Mig-23ml Fighter Aircraft,Technical Specifications (The USSR)

Mig-23ml Fighter Aircraft Technical Specifications

  • Crew – 1 person
  • Engine – R-35F-300
  • Thrust – 6120 kgf
  • Wingspan-7.78/13.97 m
  • Wing area – 34.16 / 37.27 sq. m
  • Leading edge sweep angle-72° / 45° /16°
  • Empty aircraft weight-10,230 kg
  • Maximum take-off weight-17,800 kg
  • Maximum speed at altitude / near the ground-2500 / 1400 km / h
  • Practical ceiling – 18,600 m
  • Maximum flight range-1450 km
  • Armament: 1×23-mm gun GSH-23L; 2 guided missiles R-23L/T or R-24R/T; 4-6 guided missiles R-13M, R-13M1 or R-3S; 2 guided missiles X-66 or X-23; 2 gun containers UPK-23-250; 4 blocks of unguided missiles S-5/S-8 or 2 unguided missiles S-24B
  • The maximum bomb load is 2000 kg of aerial bombs.

The variety of tasks facing aviation technology has led to the creation of universal, multi-purpose combat aircraft. One of these designs was the MIG-23, a representative of the first generation of Soviet combat fighters with variable wing sweep, capable of performing the functions of a front-line fighter, interceptor and low-altitude fighter-bomber.

Mig-23ml Fighter Aircraft

In 1964, OKB-155 A. I. Mikoyan began work on the creation of a new front-line fighter under the designation “MiG-23”. G. A. Sedov was appointed Chief designer. General management was carried out by A. I. Mikoyan, and after his death – by R. A. Belyakov. Work on the creation of this aircraft was preceded by a large amount of research, in which G. S. Bueschgens, G. V. Aleksandrov, S. M. Belotserkovsky, G. I. Zagainov and other leading TsAGI aerodynamicists took part. According to the military, during a full-scale war, large airfields with concrete runways would be very vulnerable, so the Air Force needed vehicles capable of operating from shortened runways. This could be achieved in two ways: through the use of lifting engines or the use of a wing with variable geometry.

It was proved that the use of a variable sweep wing will allow creating a multi-mode combat aircraft, and calculations carried out at TsAGI showed that an aircraft with such a wing will have a noticeable advantage. A rotary wing or a wing with variable geometry, the sweep of which varies with the flight speed, made it possible to increase the range of the vehicle by a third and reduce its landing speed by a quarter.

The Mig-23 front-line fighter aircraft was designed to fight enemy aircraft in a wide range of altitudes and flight speeds and perform tasks in the interests of the troops of the operational-strategic association. It was assumed that it would be a relatively cheap aircraft that could be effectively used in small wars, solve air defense tasks and combine the best qualities of the MiG-21. Its main advantages were to be high speed and rate of climb, long range and duration of flight, as well as the ability to hit ground targets.

For the MiG-23, a wide range of sweep changes was selected from 16° for take-off and landing, cruising at a distance and barraging in the air to 72°. Depending on the flight mode, it could become either almost straight or swept. In a very short period of time, from January to March 1966, a draft design of the MiG-23 was created. On June 10, 1967, the first flight of the MiG-23 was made. The aircraft proved to be easy to control in all wing positions. Serial production of the MiG-23S fighter was mastered at the Moscow Machine-building Plant No. 30 “Znamya Truda” in 1969.

From all the previous machines created by the OKB (MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21), this fighter differed primarily in its basic scheme-the MiG-23 aircraft was a high-wing plane with a variable sweep. The high-plan wing arrangement was chosen to allow for the possibility of removing part of the wing into the fuselage with a large sweep. The wing consisted of a fixed part and two pivoting consoles. The sweep angle of the fixed part along the leading edge was 70°, and the angle of the movable cantilevers along the leading edge varied from 16° to 72°. The cantilevers were rotated by a special SPK-1 system. The aerodynamic scheme adopted for the MiG-23 provided it with high load-bearing properties. On take-off and landing modes, long – range cruising and barrage modes, the minimum wing sweep angle of 16°was used. In this configuration, the aircraft had the greatest aerodynamic quality, which significantly increased the flight range. In the maneuver and air combat modes, the average wing sweep angle was used-45°. This configuration allowed for increased operational overloads, improving the speed characteristics of the aircraft. The flight at supersonic speeds, including at high speeds near the ground, was performed at a maximum wing sweep angle of 72°. Moreover, even in this wing position, the aircraft maintained high maneuverability characteristics at transonic speeds, stability and controllability.

