At one point the backbone of the Soviet air defence force the MIG-23 was produced in large numbers and has been exported to over a dozen countries. This swing-wing fighter was designed between 1961 and 1964 as a multi role fighter to replace the smaller MIG-21. The idea of swing wing aircraft whose wings pivot to allow shorter take off runs and lower speed ground attacks runs while allowing a high speed swept wing configuration has fallen out of fashion. The MIG-23 has a powerful engine which was changed between the prototype and the Flogger-B which was the first production version and although some versions have provision for booster rockets to be attached to the rear to aid take off it can still take off in 900m (2,950ft) which is an excellent figure for such a fast aircraft. One of the most unusual features of this aircraft is its large ventral fin which helps stability needed for accurate ground attacks, this fin is hinged to the right hydraulically for landing. Basic armament consist of a 23mm twin barrel cannon and normally four Air to Air missiles (for the ground attack version see MIG-27).
Maximum Speed; 1551 mph (2496km/h)
Combat Radius; 805 miles(1300km)
Service ceiling; 61,000ft (18595m).
How to cite this article:
Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (13 February 2001), MIG-23 'Flogger', http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_mig23.html