, these two versions were equipped with helmet mounted sights but never entered production.