MiG-23 combat record and capabilities

MiG-29SMT

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Iraqi MiG-23s were actively used during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, both to combat enemy aircraft, and to strike ground targets. At the outbreak of the war, Iraq had 62 MiG-23s: 36 MiG-23BN (29th and 49th squadrons), 18 MiG-23MS (39th squadron) and 8 MiG-23UB (27th squadron). A total of 54 MiG-23BN, 18 MiG-23MS, 18 MiG-23MF, 54 MiG-23ML and a few dozen MiG-23UB were delivered.

According to Western statements, the aircraft used chemical weapons. According to official Iraqi data, Iraq Air Force aircraft did not use chemical weapons, as Major General Alwan al-Abusi pointed out, such weapons were used by artillery.



On September 22, 1980, Iraq launched a massive air attack with 128 aircraft, including 36 MiG-23s at Iranian airbases. 12 MiG-23BN struck at the air base of Dizful. Three F-5s were destroyed, one HAWK missile system was destroyed, 18 ground personnel were killed, a runway and the radar system were hit. 5 MiG-23BN attacked the airbase of Ahajari. Two runways were damaged. 6 MiG-23BN struck at the airbase Hamedan. The runway and the ammunition depot have been damaged. 11 MiG-23MS struck at the air base Kermanshah. The runway was damaged. 2 MiG-23MS attacked Ahvaz the airbase. The runway was hit. Some Western sources claim that the Mehrabad airbase near Tehran was attacked byMiG-23BN. According to Iraqi data, Tu-22 bombers were used to strike at such a distant target. None of the MiG-23 was shot down during the attacks (only 3 MiG-23BN were damaged by anti-aircraft fire over Dizfull). In the second wave of the raids, 19 MiG-23 participated. Also there were no losses. 5 MiG-23BN struck at the airbase of Ahajari. Ammunition depots and storage with fuel were damaged. 13 MiG-23MS struck at the air base Kermanshah. The air defense installations were damaged. 1 MiG-23MS scorted 4 MiG-21bis, striking at the airbase Ahvaz.



On September 23, MiG-23 again carried out several attacks on Iran. Air base Vahdati near Dizfull was attacked by 12 MiG-23BN. They came under strong anti-aircraft fire and one was shot down, the pilot R. Sadon was killed.

On September 24 Iraqi MiG-23BN struck at the Iranian naval base Bushehr. 250 patrol boats were sunk by bombs, heavy damage was received from a direct hit of a bomb by a PF-103 Naghdi class frigate,furthermore a MSC-268 Shahrokh minesweeper received a bomb hit and was burned.





On April 4, 1981, according to Iranian statements, eight MiG-23BNs were destroyed by Iranian "Phantoms" at H-3 airfield, according to Iraqi official data, no MiG-23 was injured during the raid (only a MiG-21 was hit).

October 19, 1981 Iraqi MiG-23BN near the Iranian coast bombed the Panama transport ship Moira. The ship received heavy damage and caught fire (according to some sources it sank).

During the fighting for Ahvaz in March 1986, 56 Iraqi fighter-bombers (mostly MiG-23BN) struck at the concentrations of Iranian armored vehicles, up to 500 Chiften, M60 and M113 armored vehicles were destroyed and damaged.

On April 4, 1986, a 250-kg bomb of an Iraqi MiG-23BN caused damage to the Iranian tanker Shrivan.







On December 2, 1981, an Iraqi MiG-23MS was hijacked at the Vahdati airbase in Iran. The Iraqis learned about this and a few hours later the plane was destroyed by air strikes.

Fighter modifications of MiG-23MS and MiG-23MF were used in the first half of the war, according to known data about 20 Iranian aircraft and helicopters were downed by the MiG-23s. In air combat battles, 2 MiG-23MS and 4-5 MiG-23MF were shot down. In 1983, a more advanced modification of the MiG-23ML was delivered to Iraq, the new variant was able to down 6 aircraft and 1 helicopter, while it suffered the the loss of 3 aircraft.

Among the famous Iraqi pilots who can be identified captain, is Omar Goben, who claimed 12 air to air victories over Iranian aircraft, at least one of which was confirmed. According to some sources, in 1980 he shot down two Iranian F-5s on a MiG-21 fighter. In December 1982, flying a MiG-23MF he shot down another F-5. On February 20, 1986 Goben aboard a MiG-23ML shot down an Iranian military transport aircraft Fokker F27, flying to the front line (killing 2 crew members and 49 military passengers). Captain Omar Goben died piloting a MiG-29 fighter in 1991, in a clash with American F-15s. Another Iraqi pilot, captain Ali Sabah, who piloted a MiG-23 and Mirage F1, was able to obtain three confirmed and three possible air victories. Pilot Major Muafak Mohamed Yasin aboard MiG-23MS and MiG-23MF of 39th Squadron and scored at least 2 air victories.

