MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2004, 23:30
by nastle2000
the MLD version is supposed to be a better dogfighter than the original MiG-23 ,as far as I know in the mid 1990s they were fitted with the AA-10and AA-11s ...some articles quote testpilots that this version was as good as the F-16 in agility ....

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2004, 23:37
by Dammerung
The MiG-23 MLD has a Gsh-23, can carry four R-60 and two R-24 Missiles. The R-24(AA-7?) is slightly superior to the AIM-7L, and it also has an IR Guided version, R-24T. Don't know about other versions. But It's safe to say it would get whacked by an F-16, as the AIM-120 out performs the R-24, and the AIM-9 Outperforms the R-60, and I'd assume the F-16 is more agile as well... It's probably a very good aircraft none the less, but it is 0 and 13...

A related fact...

Unread postPosted: 28 Nov 2004, 10:20
by fighter_pilot
The SAAF (South African Air Force) had a Mirage F1 badly damaged in a dogfight engagement against 1 MIG 23. The Mirage was vectored onto the MIG and proceeded into a storm climb to catch the bandit 6 o'clock relative to him. The MIG at the last moment saw him; turned toward and fired a short range missile (8nm- missile=?). The Mirage was hit by the missile's fragmentation, limped home with 1 system failing after the next. The superb South African pilot landed the aircraft, but unfortunately had brake failure. The resulting impact made the ejection seat fire and he was left paralysed.

It is true that the standard of the Mirage F1 in ground and air engagements against Soviet aircraft was extremely high- this example being one exception.
(This all happened during South Africa's war with Angola in the 80's)

David

Unread postPosted: 28 Nov 2004, 15:09
by pucara70
Well, the MiG-23 MLD or Flogger-G, is a superb fighter and interceptor, but the F-16 is more agile and can do more manouvers in the sky. The AA-8 Aphid (R-60) is similar to any sidewinder version, except the brand new AIM-9X, and the AA-11 Archer and AA-10 Alamo are better than all the Sidewinder and Sparrow missiles, only the AMRAAM is better. In a real engagement the pilot would decide the combat, the machines are quite similar in possibilities, specialy if the MiG has the AA-11 and AA-10 missiles.

Unread postPosted: 28 Nov 2004, 17:13
by nastle2000
Alright... so the MIG-23MLD is outclassed by the Falcon, but it would still be a match for the F-4E... right? Considering its improved avionics and AA-10 AA-11 missles.

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2004, 20:45
by elp
MiG-23 & MiG-27 family = Junk

MiG-23 is fast and then when you start reading off all the disadvantages the deck is stacked against it.
  • Poor visibility outside the cockpit. Maybe even worse than a MiG-21. Anyway, it sucks big time. Poor vis like this inhibits your ability to tally enemy aircraft. this all by itself will get you killed.
  • The radars ( pick any model / kit ) never lived up to the reliability needed. With out sensors, guess what? You are back to that visibility thing again.
  • Poor to terrible man-machine interface. Lots of switchology to do one simple thing like lock up and fire a missile or gun or radar mode. Things taken for granted with the HOTAS setup on the F-16.
  • MiG-23 and MiG-27 were a maintenance nightmare. Customers will tell you this. Want to do a strike job? Users that had both the SU-22 family and MiG-27 will tell you that the Su-22 has it all over the MiG-27 on strike mission up times and usefulness. Period dot.
The MiG-23 was good when it was put in the mission of PVO interceptor for the soviets... Go out via the GCI and intercept a incoming bandit. Take away the GCI and you would have to depend on the problems the MiG-23 has from the git on S.A. and oh by the way the pilot of it was from the 80's would get murdered because they didn't practice modern DACT as we know it today.

You want to put an MiG-23 force up against F-16s. Even F-16s without BVR. ( BVR is highly over-rated in combat history especially if your sensor kit sux like the MiG-23 rep) ..... GOOD LUCK. I'll take a force of A model F-16s against any MiG-23 force and beat it like a pinata.

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2004, 20:56
by lamoey
elp, Monday morning blues, ey?

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2004, 21:01
by Pumpkin
elp wrote:-Poor visibility outside the cockpit. Maybe even worse than a MiG-21. Anyway, it sucks big time. Poor vis like this inhibits your ability to tally enemy aircraft. this all by itself will get you killed.


sorry guys, off-topic again.... elp would really like to hear your opinion on IAI Lahav upgraded Mig-21 2000. Thanks in advance.

8)

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2004, 21:54
by elp
Add the MLD flavor to the MiG-23 and all you have is a polished turd.

Hate to be hard but the facts speak for themselves. Poor visibility has put MiG-23s at risk in the past ( soviet incursions into pakistan in the 80's ( oops didnt see that pak jet wiz by because my vis / sensors sucked ).....

Egypt MiG-21s killed Libian MiG-23s ( again poor vis ( and the 21 is just better in a dogfight ).

Bekka Valley Syria v Israel.

Yup those arent MLD mods, but they come from the same cloth. When the iron curtain fell, we found out that except for the R73 HOBS helmet cued heatseeker..... the emperor had no clothes.

Yup MiG-23s look great in photos and on box artwork in the model shop. But then reality hits. Going againsts well trained_in_DACT_ hi-vis out of the cockpit, HOTAS, high mission up time F-16A force would get you killed in the MiG-23. In the drop of a hat.

Unread postPosted: 01 Dec 2004, 02:57
by Dammerung
I've never seen a -23 with R-73s... Only R-60s. Also, the MiG-23 AFAIK does not carry the R-27(AA-10), only the R-24. Which, is only slightly superior to the Sparrow. But it only carries two of them, the 16 can carry 4 AIM-120s...

I don't know much about the inner workings of the MiG-23...

Unread postPosted: 01 Dec 2004, 12:17
by CheckSix
@elp:

Where do you know about the MiG-23 comabt capabilities, especially in turnfight? AFAIK there was no data ever published, despite of the MiG-21 F-13 performance.

Please take into account, that Soviet export equipment, especially to no WP-nations are heaviely derated.

Mostly there are delivered without IFF, and Jamming gear, and simple RWRs. Even the East-German MiG-29 were far less capable than their Soviet counterparts.

And still it is the man, not the....
Especially in the middle east, pilot skills are always questionable.

Unread postPosted: 01 Dec 2004, 17:30
by elp
CheckSix wrote:@elp:


Especially in the middle east, pilot skills are always questionable.


A broad brush statement that doesn't always ring true.


http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_271.shtml

Note the two MiG23 kills by MiG21s at the bottom. You can not get around the FACT that the MiG-23 has poor visibility from the cockpit. ( this was also a factor with Soviet / Pakistan encounters when the sovs flew out of afcrapistan. Without good vis. You are just dead meat.

The MiG-23 isnt even a matchup against an F-4 Phantom, in most situations even though it has knocked down a few ( april 74 http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_272.shtml ). So any chance it has vs an F-16 would be weak. It would end up being a swing wing strafe target.

You are absolutely right about the avionics kit in the export model. However as we have seen from Soviet MiG-29s, Their BVR avionics was a joke. ( an analog clock to count off your illumination for a BVR shot ) and again that poor man-machine interface ( stuff we take for granted in an F-16 or 18 ) So any super improved MiG-23 I would take with a big grain of salt. More. The maintenance for the jet just sux ( That old saw about soviet reliabilty doesn't apply here, including when bringing up its avionics ).

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/cat_index_22.shtml

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_211.shtml

http://www.acig.org/books/

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_371.shtml

Unread postPosted: 01 Dec 2004, 23:43
by CheckSix
Looks like some vipers fell pray to syrian MiG-23s (export variants):

http://users.accesscomm.ca/magnusfamily/82lebsyr.htm
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_272.shtml
R-23 seem to be working.

This constellation represents F-16s AA capabilities to 1992. MiG-23 has a BVR advantage, F-16 is better in close combat...

Has anyone infos about MiG-23s turnrates?

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2004, 12:25
by Pumpkin
CheckSix wrote:Looks like some vipers fell pray to syrian MiG-23s (export variants):

http://users.accesscomm.ca/magnusfamily/82lebsyr.htm
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_272.shtml
R-23 seem to be working.

This constellation represents F-16s AA capabilities to 1992. MiG-23 has a BVR advantage, F-16 is better in close combat...


hi CheckSix,

The entries state by acig.com are "Claims and uncomfirmed". Ain't familiar with 'Air Aces', hence, will reserve my opinions on the creditability.

Another source (official IAF website) states "Not a single Israeli plane was shot down in the course of the war".

In a nut shell, these are probably propaganda from both parties (IAF did record "69 IAF planes were hit, 46 of those were unsalvageable." during the Six Day War, in another page). I guess it's our pick on which to believe. I will take it with a pinch of salt.

cheers,

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2004, 15:27
by CheckSix
Hi Pumpkin,

i regard any kill as a claim, as long as I haven't seen the crashside or video...

