Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA5311 MIG-23ML Flogger 4644, CIAF 99, Czech Air Force, 1999

In the 1960’s the Soviet military required a replacement for the MiG-21 that could compete with the USAF F-14 Tomcat. It had to be very fast, rapid acceleration, carry a larger payload, capable of a high service ceiling, long range and beyond visual range intercept capabilities. The project was given to the Mikoyan- Gurevich Design Bureau that produced the Model 23-11 that first flew on June 10, 1967. Production began in 1969 and eventually completed over 5,000 swing-wing MiG-23s. A ground-attack variant was also produced, the MiG-27.

MiG-23ML Flogger 4644 c/n 0390324644/17218 was delivered to the Czech Air Force in November 1982 assigned to the 1 SLP (1st Fighter Air Regiment). In late 1994 the aircraft received the special Tiger scheme and in 1995 transferred to the 41 SLT (41st Fighter Squadron) and by 1998 it was the last Czech MiG-23MLand withdrawn from active service but continued to be flown until 2000 for training purposes. 4644 participated in the annual CIAF (Czech International Air Fest) held at Hradec, Kralove in 1999. It was moved and preserved at Caslav AB.

General specifications for the MiG-23
(NATO code name FLOGGER)
Country of Origin – Soviet Union
Manufacturer – Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau
Role – Fighter-Interceptor
Crew – 1 Pilot (2 X for the MiG-23UB and the MiG-23UM
First Flight – June 10, 1967
Dimensions
Length – 54 ft 8 ins (16.71 m) including nose probe Height 15 ft 1 in (4.82 m)
Wingspan Fully Swept – 26 ft 7 ins (7.78 m) Fully Spread – 45 ft 8 ins (13.97 m)
Weight
Empty – 22,440 lbs (10,200 kg) Maximum Take-Off – 39,160 lbs (17,800 kg)
Performance
Powerplant – 1 X Soyuz/Tumansky R-35-300 Afterburning Turbojet Thrust – 28,600 lbs (13,000 kg) Maximum Speed – 1,553 mph (2,500 kmh) Service Ceiling – 60,680 ft (18,500 m) Range – 1,211 miles (1,950 km)
Armament
1 X GSh-23L 23mm Two-Barrel Cannon w/200 Rounds Maximum External Weapons Load – 6,600 lbs (3,000 kg) Weapons Options AAMs and ASMs R-3 (AA-2 Atoll) R-13R (AA-2-2 Atoll-C) R-13M (AA-2-2 Atoll-D) R-23R (AA-7 Apex) R-23T (AA-7 Apex) R-24R (AA-7 Apex) R-24T (AA-7 Apex) R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) R-60M (AA-8 Aphid)
Unguided Rockets S-5 S-8 S-24
Unguided Bombs FAB-250 FAB-500
OFAB-100 Fragmentation Bombs
Cluster Bombs
ZAB-500 Napalm Bombs
UPK-23 250 Pods with a GSh-23L Cannon
Known variants
MiG-23B, MiG-23BN, MiG-23BK, MiG-23BM, MiG-23BN, MiG-23M, MiG-23MF, MiG-23ML MiG-23MLA, MiG-23MLD, MiG-23MS, MiG-23P, MiG-23S, MiG-23UB, MiG-23UM, MiG-24 (export MiG-23