According to some Western researchers referring to indeterminate sources, only from September 1980 to January 1981, at least 40 aircraft of this type were shot down. Apparently, these data are based on Iranian statements. The Iranians claimed that during the entire war only 78 combat aircraft were shot down in air battles. If we compare the MiG-23 available at the beginning of the war, received during the war and left at the time of the war with Kuwait, then for 10 years, not even 30 losses will be scored. These losses amounted to 16 MiG-23BN, 6 MiG-23ML, 4 MiG-23MF and 3 MiG-23MS.

After the war, Iraq sent 9 MiG-23ML for repairs and upgrades to Serbia

Iraq used the MiG-23 during the War in the Persian Gulf (1990-1991). Before the war, according to Iraqi official data, Iraq had 127 MiG-23s: 38 MiG-23BN, 39 MiG-23ML, 14 MiG-23MF, 15 MiG-23MS and 21 MiG-23UB.

During the attacks on Kuwait, the Iraqi MiG-23BN destroyed two Kuwaiti Mirage F1CKs at the Ali al-Salem airbase. During the strikes at the al-Jaber airbase, the aircraft dropped bombs on the take-off strips, as a result of which three Kuwaiti Skyhawks crashed. On August 3, an Iraqi MiG-23BN was shot down by American antiaircraft gunners, the pilot M. al-Shawi was killed. This "MiG" was the only loss in the course of the Kuwaiti-Iraq war.

During the Desert Storm operation, according to Iraqi data, the MiG-23MF shot down one F-16, using a R-23 air to air Missile. According to Argentine researcher Diego Zampini, Iraqi MiG-23, also on the first night of the conflict, also managed to destroy two F-111 bombers with air-to-air missiles. From the damage received, the aircraft were decommissioned . Officially, the Americans credited the F-111 and F-16 losses to anti-aircraft fire . According to American statements, American F-15 fighters shot down 6 MiG-23MF and 2 MiG-23 fighters during the period of January 26-29. At the same time, according to the official Iraqi report on losses in the war, only two MiG-23MF were lost. One MiG-23ML was mistakenly shot down by the Iraqi MiG-29. 7 MiG-23ML, 4 MiG-23BN and 1 MiG-23UB were sent to Iran, of which 1 MiG-23BN crashed. By the end of the war, according to Iraqi official data, Iraq had 76 MiG-23s: 17 MiG-23BN, 21 MiG-23ML, 12 MiG-23MF, 13 MiG-23MS and 13 MiG-23UB.

In 1992, Iran sent to Sudan 10 Iraqi MiG-23. In the 90s, these planes attacked militants in southern Sudan.

Iraqi MiG-23ML handed over to Serbia managed to take part in repelling the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1999.

The last clash of Iraqi MiG-23 with enemy aircraft occurred on September 9, 1999. On this day, over a "no-fly zone" a group of American F-14 fighters tried to intercept a single MiG-23ML. One American aircraft launched an AIM-54 missile. The Iraqi aircraft dodged the missile and then left for its airfield.


 

MiG-29SMT

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As it is known, in the air battles of 1981 the Syrian Air Force had large losses. A question may arise, why? After all, during the " Yom Kippur War", the Syrian pilots almost completely destroyed the Squadrons of Israeli Phantoms and was able to neutralize the Mirage. The fact is that then the fighting took place over the Golan heights, in the field of view of the control points of the Syrian air force, with the total numerical
superiority of the Syrian Air Force. Now everything has changed, the fighting moved to the seaside to the valleys hidden to the Syrian radars by a mountain range. The only possibility of knowing the air situation was sending a single reconnaissance aircraft with further actions "according to circumstances", which the Syrians did. Nevertheless the Soviet fighters were used outside the field of vision of ground guidance services.
In 1978 the Air Force of Israel was qualitatively strengthened due to the supply of the new fighter aircraft F-15, F-16 and long-range radar surveillance aircraft (EWS) E-2C "Hawkeye". The stationing of stationary radars on the territory of Lebanon required time and
Soviet specialists proposed to refrain altogether from flying over the south of the country, especially since the Syrian Air Force did not have maneuverable fighters, equipped with powerful radars and medium-range missiles.
Sometimes it is said the opinion that the Syrians are forced to wait until the MiG-23MF were used as "armed" flying radars for the