It seems that all Israeli kills are confirmed. Sometimes they dont even know which plane the used, or unit or what the victory actually was: MiG-2? ... lol

They myth that IAF did not lose a single F-16/F-15 in aircombat may be good for the manufactors or propaganda, but I am sure it is not the reality.

I've spent some time to verify WWII airkills, sometimes overclaims upt to 4 occur, on any side.

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2004, 18:33
by Alex957
They myth that IAF did not use a single F-16/F-15 in aircombat may be good for the manufactors or propaganda, but I am sure it is not the reality.


Well, 20+ years later, and all Israeli F-15/16s that were active at the time are still accounted for... One hell of a conspiracy if you ask me.

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2004, 20:12
by CheckSix
I was a bite tired this morning and now recognized what B******* I wrote.

My statement ist: It is unlikely that IAF did not lose a single F-15/F-16 in aircombat, as the officially claim.

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2004, 22:02
by Pumpkin
CheckSix wrote:i regard any kill as a claim, as long as I haven't seen the crashside or video...

It seems that all Israeli kills are confirmed. Sometimes they dont even know which plane the used, or unit or what the victory actually was: MiG-2? ... lol

They myth that IAF did not lose a single F-16/F-15 in aircombat may be good for the manufactors or propaganda, but I am sure it is not the reality.


That is a good practice, CheckSix. Any kill should be regarded as a claim unless proven by picture of wreckage or HUD video.

I guess that is also the reason why, many Israeli kills can be confirmed by HUD recording as most are WVR. Unfortunately all Syrian's claim of F-16, F-15 & E-2C :!: kills were BVR. {EDIT} Nonetheless, a good MFD recording should be able to verify a BVR kill.

Can't agree more. The claim of not lose a single F-16/F-15 is indeed a very bold if not arrogant claim. A media showing of 1 wreckage (or any of the above mentioned recordings) by the Syria is able to overturn the claim and IAF will lose all the creditability.

Syrian did not hesitate to display the remnant of USN A-6 & IAF F-4. Unfortunately, something we have not get to see for the F-16 claims. Especially when the 1982 air wars should have occurred in the sky of Lebanon.

Just my thought.
cheers,

Unread postPosted: 14 Dec 2004, 10:43
by CheckSix
Fair enough, syria should post some evidence for its claims, but Israel as well. Studying the ACIG list, half of the IAF claims are questionable, but they are being confirmed.
I doubt, export MiG-23 has the ability for HUD recording. I just know they have a flight data recorder, that stores some 30 parameters. digital/analogue.

Unread postPosted: 14 Dec 2004, 23:20
by Pumpkin
CheckSix wrote:Fair enough, syria should post some evidence for its claims, but Israel as well. Studying the ACIG list, half of the IAF claims are questionable, but they are being confirmed.
I doubt, export MiG-23 has the ability for HUD recording. I just know they have a flight data recorder, that stores some 30 parameters. digital/analogue.


hi CheckSix,
as I have mentioned before, I will read these records of ACIG list with a pinch of salt, even Israel's database. As I have mentioned, these records are result from research of ACIG's members (or any other group hosting such a table). Most, I believe is from hearsays.

However, I do believe the kill marks decorated on the fighters. I believe those are verified by the squadrons from various means of recordings, IF the bird survived the fight after the kill.

Propagandas are engineered by policy makers. Aviators on the other hand, fight for their country and belief. I trust they would reject to be tool of the former. Hence I would like to believe, there is this mutual respect for their adversaries; no aviators who has the basic pride and ethic can fly a war bird that was shamefully decorated for an unconfirmed claim.

again, just my thought.

Unread postPosted: 30 Dec 2004, 19:29
by CheckSix
back to the original topic.

Combat abilities of MiG-23 depend very much on the capability of its weapons.

Soviets got hold of an AIM-7m Sparrow, nit sure about the subtype. They copied and tested it and found it inferiour to their own R-24s. I have no details, but the production of the copied Sparrow was already sheduled and cancelled after the test.
Normally they were not reluctant copying and further developing western systems, so we may assume R-24 performs evenly or better than AIM-7M.

So for the eighties it is a dangerous intercepter in the right hands, even against an early F-14-18. Esp. F-16 has no BVR capabilities in the 80s due the delay of amraam.

I know a former MiG-21 pilot, maybe he tells me more about MiG-23 capabilities.

Dogfights...

Unread postPosted: 30 Dec 2004, 21:36
by renatohm
Hello guys and gals. I am a newbie as a member on the site, but I know something about fighter weapons and dogfights.

1st of all, it's rather naive to compare any 2 fighters in dogfight. If you compare the latest version Floggers to the earliest versions Falcons, for example, the falcons are dead. Venezuela's Falcons are of the 1st gen Falcons, operate with early versions. In http://sistemadearmas.sites.uol.com.br/aam/r77.html, there are pics of a MiG-21 and a MiG-23 armed with R-77s. I wonder what would happen with an ancient Falcon armed with 4 J/L/M Sidewinders facing a Flogger with 4 AMRAAMskis...

2nd, and partially contained in the above, a fighter is as good as the weapons it carries. A Falcon turning at 9 Gs cannot outmaneuver a Python 4 maneuvering at 70 Gs. In other words, if your Falcon armed with '9 Mikes' faces a Chilean F-5 armed with the Israeli missiles + DASH helmets http://sistemadearmas.sites.uol.com.br/aam/python4.html, you may get killed.

3rd, pilot skills/tactics/ROE must be taken into account. If the F-4s who faced MiGs in Viet Nam were allowed to fire the Sparrows in BVR fighting, the Fishbeds wouldn't get a single kill. What would happen to an Egyptian rookie facing a Russian vet? And how effective would be the AIM-9X with Soviet ground-controlled interception (GCI) tactics?

4th - and the most important - a fighter isn't alone. US pilots will most probably have AWACS support, tankers (allowing more AB use; remember that Floggers cannot perform air refueling), numerical superiority, ECM support, scorting F-15s, etc. etc. etc.. If any, only NATO and Russia can have anything comparable in terms of quality and quantity. I hope not to see NATO and/or Russia fighting the US in my lifetime... That is why Yugoslavia could not get advantage over NATO, and Lybia could not beat Israel, Iraq could not beat the Allies... Technology and numbers.

Taking all the above in mind, remember: the Flogger wasn't meant as a dogfighter, and the Falcon is a dogfighter since the blueprints. The Flogger's short range AAMs are intended for self-defense purposes only, meaning that the last thing a Flogger pilot wants is a dogfight, while Falcon pilots know that they have an edge in short range battles. The Flogger was made for GCIs, hence the cockpit made for high speeds, not for good visibility. Poor man-machine interface is for the original Floggers, the latest updates use HUDs, MFDs and the like, but not in the level (and $$) of the Falcon.

The same considerations may be made in any comparison. Dogfights will be the exception, not the rule, in this century. Missiles pulling 30+Gs, Helmet-mounted sights, stealth, data link, AMRAAM/Meteor/R-77/Derby and other missiles with 30++nm range, mean that maneuvers are almost useless.

Sorry for the long post, people. Happy new year for everybody!!

Unread postPosted: 30 Dec 2004, 22:26
by Pumpkin
hi renatohm, welcome aboard. You're absolutely right. Many do share your sentiment about the X vs Y thread. But we still indulge in such discussions. :wink:

I guess the discussion is more meaningful if we have set the baseline clear. It should really be a 1 vs 1 comparsion, stating the specific variants piror. Minus all other factors, -AWACS, -pilot quality -past record etc. Those really make it a Air Force Vs Air Force, wouldn't it?

In any case, these are just paper comparsion at the end of the day. I bet if we were to redo a Sea Harrier vs Mirage discussion, before Falklands War, the latter would have emerged winner. (We probably would have been biased from IDF/AF's achievement with the Mirage.)...

cheers,

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2004, 00:36
by Dammerung
BVR doesnt make maneuvering useless, because you aren't exactly helpless when a missile is shot at you, they can be dodged. I wonder how much Energy Python IV/AIM-9X burn when they pull those insane Turns? As far as Active AAMs? Use the RWR, and the signal strength(at least on the SPO-15...) will tell you how close the missile is. Time your dodge accordingly. An AMRAAM going 800knots isn't too maneuverable, and it sure can't pull too many G's. It's the exact same thing as a Gunfight- If you know where your opponent is, you maneuver into an Advantage. In a Gunfight, your opponent dives down at you, if you see him, break into him and he has to try again. Against a Missile, if you pull into it hard enough at the right time, it misses you by several Hundred Feet, so proximity detonation does nothing. So Situational awareness is a big, big, big issue :)

Also, The MiG-23MLD has two Hardpoints for BVRAAMs. The rest are all for R-60s. Probably comparable to Sidewinders, but still, the MiG-23 really isnt made for taking on Fighters. Missiles aren't magic. They weren't magic in Vietnam, and they sure as hell aren't magic now. In Kosovo, one F-16 fired THREE Missiles at a Fulcrum, and all of them missed. His leader fired a Single AIM-120 and bagged a -29. Two more 16s arrived and Shot down the other Fulcrum. An AIM-9 won't do very much good if fired at Max Range, just as an AMRAAM won't do very well if fired at max range. Missiles have energy just as Aircraft do. Even less so when their motor goes out. I'd like to see the AIM-9X do a 180 after it's motor goes out and then hit a target. Even if it can do the turn, it's not going anywhere.

