Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23

Soviet variable-sweep fighter aircraft

Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 23MLD Flogger K
photo: U.S. Air Force

The MiG-23 is a variable-sweep fighter aircraft of Mikoyan-Gurevich introduced in 1970. Produced from 1969 to 1985, the MiG-23 is a third-generation jet fighter and the most-produced variable-geometry aircraft in the world.

Mikoyan Gurevich
1967 to: 1985
US$6.6 million (1980)


High Lark radar, RWR, IRST, Basic Bombsight
1x Khatchaturov R-35-300
18,800 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
1349 knots
2,498 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
Travel range:
1,520 Nautical Miles
2,815 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
60,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
45000 feet / minute
228.60metre / second
Take Off Distance:
500 metre - 1,640.40 feet
Landing Distance:
750 metre - 2,460.60 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
17,800 Kg
39,242 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
3,000 Kg
6,614 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
1,130 gallon
4,278 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
1 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
16.7 metre - 54.79 feet
Tail height:
4.82 metre - 15.81 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
1.1 metre - 3.61 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
13.97 metre - 45.83 feet
Wing Tips:
no winglets
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In the early 1960s, development for a fighter that would replace the MiG-21 started. The new design was mandatory to have greater performance and longer range compared to its antecedent while featuring upgraded avionics systems and armaments that included beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles. Consideration of the primary design was of take-off and landing capabilities. The Soviet Air Force required the aircraft to have a less take-off run.

There were several variants of the MiG-23 built including the first-generation, second-generation, ground-attack variants, and other proposed variants and upgrades that did not enter production.

The MiG-23MLD was a second-generation variant and the concluding fighter version of the aircraft. It has an external length of 16.7 meters, a tail height of 4.82 meters, an external height of 2.7 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1.1 meters.

The fully spread wingspan is 13.97 meters while 7.78 meters when fully-swept. The fully-spread and fully-swept wing area are 37.35 square meters and 34.16 square meters, respectively. The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 17,800 kg and a fuel capacity of 1,130 US gal.

It is powered by a single Khatchaturov R-35-300 afterburning turbojet with a maximum dry thrust of 18,800 lbf and 28,660 lbf with afterburner. It has a maximum speed of 1,349 knots and a clean range of 1,000 nautical miles. The combat range is 810 nautical miles with standard armament and the ferry range is 1,520 nautical miles with 210 US gal drop-tanks.

The aircraft can fly up to 60,000 feet and has a climb rate of 45,000 feet per minute at sea level. It has a takeoff distance of 500 meters and a landing distance of 750 meters.

The MiG-23MLD is loaded with a 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23L autocannon. Two hardpoints are located in the fuselage, two in the wing glove, and two in the wing pylons which can carry up to 3,000 kg of stores with provisions to bear combinations of S-5 rockets, air-to-air missiles such as R-60, R-73, R-23, R-77, R-27R and air-to-surface missiles such as Kh-23 Grom, and up to 500 kg of bombs per hardpoint.