MiG-25. However this is absolutely wrong. There are only two cases when the MiG-25s were used in the Lebanon war, described in
7th the article by V. Babich . In the first case, on February 19, 1981, a MiG-25 was sent down, directed
to intercept a pair of RF-4 scouts flying at middle height. The MiG-25 was attacked by a F-15, which was ambushed the MiG-25 hidden by a ridge.
The case showed that in the absence of a radar field over the Bekaa valley and southern Lebanon It was mortally dangerous to attack even high-altitude targets, because none of the types of Syrian fighter aircraft were equipped with lock down shoot down radars, capable of seeing targets against the background of the ground.
In subsequent operations, the MiG-25s only were sent to combat duty after the deployment in Lebanon, of the air defense system "Feda" and only from ambush positions, using as baits the maneuverable MiG-21, this only lasted until the appearance in Lebanon of a squadron of MiG-23MF, equipped with medium-range Air to Air missiles and pilots who mastered their use. One of such fights is described by V. Babich, on July 19, 1981, and this ended with the destruction of two F-15 and the loss of a single MiG-25.
Analysis of the tactical situation showed that the natural terrain, the deployment of AWACS
aircraft and air control command posts such as the Boeing-707 gave Israel the overwhelming superiority that could not be compensated even by the supply to Syria of the MiG-23ML.

In 1976, after a Syrian passenger plane was fired from a grenade launcher, Syria brought troops into Lebanon. The combat missions began to carry out the Syrian MiG-23.

On June 14, 1976, the Syrian pilot Lt. Mahmud Muslikh Yassin hijacked a MiG-23MS into Iraq.

According to researcher Tom Cooper, on April 26, 1981, two Syrian MiG-23MCs with R-13M Air to Air missiles shot down two Israeli A-4 ground-attack aircraft carrying out a bombing mission over Lebanon (these losses are not confirmed by the Israeli side; according to Western sources, these losses are confirmed ).

According to Israeli data, on April 21, 1982 Israeli fighter aircraft F-16A shot down two Syrian MiG-23 aircraft. What modifications were the aircraft, fighters or bombers, pilots and their fate is not reported.

Air Force Syria aircraft played a minor role in the air battles over Lebanon in June 1982.

On June 6, a pair of Syrian MiG-23MF flew to intercept an Israeli UAV over the Baal-Bek area. A Syrian pilot, Mr. Zakaria, with a R-23 missile from an 11 km distance, shot down an Israeli BQM-34. When exiting the attack, Syrian aircraft were intercepted by Israeli F-15A fighters, but the Syrians managed to escape from their pursuers. Later, the Syrian MiG-23MF carried out two more attacks of R-23 missiles on Israeli UAVs, but on these two times they were not successful.

On June 7, a Syrian MiG-23MF (piloted by Merza) attacked a group of Israeli F-16A fighters. The Syrian pilot fired two R-23 missiles, the first from nine kilometers, the second from seven kilometers and reported the downing of two F-16s. When exiting the attack, the Syrian aircraft was attacked by an Israeli fighter F-15A (piloted by Ofer Lapidot). The Israeli pilot fired an AIM-7F missile, but the Syrian aircraft dodged it, after which the Israeli approached close and released a Python-3 missile that hit the MiG, Merza catapulted and was rescued.

On June 8, another Syrian MiG-23MF (pilot by Hau) near Damur attacked a group of Israeli F-16As. From a distance of seven kilometers the Syrian pilot fired a R-23 missile and reported the downing of one F-16. Upon exiting the attack, the Syrian aircraft was attacked by a pair of Israeli F-15A fighters (pilots Shaul Simon and Dedi Rosenthal) who fired an AIM-7F missile and shot down a Syrian airplane, Hau ejected and was rescued.

On June 9, a pair of Syrian MiG-23MS (pilots by Tommy and Lt. Ali) attacked an Israeli F-4E. The Syrians fired rockets R-3S and R-13M and reported the shooting down of the "Phantom". Upon exiting the attack, Syrian aircraft were attacked by Israeli F-15A fighters and were shot down, Syrian pilots ejected and were rescued.

On June 9, a Syrian MiG-23MF (pilot by Dibs) east of Beirut attacked a group of Israeli F-16A. From a distance of six kilometers, the Syrian pilot fired a R-23 missile and reported the downing of one F-16. Upon exiting the attack, the Syrian airplane was shot down, Dibs catapulted and was saved.

June 9, the Syrian MiG-23MF (pilot Nazah) attacked a group of Israeli F-16A. From a distance of five kilometers the Syrian pilot fired a R-23 missile and reported the downing of one F-16. Upon exiting the attack, the Syrian aircraft was shot down by Israeli fighters, Nazah was ejected and rescued.

