MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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mixelflick

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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 14:38

Within visual range their comparisons to the Phantom, F-15 and 16 do seem off. Can contend with Phantoms... OK, maybe. But to consider the F-16 equal yet the F-15 superior? Doesn't add up..

Perhaps they were taking BVR into consideration? The F-16 is much smaller than the 15, tougher to see. Accelerates as good or better and if I'm not mistaken, has similar legs. Regardless, there's no way I'm buying any version of the Mig-23 is the equal of any F-15 or 16. It was a full generation behind, and was lucky to have Phantom like performance. I'm not dismissing it out of hand, but.... look at the combat record!

Plenty of Mig-23's have fallen to both the F-15 and 16. And many of those were piloted by experienced Iraqi's, who fought a 10 year war with Iran...
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basher54321

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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 14:55

mixelflick wrote:Within visual range their comparisons to the Phantom, F-15 and 16 do seem off. Can contend with Phantoms... OK, maybe. But to consider the F-16 equal yet the F-15 superior? Doesn't add up..

Perhaps they were taking BVR into consideration?



No as I said above I have only pulled out the parts more relevant to BFM for now.

The Soviets considered the F-16A/F-15A superior regarding combat performance - it is in bold above.

a better STR or zoom climb at the speeds quoted is entirely plausible but likely irrelevant as I said above -doesnt make the MiG suddenly superior.

:D
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f-16adf

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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 15:47

Internet tales and being able to ascertain the validity of conflicting information is rather a challenge.

Here is another conflicting story, in the article below the BAF Mig-29 pilot says in a nutshell: "In a turning fight the F-16 (GE powered Vipers) lose more energy than the Mig-29, hence the Mig retains energy better."


https://ibb.co/fPsYAF



Now I'm not trying to sound like an arrogant Yankee, but according to my countries pilots (like FF who did an exchange with the GAF and flew the Mig-29), it is the other way around. The GE Vipers all have a better STR/P's than the Mig-29. Against the NATO A models sure the Fulcrum "could" be a tad better?



The BAF pilot does not say at what speeds. Maybe at under 300kts, but above 325kts the Block 30/40 even possibly the 50 should be superior.

Problem is if you are not an actual fighter pilot it is very hard to discern actual truth.

And as JB says, you cannot go by airshow demonstrations.

Jets are affected by Density Altitude on different days. You cannot compare an F-16 flying on a hot humid day against a Mig-29 or whatever flying on a cool arid day. You must also take into account field elevation.

When I fly my RG on a cold November day here in the Great Lakes, it performs far superior than when I take in out on a hot humid July or August day.

Unless the jets fly on the same day and under the same atmospheric conditions, an airshow comparison is just illogical.



And if you are not an actual fighter pilot (such as myself), going by internet articles and estimations is quite challenging for the rest of us-
Last edited by f-16adf on 17 Jul 2017, 18:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 17:02

Haven't finished with the MLD yet - maybe that needs to go in the MiG-29 vs thread - still at least there is an English Tech Order with some performance charts for the MiG-29A/G.
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 17:29

The good thing about the analysis from the manual is that the Soviet stuff should be dead on :D

BVR

During BVR combat, the manual emphasises that attacks should not be initiated without offensive advantage and the prospect of firing the 'first shot'. The general rule: 'Who shoots first - kills first and dictates the outcome of the engagement' should be seen as a particularly important dictum for the MiG-23 community. If the MiG-23 was dictating the outcome of the engagement, the aircraft could exploit this advantage to the full, using the 'slash-and-dash' attack technique - the preferable method, and often the only one available against F-16s and F15s.



First the MiG guy needs to detect, and identify friend or foe & type of aircraft.


The authors claim that airborne radar maximum detection range alone cannot grant any decisive tactical advantage in the non-sterile environment of 'real world' air combat.

In addition, the generally low reliability of the electronic identification (EID) facilities of the early/mid 1980s is another factor which would prevent enemy fighters from making full use of their superior Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capability.


If you cant tell the difference between an F-15 and an F-16 at distance what can you do??