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2005, 00:05
by JR007
elp,

The Mig-23 is a POS, you covered it. The only time I sat in one I said YGBSM Bat Man! It was obviously designed by people that believe you don't need to see to fight, “Oh we’ve got GCI !”. You can't see anywhere but up outta that crap-pit, and just a "little" forward. And the panel and switch layout, holy crap what a POS. You know, if the weren’t crashing all the time, they might be a nuclear bomber...

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2005, 05:51
by DerLoos
Guys, I've seen MiG-23 version with R-73 but who speaks of modernized MiG-23? Those who have money have long ago replaced all their Floggers while those who was recieving them as social aid :-D had never had money to repair them not speaking about modernizing. I just see no point to discuss!

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2005, 06:33
by parrothead
I don't know about the MiG-27, but the F-14 sure blasted the MiG-28 outta the sky :lol: ! Thank God Mav was there in time to save Ice :D !
You do mean the SU-27, don't you :wink: ?

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2005, 08:32
by DerLoos
Man, believe me, when I say Flogger I DO MEAN MiG-27. As my friend's father was the leading test engineer on this aircraft I found out a lot of curious facts about it. If it's interesting for you to know - I can share them through PMs. You're always welcomed there. :-D

BTW, parrothead, what MiG-28 are you talking about? That fantastic Soviet aircraft from Top Gun movie which was screenplayed by a usual F-5? Then my friend I should disappoint you in some way - it's non-existant. I just hope that you've simply mistyped MiG-23 Flogger which was several times really downed by F-14 over Sidra bay and Lebanon.

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2005, 10:20
by parrothead
DerLoos, I freely admit when I'm mistaken and I have to eat my words. This is one of those times :oops: :wink: . I was unaware that there was in fact a MiG-27 :shock: . I thought the Flogger name only pertained to the MiG-23 and maybe you had mis typed. I actually was talking about Top Gun with the MiG-28 and I remember laughing a bit as I watched the movie when I saw the F-5s playing the part of MiGs on the screen. I grew up in San Diego only a few miles away from (then) NAS Miramar and I still have never missed an airshow there, so I was well acquainted with all of the aircraft in that movie :D ! My sincere apologies for my mistake and I'd be delighted if you'd either email or PM me with some of the stories from your friend's father 8) !

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2005, 20:18
by Lieven
Hi Derloos, I appreciate your contributions to the forum. However, I have sent you a PM and removedsome of your messages. Please keep it nice and friendly when you are posting in this forum.

MiG-23 and other jets against the Mighty Viper

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2005, 21:21
by WILZ
Though it is a fast jet and has been beefed up with hot avionics and shooters... The jet is no match for the Viper... It is fat and heavy and bleeds off energy like a MFer. I am a John Boyd fan and the Viper is second to none. You can also talk about the F-15C and all the BS with it but the bottom line is when you have a group of Viper Drivers who can fly the right track, you can sneak by the Eagle(regardless of its big honkin eyes) and hose the SOB every time. When you see an Eagle loaded up with all those missiles, it puts a smile on a Viper drivers face... you can rate him every time.... Cheers... I hope that I started an argument...

and BTW... Imagine if the AF didnt mess with the Viper after it was introduced and left 320 SQ/FT of wings on the thing... instead of shrinking them to 300...

RE: MiG-23 and other jets against the Mighty Viper

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2005, 09:34
by DerLoos
Yes, Flogger's absolutely no match for Viper as soon as it's a third-gen. fighter. More of that, what concerns fighter version, not the attack one, it's hardly a star of the generation. Numerous problems of first production series in addition to variable geometry wing problems were absolutely redundant for air superiority fighter while variable geometry appared to be an extremely fruitfuk idea for attack/close air support plane. Contraditory plane but gave us several succesful versions.

Unread postPosted: 07 Jan 2005, 00:58
by JR007
Check the <a href="f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-683.html">"MiG-29 vs F-16" thread</a> for some nice pics of Mig construction.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2005, 18:57
by kubam4a1
The newest MiG-23MLDs from the latest 80s are have even got R-73 with helmet-mounted sight SZCZEL-3U - older version of Szczel-3UM mounted on MiG-29A. Together with their all-weather capabilities and strenght of R-73 - they would IMHO BEAT the F-16A/B (excepting the MLU and ADF)

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2005, 20:17
by JR007
You can't hit what you can't see, and out of the Mig-23, all you can see is what is passing over your canopy. For those of you that have never been in a 23 pit...

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2005, 01:50
by ACSheva
Except the radar may see what you can't see...

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2005, 08:28
by parrothead
Shev, I believe JR was referring to the helmet mounted site referenced by kubam4a1 :wink: .

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2005, 16:02
by JR007
Yup, if you ain't got a visual, your helmet mounted doodad is worthless as tits on a boar hog...

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2005, 10:42
by kubam4a1
JR007 wrote:Yup, if you ain't got a visual, your helmet mounted doodad is worthless as tits on a boar hog...

I agree, but F-16A/B (no ADF and no MLU) has no BVR capabilities, while MiG-23MLD has....So....

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2005, 21:26
by MATMACWC
So... so... so what??? The US doesn't fly F-16A/B into combat, case closed. Why not compare the F-86 vs. the F-22 if you're gonna say something like that!!!

Unread postPosted: 27 Feb 2005, 19:50
by kubam4a1
But...some other countries use old F-16A/Bs w/o BVR capabilities....

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2005, 02:19
by MATMACWC
This is a VERY bad argument. OK kubam4a1, you are right but... Any country that bought F-16 from the USA might be a friend of the... USA?? Mute point in my opinion...

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2005, 16:35
by kubam4a1
MiG-23MLD is NOT the newest fighter used by Russia's "friends". It is a historical comparison (mostly) I think...

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2005, 09:34
by CheckSix
kubam4a1 wrote:MiG-23MLD is NOT the newest fighter used by Russia's "friends". It is a historical comparison (mostly) I think...


Absolutely!
AIM-120 was introduced in the early 90s. Up to that point, MiG-23, especially the enlighted MLD variant is a potent adversary.
Of cause a newer F-16C is superiour, but that does not mean it kills th 23, because the MiG is really fast.

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2005, 22:12
by Pumpkin
kubam4a1 wrote:I agree, but F-16A/B (no ADF and no MLU) has no BVR capabilities, while MiG-23MLD has....So....


kubam4a1, I believe the closest encounters of your above mentioned will be between,

[1] PAF F-16A/B and V-VS MiG-23MLD. Though the BVR of the MLD might not have been fully exploited, due to ROE constraint. If you have not read this article on ACIG before, it will be a good read.

[2] IDF/AF F-16A/B and SyAF MiG-23 (Not sure if the 23s were MLD and BVR capable. There was a pretty interesting discussion on the Syrian MiG-23 on Aviation Forum).

cheers,

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2005, 21:23
by kubam4a1
I've read this article. (1). But it hasn't been coninfrmed that any of MiG-23MLDs was shot down. Secondly, V-VS's MiG-23MLDs did not have R-73 .
I read a lot about Syrian MiGs. In 1982 there were only MiG-23MSs and MiG-23MFs. MLD is slightly better than MF and MS. I agree that every F-16 would beat MiG-23M/MF/MS - despite of MF's and M's BVR capability
regards,

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2005, 22:51
by Pumpkin
Well, Air-to-Air claims are always controversial and tricky.

In any case, Syrian's MLD would have been thoroughly studied by Israel Engineers in 1989.

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2005, 11:46
by kubam4a1
Yes, but Syria didn't have MLD in 1982 in Lebanon...

Unread postPosted: 07 Mar 2005, 15:38
by CheckSix
There is an AIRFORCE MONTHLY article from Oct 2003, where the author cites a soviet manual how to handle F-15A, F-16A and Kfir in an export MiG-23ML.

It becomes quite clear that MiG-23 is a potent adversary as long it is not confronted with westerns state of the art.

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2005, 19:02
by blain2
CheckSix wrote:There is an AIRFORCE MONTHLY article from Oct 2003, where the author cites a soviet manual how to handle F-15A, F-16A and Kfir in an export MiG-23ML.