On June 9, the Syrian MiG-23MF was shot down by Israeli fighters, the pilot Sophie was killed.

On June 9, the Syrian MiG-23MF was shot down by Israeli fighters, the pilot Yasin was killed.

On June 11, a pair of Syrian MiG-23MS (pilots to Mr. Abdul Heirat and Mr. Al-Zabi) near the lake Karun attacked the Israeli F-4E. The Syrians fired rockets R-3S and R-13M and reported the shooting down of the "Phantom". When exiting the attack, Syrian aircraft were attacked by the Israeli F-15A (pilot Mr. Joram Peled). The Israeli plane fired two AIM-7F missiles and shot down both MiGs, Syrian pilots ejected and were rescued.

According to Soviet and Russian data, seven Israeli planes (five F-16s and two F-4s) and one BQM-34 unmanned aircraft were shot down during the Lebanon war in air battles with MiG-23MS and MiG-23MF fighters, with the loss of 10 of theirs. However, some circumstances do not allow convincingly to confirm the destruction of some Israeli planes (the loss of "BQM-34 " was confirmed by Israel), as follows from Babich's article "MiG-23MF in the Lebanon War", to the MiG-23MF pilots all five victories won were counted on the basis of their own reports ("According to the reports of the pilots, five enemy planes were shot down ..."). There is nothing known about the existence of documentary evidence of the declared victories in the form of debris of downed planes. There were no captured Israeli pilots by Syria. There were no airborne records confirming the declared victories, since no one from the MiG-23, whose pilots claimed about downed Israeli planes, returned to the base .

Syria also used MiG-23BN fighter-bombers. On June 9, the four Syrian MiG-23BN bombed the Israeli command center in Samakiyah. On June 11, a pair of Syrian MiG-23BN bombed the command post of Lieutenant Colonel Efroni - commander of the 362nd Battalion surrounded in Sultan-Yakub. The losses in the war in 1982 amounted to 14 MiG-23BN fighter-bombers.

 

MiG-29SMT

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Angolan clashes



Angola was another theater of operations in which the MiG-23 was widely used. About fifty MiG-23ML and MiG-23UB piloted by Cuban "volunteers" were sent to help the government forces, which were fought by UNITA rebels, openly supported by South Africa, in 1985. The main purpose of the aircraft was to provide air defense of vital areas of the country, in particular, the capital of Luanda. In 1987, after another aggravation of the conflict, fighters were deployed to the south. So, one MiG-23 squadron was deployed in the area of Namibe, 170 km from the border with Namibia.

By that time, several military clashes had already occurred in the south between Angolan and South African aircraft, during which (according to South Africa) the Mirage F. 1s shot down three MiG-21 MFs. However, with the advent of the MiG-23 in the war zone, South African aviation also began to suffer losses. In early 1987, one “F.1AZ Mirage” was shot down over the northern regions of Namibia. A few months later, another fighter of this type in an air battle with the MiG-23 received a hit of the R-60M missile. His pilot managed to reach the border and escape, but the plane was lost.



In 1989, at a gala evening at the Moscow Aviation Institute dedicated to the anniversary of the Mikoyan Design Bureau (where the author of these lines also visited), an unexpectedly Angolan pilot took the floor, introducing himself as an Angola Air Force pilot who fought on the MiG-23. Thanking R. A. Belyakov and other Mikoyanovites for a good plane, the Angolan said that he shot down an Impala attack aircraft on it.



 

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Perhaps the last word should come from the Soviets themselves, who produced a manual for foreign pilots learning to fly the MiG-23. The Soviets believed the MiG-23 had better climb rates and turning ability than the F-4 or F-16A at certain altitudes and speeds. However, “compared with the F-15A, the only advantage possessed by the MiG-23MLD was its ability to outclimb the Eagle in a zoom at speeds above 1,150km/h (715mph).”

The Soviets also considered the MiG-23s radar to be inferior to the F-15A's but equal to the F-16A's. “In conclusion, the manual stated that when armed with R-24 and R-60 missiles, the MiG-23MLD could hold its own against all the types of fighters considered,” Gordon and Dexter write. “If, however, it was pitted against F-15A, the MiG-23MLD only stood a chance of prevailing if several of them made simultaneous diving attacks from different directions and zoomed away once within visual range to return to the attack. This required experienced, skilled pilots and good ground control or AWACS backup. Great emphasis was placed on the initial attack phase and the importance of the element of surprise. It warned against head to head attacks against F-15As.”
 