If an unknown type of 'bandit' is encountered, it should be assumed that it is an F-15 - the most capable and hence the most dangerous, enemy fighter. The manual stresses that the MiG23MLD is prohibited from closing head-on with any such adversary, as these may well be F-15s with better radar performance and longer-range BVR missiles. For this reason, one piece of advice that the manual directs specifically at GCI officers is that during fighter sweep operations it would be strictly against the rules for them to vector MiG-23s in head-on attacks against non-identified bandits. However, if such a situation is unavoidable, then the tactics recommended to MiG-23 pilots and GCI officers are as follows: "If the distance to the 'bandits' exceeds 12nm (20km), the MiGs should immediately make a sharp turn away from the target, descending and pulling high-g and then reverting to a 'side-on' or 'tail-on' missile attack. If the target is detected side on, the MiG-23MLD pilot should use chaff and turn away sharply in order to evade the Sparrow missiles, and then revert to attack."



Missile
The manual's authors claim that the MiG-23MLD's R-24R (AA-7 Apex) BVR SARH missile has a range of performance comparable to that of the F-15A's AIM-7F Sparrow, while the IR-guided R-24T and R-23T are a valuable addition to the Flogger's weapons suite.

The R24T's high-altitude maximum range in a head-on attack is 7nm (12km) and the figure increases to 12nm (20km) in tail-on engagements. At the same time, the manual claims that the 'Foxtrot' and 'Echo-2' Sparrow variants are known to have inferior ECM resistance compared to the R-24R; it also concludes that the US BVR missiles are not particularly effective in shoot-down engagements.


[Note Israeli Baz pilots claimed at 2 look down kills with AIM-7F in 82]



ECM [No MLDs had ECM suites outside of testing]

Unlike its main rivals, the MiG-23MLD lacks an integrated or pod-mounted ECM (electronic counter measures) system for self-protection -a great disadvantage in combat against the F-15A, F16A, F-4E and the Kfir C.2, which all boast state-of-the-art ECM gear. The only self-protection gear on the MiG-23MLD is the PKiBP-23 (KDS-23M) chaff/flare dispenser comprising two six-round downward-firing units built-in to the centreline pylon. The VVS-FA Flogger-Ks' self-protection is enhanced by two BVP-50-60 50-round chaff/flare dispensers mounted in long slim housings on top of the centre fuselage. Syrian MiG-23MLDs received additional chaff/flare dispensers, (probably installed in the mid/late 1980s) installed on the rear fuselage.
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f-16adf

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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 18:55

found it-
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f-16adf

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Unread post18 Jul 2017, 16:56

R-24R comparable to AIM-7F? Seems like a long shot.

Sure would be nice if we could get some actual USAF/USN pilots to comment on this.
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basher54321

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Unread post18 Jul 2017, 22:19

Should say the original article MiG-23MLD vs Western Fighters : The Soviet Air Force View, Mladenov.A appeared in Air Forces Monthly, October 2003 Page 76 - 82 - there are bits of it kicking around the net.

Pass only thing I have is a Libyan pilot stating the R-24 was a big improvement over the R-23.

There must have been an exploitation program similar to Grace at some point.
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Unread post19 Jul 2017, 12:46

basher54321 wrote:As far as I understand the only variable you could really play with back then regarding the basic "radar range equation" was Antenna Gain - as in make the antenna bigger thus you could clearly get great range even with these old analogue computers - someone like HornetFinn probably knows tons about this stuff.

All info tells me the APG-66 was a digital solid state computer that should have had processing power and reliability on another level - so it might not have had the range of the AWG-10 in some circumstances on paper, but with processing power should have been able to use better techniques to filter out ground clutter or any jamming, and provide better information to the pilot far more quickly - thus its actual usable search/track range / capability in reality could have been better.


This is very interesting question (and thank you for compliment btw). Antenna gain is definitely very important in radar range equation and in real life also. Antenna gain basically depends on effective antenna area and efficiency. This is why antenna designs have evolved over time, to get better efficiency to improve performance. Antenna area is limited by physical restrictions, but efficiency improved quite a lot during the years from F-4 and MiG-23 to F-16. Better designs along with better manufacturing improved efficiency quite a lot during those years.