It becomes quite clear that MiG-23 is a potent adversary as long it is not confronted with westerns state of the art.


Yep the article essentially recommends that only one quick pass be made against the F-16s and other advanced western fighters and not to engage in sustained dog fighting with these aircraft.

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2005, 19:56
by parrothead
Just hope and pray that the Viper, Eagle, or AWACS didn't already see you on radar :wink: !

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2005, 07:33
by Taco44
A little off topic...Here are a few photos I took of old Iraqi MiG 23's at Balad. I don't know what model they are though. Sadly, these planes look more like the cadillac ranch than an air force. Oh well, hope you enjoy.

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2005, 08:12
by parrothead
Thanks for the pics Taco44! Sad to see aircraft in that condition, even if they are MiGs.

Unread postPosted: 28 Apr 2005, 00:31
by Darkwand
Nice pictures.

Are they Airworthy :twisted:

Unread postPosted: 28 Apr 2005, 01:26
by parrothead
Probably about as airworthy as my car :wink: .

Unread postPosted: 29 Apr 2005, 05:19
by Taco44
I don't know about that parrothead, I think your car may break more ground than these bad boys. :P

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2005, 23:04
by nikos
Well Here is the bandid again. A combat between F-16 and MiG-23MLD would be tricky.
In instant maneuvers The MiG appears more capable but time is on the Falcons side. A prolonged dogfight is an F-16's job in that case. I recall 1986 - era artcles that always shown MiG-23 vs F-16 combat as MiG-29 was still in early production.
On The other hand AA-8 is not inferior to Sidewinder as regards maneurerability. The problem is rather the range. There is another hint there. F-16 would rather be a winner in low altitudes but as altitude and velocities increase this would be more dificult.
The thing that makes the F-16 a winner is its perfect visibility. A MiG-23MLD would make a dash for the F-16 fire and go! All the other factors is with the Viper.

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2008, 02:50
by MiG
nikos wrote:Well Here is the bandid again. A combat between F-16 and MiG-23MLD would be tricky.
In instant maneuvers The MiG appears more capable but time is on the Falcons side. A prolonged dogfight is an F-16's job in that case. I recall 1986 - era artcles that always shown MiG-23 vs F-16 combat as MiG-29 was still in early production.
On The other hand AA-8 is not inferior to Sidewinder as regards maneurerability. The problem is rather the range. There is another hint there. F-16 would rather be a winner in low altitudes but as altitude and velocities increase this would be more dificult.
The thing that makes the F-16 a winner is its perfect visibility. A MiG-23MLD would make a dash for the F-16 fire and go! All the other factors is with the Viper.


In agility the the F-16 always wins, the MiG-23`s only advantage it had, was in the 1970s and 1980s when it was armed with BVR missiles that the F-16 lacked, and in the 1980s when it carried the AA-11 that has a longer range than any AIM-9 then in production, so a MiG-23 flying fast and doing fast and quick long range dash attacks would had resulted in some victories, at Marii in the former USSR MiG-23s from soviet agressor units defeated MiG-29s from some traning units even having a fighter that was as good as the F-16, however let us note, the MiG-29 has not a very good BVR capability and early aircraft were plague by malfunctions.

The Israeli accounts always never mention and take into account the MiG-23`s IRST system that was inmune to jamming and the fact it could have been used to cue the AA-8 into its targets

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2008, 13:44
by MiG
kubam4a1 wrote:The newest MiG-23MLDs from the latest 80s are have even got R-73 with helmet-mounted sight SZCZEL-3U - older version of Szczel-3UM mounted on MiG-29A. Together with their all-weather capabilities and strenght of R-73 - they would IMHO BEAT the F-16A/B (excepting the MLU and ADF)


You are wrong, the MiG-23MLD never got operational any AA-12 or HMS, the MiG-23 uses the R-73 that is true but never with a helmet mounted sight.

RE: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2008, 22:04
by avon1944
Let us keep things in perspective, the MiG-23 was designed before the Viet Nam War (1st flight 06/67), the F-14A and F-15A were both designed with lessons from that war in mind. Both of these fighters were designed to out maneuver and simply out fight all previous Soviet designed fighters. The YF-16 and YF-17 were desired to be more maneuverable at most dogfight speeds than the F-14A and F-15A.
The way the USN and Iranian F-14A's plus the way IDF/AF's F-15A's and F-16A's handled Iraqi and Syrian MiG-23's are a good example of how the fourth generation American fighters dominated the third generation Soviet fighters.

NUFF SAID!

Adrian

Re: RE: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 06 Aug 2008, 02:44
by MiG
avon1944 wrote:Let us keep things in perspective, the MiG-23 was designed before the Viet Nam War (1st flight 06/67), the F-14A and F-15A were both designed with lessons from that war in mind. Both of these fighters were designed to out maneuver and simply out fight all previous Soviet designed fighters. The YF-16 and YF-17 were desired to be more maneuverable at most dogfight speeds than the F-14A and F-15A.
The way the USN and Iranian F-14A's plus the way IDF/AF's F-15A's and F-16A's handled Iraqi and Syrian MiG-23's are a good example of how the fourth generation American fighters dominated the third generation Soviet fighters.

NUFF SAID!

Adrian


Your statement is correct when we see turn rates, rate of climb and avionics, the F-16 was utterly superior to the MiG-23MF and even to the MiG-23MLD, that is true, however the F-16 had a vital weakness from 1974 to 1992, this weakness was it never had BVR missiles until the first AIM-120 and AIM-7s were deployed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In 1982, over the bekka Valley, it relied upon the F-15 for BVR protection, the MiG-23 had AA-7 Apex of 35 km of range and an IRST system in a gondola underneath the fuselage frontal section; Russian/Soviet literature affirms Israel lost a few F-16s and F-4s to MiG-23s, in the case of the F-16 it`s difficult to confirm since Israel only admits to have lost an F-16 in that year in an accident and F-4s, an A-4 and two Kfirs to Syrian SAMs.
There are also claims that one of the Kfirs was destroyed by a MiG-23.
Israel only admits the aircraft which got their pilots killed and POW, so all the pilots were confirmed by the media and the palestinians, such as Aharon Ahiaz, Aharon Katz and Gil Fogel.

The Pakistani case is also a very controversial one since the original statement was that the F-16 was shot down, but later it was recanted to just fraticide and kill by its own wingman, Soviet/Russian literature says a MiG-23MLD shot it down.

By 1991, the F-16 was ready to get the AIM-120, and one shot down even a MIG-25 a year later, however according to US sources, the USAF lost five F-16s, some Soviet/Russian sources say the Iraqies originally said they shot down up to 20 F-16s, among them one F-16 was shot down by a MiG-23.
If we are to belive the Russian sources we have to see that in 1983, the MiG-23ML was armed with a better radar and R-24s of longer range almost matching the F-15s capabilities, and the F-16s in 1982 could not match the R-23T with an AIM-9L.

Israeli/western sources say the R-23 were totaly neutralized by jamming the Saphir radars carried by the MiG-23MFs, however never take into acount the fact the TP-23 IRST system is inmune to Jamming and this can be used to cue the IR version of the AA-7 Apex, the R-23T and also the IRST cued variant of the AA-8 Aphid, the R-60MK.

At Marii in the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, Agressor MiG-23 units training MiG-29 pilots usually defeated the MiG-29s drivers simply by doing quick attacks without getting into close combat dogfights and only using BVR attacks.

The MiG-29 since its deployment has had AA-10s BVR missiles, the F-16 was utterly defenseless at BVR combat against a MiG-23 during the late 1970s and early and mid 1980s.


The AA-11 also surpasses the range of the AIM-9L, however the MiG-23MLD in Afghanistan only carried the AA-8 Aphid, but it was able to carry the AA-11 since the late 1980s.

So early in the 1990s a MiG-23MLD was more or less a match to an F-16 in weaponry, in some cases even superior, and in the late 1980s the MiG-23MLD was superior to any F-16A deployed in Europe in what respect weaponry.

However the MiG-23 was never a match to the F-16 in cockpit avionics or agility and most of the performance parameters.

In general fligh characteristics the early MiG-23 variants such as the MiG-23M were more or less analogues to the F-4, later variants like the MiG-23ML slightly superior to late F-4 models, like the F-4E, but by just a very small margin. the MiG-23MLD was considered in some parameters almost an equal to the F-16 but it never was considered superior, just that it closed the gap between the third and fourth generation.

One of Few of the MiG-23`s excellent characteristics was the use of Head Up Display radar imagery, since the targeting sight was used instead of the head down radarscope in order to present the radar information in front of the pilot`s eyes, since the MiG-23 never was fitted with a radarscope, basicly aiding targeting and the pilot`s general awareness
.