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Foxbat

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Regarding the Gulf war, Western Air Forces denying losses of aircraft to opposing enemy aircraft and blaming them to SAMs is an old story going back to the Korean war and Vietnam war. If you see the combat records of US aircraft claimed to be shot down by enemy planes and US losses admitted due to SAMs there is a clear over lap and deliberate attempt to deny the enemy success.

Here is a clear example of a F/A-18 shot down by an Iraqi Mig-25 during the first Gulf War which was attributed to SAMs even though other pilots who witnessed it immediately attributed it to a Mig. 10+ years later this fact was officially acknowledged:

Who Shot Down U.S. Navy Pilot Scott Speicher? MiG-25 flier Zuhair Dawoud exercised admirable discipline
How Speicher was shot down remains less clear to this day. Initially, the Navy maintained that Speicher was brought down by a surface-to-air missile. Corresponding reports appeared in print media throughout the 1990s.

This despite several pilots involved in the same mission where Speicher went down clearly recalling the appearance of an Iraqi air force MiG-25 interceptor around the time Speicher’s Hornet got hit — and despite Iraqi newspapers publishing several stories about the MiG.

In 2001, the CIA released an unclassified summary of a report attributing Speicher’s loss to an air-to-air missile fired by an Iraqi aircraft.
 

MiG-29SMT

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Regarding the Gulf war, Western Air Forces denying losses of aircraft to opposing enemy aircraft and blaming them to SAMs is an old story going back to the Korean war and Vietnam war. If you see the combat records of US aircraft claimed to be shot down by enemy planes and US losses admitted due to SAMs there is a clear over lap and deliberate attempt to deny the enemy success.

Here is a clear example of a F/A-18 shot down by an Iraqi Mig-25 during the first Gulf War which was attributed to SAMs even though other pilots who witnessed it immediately attributed it to a Mig. 10+ years later this fact was officially acknowledged:

Who Shot Down U.S. Navy Pilot Scott Speicher? MiG-25 flier Zuhair Dawoud exercised admirable discipline
How Speicher was shot down remains less clear to this day. Initially, the Navy maintained that Speicher was brought down by a surface-to-air missile. Corresponding reports appeared in print media throughout the 1990s.

This despite several pilots involved in the same mission where Speicher went down clearly recalling the appearance of an Iraqi air force MiG-25 interceptor around the time Speicher’s Hornet got hit — and despite Iraqi newspapers publishing several stories about the MiG.

In 2001, the CIA released an unclassified summary of a report attributing Speicher’s loss to an air-to-air missile fired by an Iraqi aircraft.
1588417825690.png


Astrakhan based MiG-25s

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Aircraft are weapons systems that operate as as a single element among many and propaganda does the opposite, it tries to reduce a victory upon a single factor, the MiG-23 and MiG-31 were excellent aircraft even in the hands of arab jokeys, however it is the whole organization and tactics of an army the ultimate factor determining victory or defeat, so yes it is good to take all claims with a some degree of skepticism, let us remember propaganda is myth and all wars have a lots of myth
 

MiG-29SMT

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this F-5 was tested in the Soviet Union versus MiG-23Ms and they found it to be more nimble than the MiG-23, of course the MiG-23MLD was developed after they saw the MiG-23 needed a redesign so the MiG-23ML was born from that
 
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MiG-29SMT

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In this comparison, 3 main single-seat modifications of the MiG-23 are considered, equipped with an armament complex with Sapfir-23 radar and R-23 missiles. MiG-23 sample 1971 is a basic modification with the R-27 engine; MiG-23M - accordingly, the "evolutionary" development of the 71st model with the installation of a much more powerful R-29 engine and a number of small improvements; The MiG-23ML, in turn, is the development of the MiG-23M with some alteration of the airframe to reduce weight and the installation of the R-35 engine. This comparison aims at a general comparison of flight performance to display the real difference between the modifications of the machine.

Unfortunately, within the framework of this comparison, there is no way to take the entire "evolutionary series" of the MiG-23. On the MiG-23S and MiG-23 model 69/70, there is no access to the necessary documentation; no documented data on the MiG-23MS; and finally, there is no open access to documented data on the aerodynamics of the MiG-23MLD - the top of the 23s family. But the 3 modifications considered in comparison represent the bulk of the MiG-23s released and well show the development of the machine. Over time, additional data may appear, allowing you to calculate the characteristics of the remaining modifications.

Features of modifications that are important in terms of flight performance will be listed here. Differences in equipment and design are not considered in this case. Basically, we only note that all 3 compared modifications had a full-fledged radar with the possibility of using R-23 missiles.