To improve the flow around and increase the lift of the wing during take-off and landing and maneuvering modes, deflectable socks were installed on its leading edge, and rotary flaps were installed on the trailing edge along the entire span. Track stability of the aircraft was provided by a vertical tail, which included a keel, rudder and a special ventral ridge, interlocked with the landing gear: when it was cleaned, the ridge turned to a vertical position at an angle of 95°. The fuselage of the aircraft is a semi-monocoque type, its tail section had four sections of air brakes. The landing gear was tricycle – support, providing operation on concrete and unpaved runways.

For the MiG-23, a new two-circuit turbojet engine R-27F-300 with a maximum thrust of 5200 kgf and 7800 kgf on the afterburner was specially developed at the K. R. Khachaturov Design Bureau based on the R-11F2S-300. This engine provided the fighter with flight in a wide range of speeds, the maximum speed at the ground was 1350 km/h, and at altitude – 2500 km/h. The design of the engine was designed in such a way as to withstand maximum combat damage caused by aircraft and anti-aircraft missiles. The side air intakes had an automatic all-speed control system. To reduce the length of the run, a PT-10370-65 brake parachute was installed. The MiG-23 had a sealed cabin. The cab light opened up and back. When the cabin was depressurized at high altitude, the pilot had to help out with a high-altitude compensating suit, and, in extreme cases, an ejection seat KM-1M.

On the MiG-23 fighters, various sighting systems were used. So, on the MiG-23C/M/The OPSS-23ML system was installed on the ML, and on the MiG-23MLA/MLD – OPSS – 23MLA. The first part included: the RP-23ML radio sight (“Saphir-23ML”) with an air target detection range of up to 55 km and a capture range of up to 35 km, the TP-23, TP-23-1, TP-23M heat direction finder and the ASP-23DTSM optical sight. The second one included the RP-23MLA radio sight (“Saphir-23MLA”), TP-23M or TP-26 heat direction finder, and the ASP-17ML optical sight. This equipment provided: detection of aerial targets; determination of their nationality; capture and tracking; calculation and indication of commands required to control the fighter when aiming at air and ground targets; issuing signals to missiles when preparing them for launch; target illumination (when using guided missiles with a semi-active radar guidance system). The Saphir-23MLA station made it possible to intercept an air target in free space or against the ground (with a minimum target flight altitude of up to 40 m), day and night, in any weather conditions, on counter-intersecting courses and from the rear hemisphere, as well as firing a cannon at invisible targets (at night, in clouds) maneuvering with an overload of up to 3, at ranges of 550 – 1000 m. The TP-23M or TP-26 thermal direction finder was also used to detect air targets (with a maximum detection range of jet aircraft in the rear hemisphere against the background of free space up to 60 km). In addition, the equipment included the Delta – N (MiG-23S) or Delta-NG guided missile guidance station; the Lazur-S (MiG-23S), Lazur-SM (MiG-23M) or Lazur-SML (MiG-23ML/MLD) system, which provides automatic guidance of the aircraft using the ground-based Air control system.

On the MiG-23S / M aircraft, the R-832M VHF radio station was installed, and on the MiG-23ML / MLD-R-862; the Polet-1L-23 (MiG-23S/M) or Polet-2L-23 (MiG-23ML/MLD) navigation system; the ARK-10 or ARK-15M automatic radio compass, etc. MiG-23ML fighters and subsequent modifications received the Polet-21-23 navigation and aerobatic system, which was used to automate the solution of short-range navigation tasks, as well as landing approaches (up to an altitude of 60 m) day and night, including in difficult weather conditions. On the MiG-23 later series, containers with IR traps were installed. All variants of the MiG-23 aircraft had a built-in 23-mm GSH-23L double-barreled gun, and it was also possible to hang two more of these guns in UPK-23/250 containers. To combat air targets, MiG-23 aircraft could take on board two medium-range air-to-air missiles R-23R, R-24R (MiG-23MLA/MLD) with a semi-active radar guidance system, or R-23T, or R-24T (MiG-23MLA/ MLD) with a thermal guidance system, suspended on fixed wing parts.

Short-range weapons were air-to-air missiles: two R-13M, R-13M1 or R – 3S (or later, four R-60 or R-60M), suspended on ventral nodes. Guided air – to-ground missiles Kh-66, Kh-23 (Kh-23M), suspended under the wing, were used to hit ground targets. In addition to them, unguided S-5, S-8, and S-24 aircraft missiles could also be used.

The MiG-23 bomber armament included 4 FAB-500 or 16 FAB-100 bombs (with a total mass of up to 2000 kg), as well as bomb cartridges dropped from altitudes of 500 – 600 m, and ZB-500, ZB-500R or ZB-500SH incendiary tanks. Some MiG-23 aircraft were equipped with suspension units for tactical nuclear bombs RN-40 with a capacity of 30 kilotons. In the reloading version of the MiG-23MLD, the combat load mass reached 4,500 kg.