Its view from the cockpit was not as bad as it has been claimed, certainly not as good as the one an F-16 pilot enjoys but certainly it had some aft view thanks to a rear view mirrow in a periscope above the canopy.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 10 Jun 2017, 06:25
by boilermaker
Old thread but some claim the Mig23 was better "on the drag strip", accelerating faster than F16 and better in vertical

That is nonsense to me as the F16 has a superior thrust to weight ratio and is known for its very short take off runs. It is after all an unstable platform, meaning in a climb and take off both empenage and wing develop lift unlike the Mig23

Re: RE: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 10 Jun 2017, 21:59
by basher54321
MiG wrote:
In 1982, over the bekka Valley, it relied upon the F-15 for BVR protection, the MiG-23 .......



:doh: :doh:


After demonstrating your total lack of understanding & knowledge in this post one can only hope you have learnt something in the past 9 years.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 10 Jun 2017, 22:45
by basher54321
boilermaker wrote:Old thread but some claim the Mig23 was better "on the drag strip", accelerating faster than F16 and better in vertical

That is nonsense to me as the F16 has a superior thrust to weight ratio and is known for its very short take off runs. It is after all an unstable platform, meaning in a climb and take off both empenage and wing develop lift unlike the Mig23



Have Pad - exploitation of one of the worst fighters ever (ok was an interceptor)- the MiG-23MS. despite that it seems it had better supersonic acceleration than all US jets it was tested against.(which ones?)- even the Red Eagles noted that as its only plus.

the ML/MLA/MLD were lighter with about 3000lbs more static thrust over the Gen 1s - so wings back they were probably quite quick - claims of comparison with f-16a/b lack detail and are mostly anecdotal - new information would be useful.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2017, 18:18
by basher54321
To expand on that - a comparison of t/w for take off distance wouldnt help - one point of a VG wing is to help low speed landing & TO by putting the wings out nearly straight - so even if the MiG had lower t/w the lift generated by the straight wing could more than offset that.

Superior in the vertical over F-16a/b? - well if you go by 1v1 DACT at say 20,000ft (for argument sake )- the dynamic thrust from both is significantly less than at sea level - and is also not relative( likely doesnt descrease at the same rate for both )- so sea level thrust even more useless to make comparisons.
Also in this situation the pilot is the main factor in managing energy - so less of a jet problem and more of a pilot problem from what i have read and considering other things he can use.

Of course as stated during cold war the USAF f-16 was typically confined to the deck so comparitive performance likely different to typical Dact altitudes.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jun 2017, 23:32
by basher54321
From a Pak source but detailed and seems to look at both sides.

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/soviet-a ... ar.288653/


At 06:06AM of 12 September 1988, two F-16As of the 14th Squadron, flown by Sqn.Ldr. Khalid Mahmood (on F-16A 85728) and Sqn.Ldr. Anwar Hussain took off from Kamra AB in order to set up a CAP over the Nawagai area. Around 06:40AM, they were vectored by the GCI to intercept two contacts which were closing the Pakistani border at high level in eastern direction. Both F-16s were soon in proper position, but the contacts then turned to the north flying parallel to the border. In fact, there were not only two, but a total of 12 MiG-23MLDs of the 120. IAP in the air that morning, eight of which were loaded with bombs and have got the order to attack certain targets in the Kunar Valley, while four - split in two pairs (Lt.Col. Sergey Bulin with Maj. N. Golisienko, and Maj. S. Petkov with 1st Lt. V. Danchenkov) - acted as escorts. Detecting four additional contacts, the GCI swiftly turned the F-16s towards the new threat, and Sqn.Ldr. Mahmood acquired a total of six contacts, of which four in the forward formation were trailed by additional two coming from behind.

The only problem for Pakistanis now was, that the F-16s were still at the level of 3.500 meters, while their targets flew at more than 10.000 meters, and the rear pair of the targets was flying much faster than the first four aircraft. Indeed, the Soviet GCI detected Pakistani F-16s, and advised Petkov and Danchenkov to block them, while the rest of the formation was to turn back towards West. But, the Pakistanis were faster: closing to a distance of 12km, Mahmood achieved a radar lock-on, but his Sidewinders failed to track the target, as the Soviet pilots engaged their IR counter measures. Mahmood started no less but three attempts to acquire, but failed to do so and, after closing to a distance of less than three kilometers, tried for a fourth time. Finally, he was successful, and fired one AIM-9L from a low-to-high/left-to-right conversion attack and 135° aspect angle. His target was MiG-23MLD „Bort 55“, flown by Capt. Sergey Privalov, which engaged his IRCM. The Sidewinder closed, however, and exploded over his aircraft, sending dozens of hot splinters into the wings and the fuselage.

The whole Soviet section executed a turn to the West now, with Privalov in tow and Petkov and Danchenkov joining the formation without - as it seems - trying to engage F-16s with their R-24s, while Bulin and Golisienko closed from the north and certainly tried to acquire a lock on. However, Mahmood was already executing a hard port turn underneath the enemy formation, rolling out directly behind it and in a perfect attack position behind no less but six MiG-23MLDs! His radar immediately achieved another lock-on, but Mahmood rejected the lock and switched over to an auto-lock, which automatically selected his two AIM-9P missiles, considered better for stern attack. Closing to a distance of three kilometers, the Pakistani fired another missile at the MiG-23MLD flown by Maj. Petkov, when the GCI warned him of two Soviet aircraft directly behind. Mahmood broke hard into the threat, but found nothing there, only to - upon a turn back to the west - realize that the rest of the Soviet formation was already too far away to be intercepted and almost over the Afghani border.

For two F-16 pilots there remained nothing else but to return back to their base. According to Pakistani reports, this warning of two Soviet aircraft behind Mahmood and Hussain was caused by a radar controller, Sqn.Ldr. Irfan-ul-Haq, misinterpreting a clutter on his scope. In fact Lt.Col. Sergey Bulin and Maj. N. Golisienko were closing from that side, however, their Sapheer-23ML radars were not able to pick-up the lower flying F-16s (probably due to a ground clutter), thus denying them a chance to attack with R-24 missiles. Subsequently they turned towards the West and joined the rest of the formation. Privalov’s MiG-23MLD „55“ managed it back to Bagram (albeit it overshoot the runway and was badly damaged when the nose-leg collapsed), just like Petkov, whose aircraft was not damaged at all.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2017, 20:01
by lawndarter
Pictures depicting the "battle damage" inflicted to Privalov's MLD:

Image


Later, bort 55 had a new badge applied to its port intake...sorta proof the Soviets took it with a good sense of humour:

Image

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2017, 19:56
by basher54321
That is great - many thanks lawndarter!

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2017, 16:15
by lawndarter
basher54321 wrote:From a Pak source but detailed and seems to look at both sides.
[...]
Sergey Bulin and Maj. N. Golisienko were closing from that side, however, their Sapheer-23ML radars were not able to pick-up the lower flying F-16s (probably due to a ground clutter), thus denying them a chance to attack with R-24 missiles. Subsequently they turned towards the West and joined the rest of the formation. Privalov’s MiG-23MLD „55“ managed it back to Bagram (albeit it overshoot the runway and was badly damaged when the nose-leg collapsed), just like Petkov, whose aircraft was not damaged at all.
[/i]


As to the general sequence of events of 12 September 1988, both the Pakistani and Soviet reports were largely coinciding. However, regarding the final stage of the skirmish and its immediate outcome, the Soviets had a slighly different story to tell.

According to Markovsky's narrative ("MiG-23 Fighters In Afghanistan") and Petkov's private recollections, Bunin and Golosienko were indeed very eager to retaliate the attack by firing R-24R missiles at the Pakistanis but were given strict orders to disengange, to join the rest of the group and to return to Bagram ASAP. Very much to the dislike of Bunin and Golosienko.The Soviet "higher brass" on the ground deemed the overall tactical situation infavourable, and with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan on the horizon, they didn't want to escalate the already existing tensions with Pakistan any further.
Petkov later stated that both Bunin and Golosienko were well able to detect and track the Pakistanis using the "ГОР/GOR" (mountain) mode of the MLD's Sapfir-23MLA-2 aka N-008 radar. A mode specifically implemented for operations over mountainous terrain.

Contrary to the Pakistani report, bort 55 did neither overshoot the runway nor did its NLG collapse. However, after having lost 1200 litres of fuel and "leaving a wet trail on the concrete", Privalov safely made it to his parking position when his engine eventually died off - not a single drop of fuel left.

Image

I guess the Pakistani report confusingly refers to a later incident when bort 54 did in fact overshoot the runway, shearing off its NLG eventually ending up as a write-off.

Image

So much for that.
In general, such reports/narratives should be always taken with a good pinch of salt.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2017, 19:44
by basher54321
lawndarter wrote:
So much for that.
In general, such reports/narratives should be always taken with a good pinch of salt.



Thanks again Lawdarter and absolutely right - would be good to know where the Pakistan source got that information from - hope it wasn't just assumed on known limitations of the N008.