The MiG-23 model 1971 is the first full-time version of a single-seat fighter, which implements an aerodynamic configuration that has become the basis for all subsequent versions of the MiG-23. Unlike earlier modifications (MiG-23S, MiG-23 arr. 1969), a wing of an increased area was installed on the sample and the shoulder was extended to the tail unit according to the example of the MiG-23UB. On this modification, there were no deflectable wing leading edges, which caused difficulties during take-off and landing, but subsequently the wings of already produced cars were modified and equipped with wing leading edges. The engine of the fighter is R-27-F2M-300. Another important difference from subsequent single-seat modifications was the marginal deviation angle of the stabilizer - 28.5 degrees, on subsequent versions it was reduced to 24.5 degrees. The design strength characteristics of the machine were quite high (judging by the documentation for the MiG-23UB about the same years, which had approximately the same power design, operational overloads were 4.5G for wing 16 and 8G for wing 72). However, during production, there were big problems with the VNS-2 steel used in the main supporting structures, which does not guarantee the achievement of the calculated strength characteristics on the released machines. Subsequently, the maximum overload of these machines was greatly reduced, even taking into account the fact that their wing consoles were repaired.

MiG-23M - the most popular version of the machine, equipped with a R-29-300 engine. The first MiG-23Ms represented the development of the 71st year model with the installation of a new engine, a stabilizer deflection angle reduced to 24.5 degrees (to reduce the likelihood of entering a tailspin and improving control characteristics), and a number of minor changes. The very first MiG-23M did not have deflectable wing leading edgess, but this innovation was quickly introduced into the series. In the course of mass production, the car was constantly improving, but with t.z. Maneuverability is significant only by fine-tuning the strength characteristics, which, during the production of the machine by improving the technology and strengthening the structure, were able to be brought to design, although this took quite a long time.

We begin the comparison with a graph of the established turn rates at different altitudess on the wing set at 16 degrees of swept. The altitudes of 0, 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10 kilometers are given.

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As can be seen from the graph, with this sweep on the MiG-23M relative to the MiG-23 model 71 improved the parameters of the turn rate, but not so much (+0.5 g / s at low altitudes and + 0.1 g / s and less at high altitudes). On the MiG-23ML, the improvement in maneuverability is much more significant, up to + 1g / s at low altitudes and + 0.5g / s at high altitudes relative to the MiG-23M. It is noteworthy that at an altitude of 1 km the MiG-23ML maneuvers almost the same as the MiG-23 arr71 near the ground. In addition to this, the ultimate strength overloads of the MiG-23ML are higher than those of the MiG-23 model 71 and MiG-23M, therefore, the highest angular velocities of the turn rate achieved at the ground level at MAX numbers of more than 0.6 are quite feasible on this machine. Given the strength limitations, the turn rate velocity near the ground in this configuration on the MiG-23 model 71 and MiG-23M is 16.5 g / s, on the MiG-23ML 18.3 g / s. On later MiG-23M angular velocities of more than 17 g / s are likely to be realized. It should be noted separately that the values of the maximum achievable angular velocities cannot replace a full-fledged graph. Maximum angular speeds are only “leader” indicators, in real combat conditions, speed and altitude changes all the time, and to assess the maneuverability of an aircraft it is important to take into account the values of angular speeds over the entire range of the graph.


MiG-23ML - lightweight modification with the R-35 engine. Visually, this machine differs from the MiG-23M in the different type of vertical tail it has, but there are many other changes. The size and shape of vertical tail was significantly reduced, but the stability margin of the machine remained approximately the same, due to a change in the configuration of its shape. It should be noted that the shoulder was slightly reduced to the horizontal tail, however, only 5 cm, so this also had almost no effect on the aerodynamic configuration. In the monograph “MiG-23 Fighter. On the defense of the sky of the Motherland ”it was mentioned that the total changes led to an improvement in aerodynamic quality and aerodynamics in general. But apparently the difference is not significant and was not reflected in the documentation. From the point of view of strength, this modification was already completely brought up, and could go to the maximum overload capabilities of the pilot.

Details of the calculated data and machine configurations can be found in the description of the parameters and calculation conditions.
 