The first MiG-23S fighter in 1969 received the Lipetsk Combat Training Center, and the first combat regiment of the USSR Air Force, re-equipped with MiG-23, was the 32nd Guards Vilna Order of Lenin and Kutuzov III degree fighter aviation regiment (Shatalovo village, Smolensk region). However, the MiG-23S turned out to be very “raw” – its development was accompanied by a large number of accidents and catastrophes, which occurred primarily due to insufficient wing strength. But over time, the design flaws of the aircraft were completely eliminated, and in terms of its combat effectiveness, it began to surpass the MiG-21 in almost all indicators. Serial production of the MiG-23 in the fighter and fighter-bomber versions was carried out only at the Znamya Truda Moscow Machine-Building Plant. It was produced in the following main versions::

– MiG-23S-frontline fighter. It was distinguished by the R-27F2M-300 engine, new wing consoles, a horizontal tail shifted back by 860 mm and an additional fuselage tank. It was produced in 1969-1970;

– MiG-23M / MS / MF-frontline fighter. In the early 1970s, due to the urgent need for further improvement of avionics and weapons, as well as improving maneuverability characteristics, a radical improvement of the MiG-23 was required. The upgraded MiG-23M aircraft was equipped with a new powerful engine (R29F-300), more advanced equipment, an outboard ventral fuel tank and a wing with an increased area and improved aerodynamics. It was produced from 1971 to 1978. In total, more than 1,300 MIG-23M aircraft were built;

– MiG-23B / BN/BM-fighter-bomber (with a flat nose of the fuselage), equipped with a new sighting and navigation system PrKN-23 with a laser range finder – pointer ” Background “(instead of the onboard radar), as well as a new six-barreled 30-mm gun GSH-6-30. On the MiG-23B aircraft, the AL-21F-3 engine was mounted, and on the MiG-23BN – R-29B-300. It was produced from 1972 to 1985. Over 500 vehicles of this type were built;

– MiG-23ML-upgraded front-line fighter. The demands for a further increase in maneuverability caused by the appearance of fourth-generation fighters in the United States led to the creation of a lightweight MiG-23ML fighter in the USSR in 1973. This aircraft received improved equipment, a more powerful engine with increased thrust R-35F-300. Changes were made to the airframe design – the fuselage was shortened. This model was the first to use a system for limiting angles of attack. It was produced in 1976-1983. In total, more than 1,300 MiG-23ML aircraft were built.;

– MiG-23P-lightweight fighter-interceptor of air defense. Based on the MiG-23ML, an air defense interceptor with a different set of equipment was created, capable of fighting low-flying targets. It was produced in 1978-1983;

The MiG-23MLD / MLG / MLS is the most advanced front-line fighter in the MiG-23 family. The design of the fuselage was improved, which improved the stability characteristics of the aircraft at high angles of attack. The fighter was equipped with an advanced bot radar capable of tracking up to 6 targets simultaneously. To protect against man-portable air defense systems, container blocks with infrared traps were mounted on the fixed parts of the wing. The MiG-23MLD was mass-produced from 1982 to 1985. In addition, a large number of MiG-23 aircraft of other modifications were converted to the MiG-23MLD variant until 1985.

Along with the MiG-23 combat aircraft produced in Moscow, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant named after the 60th Anniversary of the USSR launched the production of the two-seat MiG-23UB combat training aircraft in 1970-1978.

By the mid-1980s, the MiG-23 had become the most mass-produced fighter of the Soviet Air Force, and its variant, the MiG-23P, almost replaced the MiG-21, Su-9, Su-11 and Su-15 interceptors from the country’s air defense aviation. Since 1984, MiG-23MLD fighters have been widely used by the 40th Army Air Force in Afghanistan to strike ground targets, as well as cover the actions of Soviet strike aircraft in the areas bordering Iran and Pakistan. MiG-23 fighters were widely exported and used in almost all international conflicts, including local wars in the Middle East, where they successfully resisted the Israeli Air Force equipped with American F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, as well as French Dassault Mirage fighters.

MiG-23 aircraft were produced in 1969-1985. At the Moscow Machine-building plant No. 30 “Znamya Truda” 4278 aircraft were produced (including fighter-bomber modifications), in Irkutsk at the aviation plant named after the 60th anniversary of the USSR 769 MiG-23UB training aircraft were manufactured (taking into account the conversion to the MiG-23UM variant-1020 aircraft).

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