Of course the Soviet recount needs us to believe that even though under attack and fired upon by a country that were actively supporting the Mujahideen they were told to knock it off (and after already losing an Su-25) - must be one of the few times they could (almost) legitimately fire and didn't!

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 00:17
by lawndarter
Apparently, the strict order to disengage from the fight had caused a great deal of Russian-style ranting and raving among the aircrews involved. Privalov, Petkov, Bunin and Golosienko in particular were utterly p.o.'d. Or as Petkov later described it "They had them (the Pakistanis) on a silver platter, the Sapfir-23MLA-2 worked as advertised, they wanted to get the kill, but the friggin' top brass decided to chicken out, instead." Sheer frustration.

By design, Soviet interceptors were conceived to operate within a well developed GCI environment. In principle, the MLD was no exception. According to several ex-Soviet/Russian sources, the GCI infrastructure in the Afghan theatre was - at best - "less than rudimental". And the Soviet planners were well aware that the Pakistanis had the hits on their hands - better/denser GCI, hence better overall situational awareness, the proverbial home advantage, shorter approach routes and sginificantly longer loiter times, etc.

The MLD's Sapfir-23MLA-2 radar was a, by Soviet standards, rather sophisticated piece of kit, allowing the MLD to operate "quasi-autonomously" over remote areas...on a limited scale, however. They had to sorta "guessimate" the most probable Pakistani incursion routes, if you will.
Without GCI support, Pakistani F-16s would have faced pretty much the same challenges, and in contrast to the MLDs, they were entirely lacking any BVR capabilities back then.

Apart from what has been written (paper doesn't blush) about the MLD's capabilities by Gordon et al, those who flew them were quite taken with their mounts. Better/safer/more acceptable overall handling, improved manoeuvrability, decent avionics, a capable FCS and a vastly improved reliability, stating in unison: "You gotta know your kinematics, strengths and weaknesses; and despite all the new gizmos, it still takes a truly skilled pilot to fully exploit the aircraft's capabilities."

The MLD was a far cry from its predecessors but one has to admit that the MLD was still suffering from less than carefree handling characteristics, poor visibility from the cockpit, demanding a huge workload from its pilots and still requiring lots of TLC from its maintenance crews.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 01:24
by basher54321
Good to hear their accounts - I am not sold on the notion all the Soviet pilots were tied to GCI operation, Alexander Zuyev (Fulcrum) gives accounts of VVS training and he considered them more flexible like Israel - where as sure the PVO were more tied into GCI operation.

Bulgarian Alxander Mladenov in his 2016 book gives a pretty good account of the MLD - they even stuck the G & AoA limiter from the MiG-29 in it (good idea). Bulgaria it seems got the full up N008 and soviet avionics fit including the Nuke wiring. The N008 was vastly upgraded even from the previous version - but appears to be probably a generation behind the MiG-29 radar especially regarding down look processing and methods.

As this shows GCI and AWACs provide far better SA than any crappy radar in a nose can provide - this is a good example of F-16s detecting the MLDs first via better radar coverage and gaining a tactical advantage ( bit unlucky there turned out to be load of them but that is what they got paid for I guess) - by the time the Soviet GCI picked them up they were on the back foot and very lucky not to lose several.

The ability to carry a BVR missile in this era:
A. Doesn't mean you can use it BVR - F-4s spent 97% of their time over Nam in that situation because they couldn't ID what they were firing at. (IFF by itself not usually adequate)
B. Even if you meet the ROE you have to overcome X radar issues and then X amount of missile issues considering the massive list of missiles that missed / failed in 70s/80s/90s the Soviets still had their work cut out even if they got a firing chance.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 19:53
by mixelflick
It's tempting to trash the Mig 23 for all the reasons given here, but it would be a mistake to dismiss its chances out of hand.

The one story about the Mig-23 that always stuck in my mind was when it was being delivered to Soviet frontal aviation. I recall reading where both the pilots and crew chiefs were wishing for a return to the Mig-21, LOL.

So yes, its visibility was crappy (especially compared to the F-16). And yes, I'd imagine the F-16 would thrash it in any kind of turning fight. The Soviet recommendations for high speed slashing attacks are a tacit admission of this. But with wings swept maximally and that big engine glowing... it looked incredibly fast and there are many stories of its fantastic acceleration.

For the brief period when it carried BVR missiles and the F-16 didn't it stood a halfway decent chance of winning. Somewhat iron though given the Russian ephasis on the fact the dogfight has never left them. Except in the case of the Mig-23 and 25. They returned to their roots in the Mig-29 and SU-27 though, although the real world performance of the Mig-29 being abysmal.

I often wonder just how much a factor that was (real world performance of Mig-23/25 and 29) insofar as Sukhoi surpassing Mig as Russia's top fighter design burea?

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 00:02
by f-16adf
According to the book "Red Eagles: America’s Secret MiGs" by Steve Davies, the Mig-23 had great acceleration (you couldn't catch it with the wings back). However, it was generally considered terrible in everything else.

Even parts of its radar were copied from US Navy F-4J Phantoms (the worlds first in service jet with a radar that could actually look down ((PD))).

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 10:50
by basher54321
Was mentioned a few posts back - the MiG-23MS they used was a world away from the MiG-23MLD and had an Almaz-23 radar from the MiG-21SM which was also found in some exported MiG-21bis - basically an old pulse radar - could also not carry R-23/24 missiles.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 11:18
by basher54321
mixelflick wrote:It's tempting to trash the Mig 23 for all the reasons given here, but it would be a mistake to dismiss its chances out of hand.


Not trashing or dismissing anything, the MiG-23MLD was an effective aircraft used in the right way with the right tactics however its real world attributes were its speed and small RCS when the wings were back meaning with numbers it could likely cause big problems.

On the other side there were X amount of tactics F-16 pilots could use to negate this and they had to really - hence an example provided to get away from Wiki paper capabilities where radar range and big missile means win every time.

Another real world example would be Bekaa Valley, the Syrians had MiG-23MS and MIG-23MF, the MF having a paper BVR capability - however the Syrians lack of SA over the battlefield and total lack of EW capability means they could have had MLDs and the result wouldn't have been any different - I could even go as far to say that if Israel only had F-16s the result still wouldn't have changed much.

Fortunately not too many examples from real world - from exercises Lossimouth early 80s where F-16s shot down 80-1 (?) F-4s & Lightnings, and a similar score from Red Flag the year after - would hope the F-4s were simulating BVR Floggers with their AWGs - if not pointless exercise.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 18:14
by f-16adf
The US Navy F-4J Phantom originally used the AWG-10/APG-59, which was the world's first in service pulse doppler radar. Later F-4J's were upgraded to AWG-10A standard, and the F-4S was upgraded further to AWG-10B (which by all accounts was considered by the USN/USMC/RAF (used on the F-4J (UK)) to be a superb air interception unit). In fact, back in 1988 (at an airshow), a USMC F-4S RIO would not even let anyone into his office (he kept his canopy closed, while the A/C kept the front one open) because he said there were "sensitive" things back there-obviously radar related.

The Mig-23MLD radar probably was equivalent to the AWG-10B or slightly inferior. But remember the AWG-10B is circa 1979/80 technology, the the MLD radar is early/mid 1980's. Obviously, by the mid 1980's the Navy was not going to keep the F-4S or upgrade the -10B any further because the Hornet was coming into service. It would have been an illogical waste of money.

The Air Force Phantom radars -100/-109/-120 were all pulse radars (so was the original F-4B). The F-4E's -120 was supposed to get CORDS back in the late 1960's, but it never happened.

Only the F-4J/S and F-4K/M had actual LD/SD radars. RAF Phantom driver David Gledhill confirms this, as does RAF F-4J (UK) pilot Tony Dixon, and US Navy F-4J pilot Chesire. The Skyflash (UK) and AIM-7F (USN/USMC) were the weapons of choice. The AIM-7E was considered generally useless for these type of intercepts.


Also, lighter or not, no Mig-23MLD would ever match an F-16A/C from 0-30K ft. in ACM. Would never happen-

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 21:24
by basher54321
Yes the RAF F-4s at Lossimouth would have had AWG-11 or 12 depending on M or K - these were also upgraded over their lifetime (I Black) but had a PD mode (Vc only) as one of its 5 radar modes.

N008 was probably inferior to upgraded AWG-10s of the same year for several reasons -(although both could probably be classed as limited in LD/SD capability).


A prior confidential 1960s Mcdonnell report on the AWG-10 gives (in PD Mode) a max range of 60nm (Narrow search) and 37 nm (Wide Search) and claims this for uplook, co-alt and downlook for a "five metre squared" target, head on aspect. Not bad when Westinghouse advertised 30+ miles for a fighter sized target in look down mode on the APG-66 in 1980.