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Climbing charts are essentially the same parameter, but in a different format. The maximum rate of climb is achieved at high subsonic speeds and supersonic; the wing provides the maximum maximum rate of climb at 72 degrees of swept

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The graphs show that there is a big difference in climb rate between the MiG-23obr. 71 and the MiG-23M, especially at low altitudes. The difference between the MiG-23M and MiG-23ML is much smaller, but also noticeable. The maximum calculated climb rate on the MiG-23 subsample 71 years old is 174 m / s, which is not a very large indicator for a fighter of this class. In the MiG-23M, due to a much more powerful engine, the rate of climb increased to 222m / s, almost 50m / s. This figure is already consistent with the "status" of a powerful fighter. On the MiG-23ML, mainly due to weight reduction, the climb rate reached 242m / s, which corresponds to the most powerful aircraft of the 2nd and 3rd generation, as well as to some 4th-generation fighters. At supersonic wing 72 has a relatively low air drag, which leads to a rather remarkable result when the maximum rate of climb at high speeds and altitudes is equal to the maximum rate of climb on the ground, especially on the MiG-23ML graphs, which has maximum climb rates of 0km, 5km and 10km are equal. At supersonic, the climb rate of all 3 MiG-23 modifications is very solid

 

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The maximum calculated climb rate on the MiG-23 subsample 71 years old is 174 m / s, which is not a very large indicator for a fighter of this class. In the MiG-23M, due to a much more powerful engine, the rate of climb increased to 222m / s, almost 50m / s. This figure is already consistent with the "status" of a powerful fighter. On the MiG-23ML, mainly due to weight reduction, the climb rate reached 242m / s, which corresponds to the most powerful aircraft of the 2nd and 3rd generation, as well as to some 4th-generation fighters. At supersonic wing at 72 degrees of swept has a relatively low air drag, which leads to a rather remarkable result when the maximum rate of climb at high speeds and altitudes is equal to the maximum rate of climb on the ground, especially on the MiG-23ML graphs, which has maximum climb rates of 0km, 5km and 10km are equal. At supersonic, the climb rate of all 3 MiG-23 modifications is very solid

The results of the comparison.
In general, by considering the flight performance of the 3 modifications of the MiG-23, the following conclusions can be drawn:

1. The characteristics of the machine improved from modification to modification, due to the improvement of the engine, and in the case of the MiG-23ML and due to weight reduction.

2. During the transition from the MiG-23obr. 71 to the MiG-23M, the most significant progress was achieved in the field of acceleration and rate of climb characteristics, but also an improvement in turn rate characteristics was achieved.

3. The MiG-23ML significantly exceeded the MiG-23M in turn parameters, while the progress in acceleration and rate of climb characteristics is also very noticeable.

4. The improvement in flight performance from modification to modification clearly suggests that the MiG-23M in most cases will win in close combat with the MiG-23 arr71, and the MiG-23ML in most cases will win in close combat with the MiG-23M.


 

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“Hero of Shindanda” - Mig-23MLD No. 58, which participated in the interception of Iranian helicopters

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In the afghan war it was claimed a MiG-23MLD downed a F-16, how was the F-16 shot down? because the MiG-23 did not carry air to air missiles.
One of the Soviet fighters could shoot down the F-16 with cannon fire. MiG-23MLDs always carried full ammunition for the GSh-23L: 250 high-explosive, incendiary, and armor-piercing shells. The bombing attack was usually accompanied by a cannon burst towards the target. Although shooting from a great height did not give much effect, a hundred shells could not interfere with the matter. After the discharge of air to ground weapons, nothing prevented one of the pilots from capturing the F-16 on its sight, which had jumped ahead, with the help of the radar, and the indicator of the respondent “friend or foe” helped to determine that it was the enemy. To drive the F-16 into the sight ring and release the line for an experienced ace is a matter of seconds. To answer the question why the pilot on earth did not report victory? it’s enough to recall orders not to get involved in the battle “avoiding international complications”, the recent scandal with the downed South Korean Boeing 747 and the incident with the Norwegian Orion, after the incident the participants were immediately transferred to other garrisons.

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“Hero of Shindanda” - Mig-23MLD No. 58, which participated in the interception of Iranian helicopters

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Excellent article ! There are very few websites from Russian sources that give the description of events from the Russian side. We are made to do with false Western and Pakistani Propaganda. The PAF brags how they shot down Russian aircraft but most of their stories are false and most of their victims were ground attack aircraft which were not allowed to fire back or defenceless transport aircraft. The Russians could have shot down multiple F-16s but avoided doing so to prevent the conflict from spreading. The F-16 which was shot down was probably by a Russian Mig-23 who did not claim it to avoid breaking the rules.
 