There are a lot of other things that affect the radar range performance besides antenna even in totally analog mechanical designs. Most important are the transmitter, waveguide and receiver. Transmitter with higher average power and better stability were developed. Better waveguides were manufactured with lower losses and receivers with higher sensitivity, lower losses and higher dynamic range were developed. All these together can affect radar range and other performance figures quite a lot. Especially so when interferece is present like in LD/SD (ground clutter) or EW environment.

I'd say Soviet Union was not that far away in radar technology when everything was analog, although USA had generally more advanced systems and got them operational earlier. Things started to tip more and more in US favour after systems started to become more digital. US semiconductor industry simply dwarfed the Soviet one in everything very quickly.
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Unread post19 Jul 2017, 13:04

Great stuff thanks HF - knew you were about somewhere 8)
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Unread post19 Jul 2017, 13:11

Have managed to find a MiG-23ML manual (i think) - slight issue it's in Russian - however Mr Google has offered to help me translate.
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Unread post20 Jul 2017, 20:51

Looks to be an Aerodynamics manual for the MiG-23ML & MiG-23UB - The document is in typical format as per the other Russian ones - the ML should be the quickest of the lot - not sure if Soviet standard atmosphere was the same as Western.


There is a section on level flight acceleration and charts for the following

MiG-23ML (Single seat fighter)
• Fuel = 2000 litres (~67%)
• Engine R-35F-300 Turbojet
• SL Static Thrust @ Max AB 28,660 lbs (13,000kgf)
• Stores = 2 x R-23
• Total Weight =~26,809 lbs


MiG-23UB (Twin seat trainer)
• Fuel = 2000 litres
• Engine R27-F2-300 Turbojet
• SL Static Thrust @ Max AB 22,046 lbs (10,000kgf)
• Stores = 2 x R-23



MiG-23ML v MiG-23UB

[45 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 600kph (M0.5) to 900kph (M0.74) full AB = 12 seconds
• MiG-23UB Accel @ 3280ft / 600kph (M0.5) to 900kph (M0.74) full AB = 16 seconds
[72 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 16604ft / 700kph (M0.75) to 1100kph (M1.16) full AB = 32 seconds
• MiG-23UB Accel @ 16604ft / 700kph (M0.75) to 1100kph (M1.16) full AB = 42 seconds



MiG-23ML v MiG-23MLD – MLD time from Aide Memoire for the MiG-23Pilot on Air combat (weight / config unknown)
[45 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 606 kph (M0.5) to 1100kph (M0.94) full AB = 22 seconds
• MiG-23MLD Accel @ 3280ft / 606 kph (M0.5) to 1100kph (M0.94) full AB = 19.8 seconds



According to the text in the manual the 72 degree wing sweep is slightly more draggy at subsonic than the 45 degree sweep - but better during trans/supersonic.


• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 650 kph to 800kph full AB = 7 seconds [16 degree sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 650 kph to 800kph full AB = 5 seconds [45 degree sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 650 kph to 800kph full AB = 6 seconds [72 degree sweep]

• MiG-23ML Accel @ 16604ft / 850 kph (M0.9) to 1100kph (M1.15) full AB = 26 seconds [45 degree sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 16604ft / 850 kph (M0.9) to 1100kph (M1.15) full AB = 21 seconds [72 degree sweep]




MiG-23ML (2 x R-23 / 67% fuel) vs F-4E Block 50 ( 2 x AIM-7E / 50% fuel) - F-4 a bit higher alt but less fuel %.


• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 606 kph (M0.5) to 1048kph (M0.9) full AB = 20 seconds [45 degree sweep]
• F-4E B50 Accel @ 4000ft (M0.5) to (M0.9) full AB = 21 seconds

Doesn't look like the Millenium Falcon from this but hey ho.
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Unread post20 Jul 2017, 21:31

I think Avialogs has a Ml manual, but I cannot read Cyrillic. Anyways good info.
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Unread post21 Jul 2017, 02:34

basher54321 wrote:Looks to be an Aerodynamics manual for the MiG-23ML & MiG-23UB - The document is in typical format as per the other Russian ones - the ML should be the quickest of the lot - not sure if Soviet standard atmosphere was the same as Western.