Mladenovs figures (Usually from Soviet / Block Air Force tech manuals) on the N008 give (for a "bomber sized" target / head on) 40.5nm search at high altitude and 12.5nm search in LD/SD mode.

What has been released from the CIA in recent years has shed more light on the information Tolchachev provided to them in the early to mid 80s - and it appears a main target was the Sapphire 23 (Sapfir 23) - this also paints a picture they were still having immense problems solving the look down problem even then.

Exploitation of the late 1980s NO-19.



APQ-120 may have lacked in look down capability & range - but expect was more likely to actually work when you needed it - the AWG-10 sounds like a reliability nightmare - especially carrier based!


I will add to this Cuban flown MiG-23MLs were employed with some success against SAAF Mirage F.1s it seems by the late 80s.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 22:49
by f-16adf
Even though the old APG-66 had a smaller antenna, it put out far more power than any of the Phantom radar sets. I believe (I could be totally wrong though) it even put out more power than the early APG-63 on the F-15A. The ultimate set of the day (1970's/80's) as far as antenna size and power was probably the AWG-9.

Those figures about the Mig-23MLD in A-A combat (the turning numbers against the F-16A ) should be taken with a grain of salt. No MLD will ever touch a -200/220 A model in A-A combat whatever the altitude. It's greatest strength is raw acceleration/speed with the wings back. I bet a slatted Phantom could probably beat it in ACM.


Sorry to go off topic here: I think the meanest looking Phantoms were probably the shark teeth painted USAF F-4Es, but I think the most BEAUTIFUL were the very colorful RAF M/K and NAVY/USMC J/S with that clean slick nose radome. They were just stunning-

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 23:45
by basher54321
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 23:45
by vilters
Ergonomix.
Cockpit lay-out, and ease of system control.

All Russian A/C are build like tanks, and their switches are well, "strong".
Instruments and handles and switches everywhere.

But they never heard about cockpit lay-out and pilot ergonomix.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 23:49
by sprstdlyscottsmn
vilters wrote:Ergonomix.
Cockpit lay-out, and ease of system control.

All Russian A/C are build like tanks, and their switches are well, "strong".
Instruments and handles and switches everywhere.

But they never heard about cockpit lay-out and pilot ergonomix.

They have, they just take a different approach. From the MiG-21 up to the Su-33 all their cockpits had the same general layout so that transfer from one type to the next was easier on the pilot. Short term that may have been fine, but the long term is that the cockpits of early 2000s planes looks the same as 1960s planes.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 16:08
by basher54321
f-16adf wrote:Those figures about the Mig-23MLD in A-A combat (the turning numbers against the F-16A ) should be taken with a grain of salt. No MLD will ever touch a -200/220 A model in A-A combat whatever the altitude. It's greatest strength is raw acceleration/speed with the wings back. I bet a slatted Phantom could probably beat it in ACM.


No doubt it could with the right pilot - however you will probably find examples over the years of F-4s beating F-16s, F-16s beating F-22s and MiG-23s beating MiG-29s in these kinds of exercises. Not aware of such claims - only ones regarding acceleration and vertical performance over the A / B. The only place the MiG-23 you would expect can turn well would be slow speed with the wings out - but not necessarily much use for this - I'm certain the Sopwith Camel also had an even tighter turn performance there.

Found this - regarding the F-5E captured from South Vietnam Vs the MiG-23M - the only thing I can conclude by looking at F-104 data is that adding 3000 lbs thrust to the same airframe and weight does improve acceleration significantly.


An excerption from the book "Life-Long Runway" written by the Soviet Air Force test pilot Vladimir Kondaurov. The story is that in 1976 the Soviets got an F-5E to test.

Then the MiG company representatives suggested:

- "Let's set MiG-23M against him."

- "But they cannot be compared to one another; they are from different generations." The chief of our research institute objected.

The chief of our institute, colonel general I. Gaidayenko had been a fighter-pilot during World War II and a wingman of the very P. Kutakov, who was the supreme commander of the Air Force at the time of our struggle with the F-5. The result of the test flights was supposed to be reported to Kutakov.

- "So what? We will kick his a$$ anyway!" 2nd lead engineer of MiG-23M spoke out, rubbing his hands in expectance of the revenge.

Well, the a$$ was kicked, for sure... but one of our own. The result was the same with the only exception that the agony lasted for 4-5 minutes. You have also to keep in mind that I had been considered a pilot capable of any stall and spin recovery and I had been permitted to break any angle of attack limitations. In the dogfight, I set the optimal wing sweep manually, but all in vain. The foreigner would slowly, but steadily, approach my tail. After these flights all calmed down for some time, all discussions ceased. The chief of the RI ordered to promptly compile a statement on the tests and directed me and Stogov to Moscow, to the Central Research Institution No. 30, which was involved in elaboration of the long-term problems of aviation advancement.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 17:29
by mixelflick
OK.... and what was the compilation of the tests/lessons learned? Did you need to "skew" it any to favor the Mig-23? Or did you feel comfortable enough stating that the Mig-23 was inferior as your account suggests?

It doesn't surprise me the F-5 won, as it's been known to give F-14/15's fits in WVR fights..

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 18:48
by f-16adf
In the "right hands" many 3rd gen jets can wax various 4th gen jets.

For example:

https://ibb.co/f0OLNv


Now I'm sure the F-16 guys who were killed were probably relatively inexperienced and the NJANG F-4E Phantom pilots were probably very good.


My point is that pilot skill aside, any Mig-23 version is hopelessly outclassed by basically any Viper version (prolly even the Block 32) in WVR parameters. If the A model F-16 could out turn (radius/rate) even the Tomcat with its wings at 20 degrees I seriously doubt the Mig-23MLD could do any better.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 19:13
by basher54321
mixelflick wrote:OK.... and what was the compilation of the tests/lessons learned? Did you need to "skew" it any to favor the Mig-23? Or did you feel comfortable enough stating that the Mig-23 was inferior as your account suggests?






No secret the first Generation MiG-23 was terrible in this department due to accounts from multiple airforce nationalities (Libyan/Egyptian pilots) who had the misfortune to fly it. Both the Export MiG-23MF and MS were essentially the MiG-23M airframe with avionics changes. The MS had a smaller lighter nose and as already stated was exploited and flown by the USAF Red Eagles during the 80s of which there are now several books based on the declass findings.
Alexander Zuyev flew the MiG-23M for the VVS and even he went as far to suggest it was forced upon the Soviet Union due to the political power MiG had at the time. (Note his book is in English!)


However the second Generation MiG-23ML/MLD were intentionally improved and changed over the generation 1 to be better at close in combat.



The above was translated from Chapter XVI
http://testpilot.ru/review/runway/volga/volga_xvi.htm or http://royallib.com/book/kondaurov_vlad ... _gizn.html


In the summer of 1976 a disassembled American F-5 fighter jet was delivered to our base at Aktubinsk. To be correct, it was F-5E - the latest variant with increased engines thrust. By the size it was smaller than MiG-21, had two engines installed side-by-side in the fuselage, a sharp swept-down nose and short tapered wings. The war in Vietnam had finished, and the United States Air Forces were leaving this long-suffering country, hastily abandoning several aircraft of this type on one of the airfields. One of them was handed over to the USSR together with its pilot manual. There were no technical descriptions, but our engineers figured everything out, assembled it to the last bolt and made it flyable, bringing not only the foreign hard pieces together, but also tons of electric wiring. A test brigade was formed to conduct special flight tests, and a program was written, which assumed 35-40 test flights. I was one of the test pilots, our lead was Nikolay Stogov.

After a proper training I was trusted to perform the first speed run on the runway and then a run with a 3-6 feet jump. These precautions had their reasons in our uncertainty, that all the systems had been assembled and connected correctly.

And finally, we were alone. The "Foreigner" hid within. From the manual I knew, that it had had no problems in operation whatsoever. But I also knew that every manufacturer had their own zest in the product. Unlike our fighters in production, the "Foreigner" had brakes on pedals, which we had on heavy aircraft only. The cockpit was not cluttered by various switches and circuit breakers unneeded in flight. They were all concentrated in a single horizontal "stock" away from the working area. I understood that F-5 was a way not the most modern plane and that it was inferior even to MiG-21, but, nonetheless, I liked the cockpit layout. I decided to make the run on the second runway, which was the longest one. "There is never too much runway ahead," I thought, taxiing to the runway. It was the winter of 1976-77. Of course, there was no reason to hide I was proud that the only aircraft of this type available in the USSR was trusted to me.

I turned on the extension of the nose strut - the electrohydraulic retractor engaged, and the nose of the aircraft started to "crawl" up. "How about that?" I shook my head surprised. "Couldn't you do without it on this little one?" As for me, not a common way to reduce your takeoff roll. In the USSR, only Myasischev used this on M-3 and M-4 - the heavy long-range bombers with a tandem gear layout, thus with very short nose struts.

