MiG-23 FLOGGER - Production & Service
More than 4,000 MiG-23/27s are estimated to have been built. By another account, over 11,000 MiG-23 air vehicles were operated by the air forces of more than 20 countries. More than 60% of their fleets are MiG-23ML, MiG-23MLD, MiG-23MF and MiG-23MS fighters, 30% are MiG-23BN fighter-bombers and the rest of the aircraft are MiG-23UB combat trainers. For most air forces, MIG-23 is the main type of combat aircraft which has been successfully mastered by flying and maintenance personnel. The aircraft possesses high performance and can be kept in service until 2010-2015. However, the aircraft weapons and avionics designed more than 20 years ago can not operate on a par with up-to-date analogues.
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 Frontal Aviation aircraft, due to its low cost, high reliability and combat effectiveness, has enjoyed deserved popularity in the l970's-l980's and was acquired by many of the world's countries. By 1992, it was in the inventory of the Air Forces of Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Iraq, Libya, the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], Poland, South Yemen, Syria, and Vietnam. The FRG [Federal Republic of Germany] received 110 MIG-23MF aircraft after the uni?cation of Germany. There were several MIG-23's in the United States which participated in the rehearsal of combat training dog ?ghts with US ?ghter aircraft. MiG-23 aircraft acquired by the United States under the Foreign Materiel Acquisition/Exploitation program are designated as the YF-113.
In AF and Air Defence in most of these and CIS countries, the MiG-23s are still in service. Part of MiG-23s of the Russian AF is maintained operational at the storage bases. One of the aircraft is still used at the IAIA as an "enemy fighter" or an escort aircraft for the "new born" Su-30s.
In order to show the significant potential of the MiG-23 family front-line fighters and MiG-27 fighter-bomber the RAC "MiG" worked out the program of upgrading the MiG-23 and MiG-27 aircraft taking into account the specific requirements of different customers.
The program provides for installation aboard the aircraft of a number of new onboard avionics systems and expansion of the armament nomenclature. A new armament control system can be built based on the multi-function radar or include an additional system intended for formation of a flight mission or transmission of radio updating commands to the up-to-date "A-A" missiles.
The airborne avionics can be provided with helmet-mounted target designation system and up-to-date data display equipment including the head-up and multifunctional displays. The systems of navigation, communication, electronic counter measure, video recording, integrated system of monitoring, recording and processing of the flight data are subjected to upgrading.
The fighter weapon suite is added with up-to-date R-73E, RVV-AE, R-27R1 "A-A" missiles. Concurrently with upgrading the aircraft service life and lifetime can be extended. At the customer's request the aircraft can be adapted to employment of the guided weapons of "A-A" and "A-S" class of other types.
Under a separate program in cooperation with "Salut" enterprise it is offered to replace aboard the MiG-27M aircraft the obsolute R29B-300 engine with modern AL-31F ser. 30C engine which will ensure improvement of tactical performance of the fighter-bomber, reliability and cost efficiency of its operation.
Concurrently with upgrading the aircraft service life and lifetime are extended. At the customer's request the MiG-23ML, MiG-27M and MiG-23UB aircraft can be subjected to upgrading of various complexity level and provided with equipment and armament of foreign production.
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