MiG-29SMT

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Excellent article ! There are very few websites from Russian sources that give the description of events from the Russian side. We are made to do with false Western and Pakistani Propaganda. The PAF brags how they shot down Russian aircraft but most of their stories are false and most of their victims were ground attack aircraft which were not allowed to fire back or defenceless transport aircraft. The Russians could have shot down multiple F-16s but avoided doing so to prevent the conflict from spreading. The F-16 which was shot down was probably by a Russian Mig-23 who did not claim it to avoid breaking the rules.
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official loses of MiG-23MLDs
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October 18, 1985 the accident of the MiG-23mld aircraft of the 982th IAP (Vaziani), departure from the Kandahar airfield. When a couple took off, there was a collision in the air, one pilot had to leave the plane 8 km from Kandahar, and the other managed to land on a damaged plane. The catapulted pilot was picked up by PSO helicopters.



March 10, 1987 the accident of the MiG-23mld aircraft of the 190th IAP (Kanatovo). Leading Mr. V. Lesnikov - led by the University of Economics Mr. Vyacheslav Golubev. When striking 50 km from Lake Surubi on a plane of V. Golubev, after a salvo from UB-32-57, surging and engine failure occurred. After several unsuccessful attempts to start the engine, the pilot catapulted. Selected by PSS helicopters. The loss was attributed to the DShK bullet entering the turbine blade during the withdrawal from the attack.



April 16, 1987 the combat loss of the MiG-23MLD aircraft of the 190th IAP (Kanatovo). Takeoff with two links from the Bagram airfield. During the attack on the fortified area of Javarra, near Khost, a couple of rooms. The AP of the command of Leonid Petrovich Fursa and his lead political officer, the AP of the command of Alexander Ospishchev, was the first to approach the target. After entering the dive, at an altitude of about H = 2000 m. Fursa felt a strong blow and heard the report of the follower: - "Commander, you are hit, burn! Jump!". Assessing the situation, the pilot dropped bombs and took the plane out of the dive. The engine, although unstable, but worked, so there was hope to reach the Kabul airport, which was closest. Having shifted the wing to the 16th position, it began to move away from the target with a decrease, but with a decrease in speed, the car began to heel noticeably. For some time it was possible to keep the plane, this was enough to move 30 km from the attack object. After losing control, the pilot catapulted, having received a spinal injury. Above the place of ejection “in a circle”, p / c A. Ospischev, Mr. Victor Nedbalsky and Mr. Vladimir Tur. After 15 minutes, a pair of PSS helicopters approached and delivered the pilot to the Kabul hospital. For Fursa, this flight was the 388th combat.



January 11, 1989 the combat loss of the MiG-23mld No. 42 aircraft of the 120th IAP (Domna), departure from the Shindand airfield. The flight was led by a pair A. Laktionov - driven by S. Lubentsov, as a result of the failure of the DCS-76 booster pump, the engine on the plane of captain Sergey Lubentsov turned off and the plane fell 110 km from Shindand. The pilot catapulted and was picked up by PSS helicopters, the remains of the aircraft were destroyed by the NURSs.



 

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However, the MiG-23's Afghan debut, as well as the operation as a whole, did not work out from the very beginning. At first, it was planned to use fighters from the Far Eastern Dombarovka, but the preparation was delayed there, and the 152nd Air Force Air Force Air Force Air Force Air Force hastily reassigned them to the mission. Since 1976, the regiment flew the MiG-23M and was previously subordinate to air defense, but since 1980 it was transferred to the front-line aviation of the district air force. To complete the task, two fighter units were sent under the command of Major I.A. Predictor. In view of the ordinary, in general, task and its short-term nature, no special training was carried out, and the group arrived in place only on the eve of the operation. Despite the participation in the leadership of the operation of the senior officers of the TurkMO and the 40th Army, who were in the air near Rabati-Jali on board the An-26 and An-30 VKP, the planning and organization of the operation were not very successful. Due to location errors, part of the landing was landed on Iranian territory, and most dushmans managed to escape from the attack and take out supplies. Helicopters awaiting the paratroopers on the field site were twice attacked by Iranian F-4Es, which damaged and set fire to several Mi-8s. Eight MiG-23M, based at the Shindand airfield, could not provide high-quality cover. Due to miscalculations in planning, fighter units replaced each other with significant gaps, up to 15-20 minutes, which the enemy took advantage of. The Phantoms even intercepted the An-30 aircraft, from which a group of leaders monitored the progress of the operation. Fortunately, it cost a demonstration of intent: Iranian fighters literally pushed the An-30 away from the border strip with energetic maneuvers and departed a few minutes before the appearance of the next MiG group. After a not-too-impressive debut, the MiG-23s from Afghanistan were recalled.

Source: https://fishki.net/1779627-istrebiteli-mig-23-v-afganistane.html © Fishki.net
 

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