There is a section on level flight acceleration and charts for the following

MiG-23ML (Single seat fighter)
• Fuel = 2000 litres (~67%)
• Engine R-35F-300 Turbojet
• SL Static Thrust @ Max AB 28,660 lbs (13,000kgf)
• Stores = 2 x R-23
• Total Weight =~26,809 lbs


MiG-23UB (Twin seat trainer)
• Fuel = 2000 litres
• Engine R27-F2-300 Turbojet
• SL Static Thrust @ Max AB 22,046 lbs (10,000kgf)
• Stores = 2 x R-23



MiG-23ML v MiG-23UB

[45 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 600kph (M0.5) to 900kph (M0.74) full AB = 12 seconds
• MiG-23UB Accel @ 3280ft / 600kph (M0.5) to 900kph (M0.74) full AB = 16 seconds
[72 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 16604ft / 700kph (M0.75) to 1100kph (M1.16) full AB = 32 seconds
• MiG-23UB Accel @ 16604ft / 700kph (M0.75) to 1100kph (M1.16) full AB = 42 seconds



MiG-23ML v MiG-23MLD – MLD time from Aide Memoire for the MiG-23Pilot on Air combat (weight / config unknown)
[45 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 606 kph (M0.5) to 1100kph (M0.94) full AB = 22 seconds
• MiG-23MLD Accel @ 3280ft / 606 kph (M0.5) to 1100kph (M0.94) full AB = 19.8 seconds



According to the text in the manual the 72 degree wing sweep is slightly more draggy at subsonic than the 45 degree sweep - but better during trans/supersonic.


• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 650 kph to 800kph full AB = 7 seconds [16 degree sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 650 kph to 800kph full AB = 5 seconds [45 degree sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 650 kph to 800kph full AB = 6 seconds [72 degree sweep]

• MiG-23ML Accel @ 16604ft / 850 kph (M0.9) to 1100kph (M1.15) full AB = 26 seconds [45 degree sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 16604ft / 850 kph (M0.9) to 1100kph (M1.15) full AB = 21 seconds [72 degree sweep]




MiG-23ML (2 x R-23 / 67% fuel) vs F-4E Block 50 ( 2 x AIM-7E / 50% fuel) - F-4 a bit higher alt but less fuel %.


• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 606 kph (M0.5) to 1048kph (M0.9) full AB = 20 seconds [45 degree sweep]
• F-4E B50 Accel @ 4000ft (M0.5) to (M0.9) full AB = 21 seconds

Doesn't look like the Millenium Falcon from this but hey ho.


How are those acceleration compared to F-16 and F-35?
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Unread post21 Jul 2017, 07:09

basher54321 wrote:There is a section on level flight acceleration and charts for the following

MiG-23ML (Single seat fighter)
• Fuel = 2000 litres (~67%)
• Engine R-35F-300 Turbojet
• SL Static Thrust @ Max AB 28,660 lbs (13,000kgf)
• Stores = 2 x R-23
• Total Weight =~26,809 lbs


MiG-23UB (Twin seat trainer)
• Fuel = 2000 litres
• Engine R27-F2-300 Turbojet
• SL Static Thrust @ Max AB 22,046 lbs (10,000kgf)
• Stores = 2 x R-23



MiG-23ML v MiG-23UB

[45 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 3280ft / 600kph (M0.5) to 900kph (M0.74) full AB = 12 seconds
• MiG-23UB Accel @ 3280ft / 600kph (M0.5) to 900kph (M0.74) full AB = 16 seconds
[72 degree wing sweep]
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 16604ft / 700kph (M0.75) to 1100kph (M1.16) full AB = 32 seconds
• MiG-23UB Accel @ 16604ft / 700kph (M0.75) to 1100kph (M1.16) full AB = 42 seconds


From HAF F-16 document I got the following for F-16 Block 50/52 with GW of 24,000 lb and drag index 50 and full AB :

From Mach 0.45 to Mach 0.72 takes 11 seconds in 10,000 ft
From Mach 0.45 to Mach 0.76 takes 10 seconds in SL

From Mach 0.75 to Mach 1.14 takes 26 seconds in 20,000 ft
From Mach 0.72 to Mach 1.14 takes 24 seconds in 10,000 ft

Also from Mach 0.85 to Mach 1.14 takes 20 seconds in 20,000 ft

From what I can see, F-16 Block 50/52 has pretty clear advantage in acceleration in most cases.
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