"Alright," I thought, "we kneeled, so let's run. It is awkward to fool around this way." I increased thrust and released the brakes. The aircraft started to roll. It rolled evenly, reluctantly gaining speed. Aha! That's why they raise the nose strut! The engines are feeble, and the wing is too small. I lifted the nosewheel off the ground and held the airplane from the premature liftoff. Enough for this time. I powered back and lowered the nose. And then... what the heck? The entire nose started to shake and vibrate, then it started to wander left and right so violently, I thought it would just fall the hell off in a moment. Something was screeching and rumbling below. My first thought was about the nosewheel shimmy, but then I realized the nosewheel had been destroyed. I pulled the drag chute handle. "Not the brakes... Main wheels damage is the last thing we need: we don't have spares," the thoughts were rushing in my mind. Gradually reducing the speed, I stopped. I switched everything off, opened the canopy and impatiently jumped down onto the tarmac. I looked and I was puzzled: the wheel was intact. "That's strange! So what were you so unhappy with?" I looked at the "Foreigner" suspiciously. It turned out that he was unhappy with our runway condition: rough grooves and seams were so deep, and the surface of the concrete was decayed, so he just didn't stand it. One bolt was cut off, and the strut together with the wheel was turning around.

- "Nice! Ours don't do things like that," I gave his nose a pat and whispered: "Don't worry, we'll find a new bolt for you and you'll gallop around again!"

As I got to know the "Foreigner" I grew up in my respect to him both as to the flying machine and as to the fighter jet. Unapt to aggressive maneuvering when in "cruise" configuration (flaps and slats up), he would have changed when the pilot put it into the "maneuvering" configuration (flaps and slats down). Then from a heavy clodhopper he turned into a swallow. Checking out the capabilities of the optical sight, I enjoyed keeping the reticle on the target while attacking with a 6g pull, whereas on MiG-21 it would disappear from the view at 3g.

After determining the basic specification we decided to set up for a mock air-to-air combat with MiG-21bis. I would fight on my "native" MiG-21, and Nikolay Stogov - on F-5. The close air combat started head-on in equal positions. Every flight ended with the same result: MiG-21 lost, although he had much higher thrust-to-weight ratio. I laid myself out just to keep the initial position. I took the most out of the aircraft, took all he could give, but the targeting angle grew steadily and in a few minutes the "bandit" was on my tail. Only tactics could save me. What I was stricken by the most is that the result of the mock fights took not only the generals by surprise (one could explain this somehow), but also the military research departments of the Air Force and even the aviation engineers. They would review the data records for thousand times, ask the pilots, especially me. Frankly, I was somewhat confused as well, but when I tried the F-5, I realized that it was not an ordinary one.

So, what was happening in flight? At the speeds of 800 km/h (430 kts) and above the fight was on equal terms, nobody had explicit advantages, but the fighting was not literally maneuvering because of the large radii of the maneuvers. We would both stay at the equal maximum allowable g-loads. Whilst at the speeds below 750 km/h (400 kts) one couldn't sustain these g-loads even with the afterburner. And the lower the speed was the faster it decayed, thus lowering the maximum available g-load. It turned out that the aerodynamics was what won the day, not the thrust/weight ratio. But how was I to explain all this to the people above? They wouldn't have patted our backs for this. Then the MiG company representatives suggested:

- "Let's set MiG-23M against him."

- "But they cannot be compared to one another; they are from different generations." The chief of our research institute objected.

The chief of our institute, colonel general I. Gaidayenko had been a fighter-pilot during World War II and a wingman of the very P. Kutakov, who was the supreme commander of the Air Force at the time of our struggle with the F-5. The result of the test flights was supposed to be reported to Kutakov.

- "So what? We will kick his a$$ anyway!" 2nd lead engineer of MiG-23M spoke out, rubbing his hands in expectance of the revenge.

Well, the a$$ was kicked, for sure... but one of our own. The result was the same with the only exception that the agony lasted for 4-5 minutes. You have also to keep in mind that I had been considered a pilot capable of any stall and spin recovery and I had been permitted to break any angle of attack limitations. In the dogfight, I set the optimal wing sweep manually, but all in vain. The foreigner would slowly, but steadily, approach my tail. After these flights all calmed down for some time, all discussions ceased. The chief of the RI ordered to promptly compile a statement on the tests and directed me and Stogov to Moscow, to the Central Research Institution No. 30, which was involved in elaboration of the long-term problems of aviation advancement.

Paying a visit to one of its departments we asked, what they could tell us about the MiG-21 advantages over the F-5E.

- "Oh!" The military scientists immediately exclaimed. "With pleasure! There is a fray right now between Ethiopia and Somalia, and these very aircraft fight each other there. And we are busy preparing recommendations for the pilots on how to successfully fight the F-5 in aerial combat."

- "And what you've got?" I asked with an interest.

- "Take a look at the graph of the attack success probability. See? We beat him everywhere."

- "Indeed," I droned, looking at the so familiar graph in front of me and feeling somewhat hurt for the "Foreigner".

- "And what're the odds?" My friend asked, making a face of a village gull.

- "We've got much better thrust-to-weight ratio," the scientist replied in a voice of a mentor, who knew his worth.

- "Alright, then could you read this Statement and give us your final conclusion, please? And..."

- "And we'll go have a lunch," Nikolay suggested, "You know, on an errand it's like in defense: the meal is the ultimate thing."

This was the end of our work on the comparative evaluation of the "Foreigner" and our Soviet fighters. I don't know what kind of discussions were held "up there", but I know for sure, that the recommendations for the Ethiopian pilots were changed. Our "experts" suggested not to engage in a close dogfight, but to use the "hit-and-run" tactics instead. What about MiG-23, everyone preferred to forget about it. You bet! It had been supposed to fight even more advanced aircraft! Our Statement was classified as top secret and removed somewhere away from the eyes. The "Foreigner" was given to the aviation industry specialists with a strict clause: no flying, but to disassemble and study the structural features to use the knowledge in further projects. Some time passed, and the Su-25 close air support aircraft emerged. It had the wheel brakes on the rudder pedals, "maneuvering" wing configuration and a different approach to the cockpit layout. In the terms of the pilot workstation our engineers went even further, and nowadays the cockpit of MiG-29 can serve as an exemplar for similar foreign combat aircraft. The same can be said about the aerodynamics. The aerodynamic capabilities of Su-27 fighter are considered unexcelled so far. It appears that what is clear for one is a revelation for the other. I believe that similar situations arose in the USA as well, as they got our aircraft at times from MiG-21 to MiG-29. We had luck only once.


Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 19:27
by basher54321
f-16adf wrote:My point is that pilot skill aside, any Mig-23 version is hopelessly outclassed by basically any Viper version (prolly even the Block 32) in WVR parameters. If the A model F-16 could out turn (radius/rate) even the Tomcat with its wings at 20 degrees I seriously doubt the Mig-23MLD could do any better.


If you just look at ability to turn in isolation at speed then sure I would agree with you, however there is a more to it than rate / radius - and the underlying problem of this thread is still that the actual performance of the MLD is wrapped in a few anecdotes (Going round for years) and assumptions.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 21:51
by f-16adf
Correct, all are assumptions.

However, most actual USAF/USN scholarship paints the Mig-23 (once again, pilot skill aside, as generally equal to or worse than the slatted F-4E WVR). Sierra Hotel, F-15 Engaged, Red Eagles, .....etc. all say the same thing about it.

Various foreign sources that claim xxxx about it are reminiscent of the so called anecdote tale of Iranian F-14's shooting down 3 jets with one Aim-54. All just claims......


WVR against an F-16A, the MLD has inferior roll rate, inferior STR/ITR, probably inferior Alpha. It "may" have an equal to or worse T/W ratio. Some VG jets are only good with their wings out (hence low speeds) once they go back.... the show is over-

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 22:57
by basher54321
f-16adf wrote:However, most actual USAF/USN scholarship paints the Mig-23 (once again, pilot skill aside, as generally equal to or worse than the slatted F-4E WVR). Sierra Hotel, F-15 Engaged, Red Eagles, .....etc. all say the same thing about it.



It is well established that the Gen 1 MiG-23M/MF/MS was a total lemon to everyone including the USSR - those sources you listed do not compare the MLD do they? (Sierra Hotel doesn't have a single instance of MiG-23 ).

The AoA Limiter on the MLD was pegged to 28 degrees - all prior versions would demonstrably flat spin over this.

A Syrian export MLD was evaluated by Israel when it defected in the late 80s - this is the information we need - (and not just a rehash of how it out accelerated the F-16Bs flying with it) ideally the Soviet version would be better!!

I won't be surprised if it turns out there was a significant difference between the MLD and the M - there were aerodynamic (Not just the vertical tail) as well as thrust/weight changes on the Soviet models.

I'm not going to dismiss the AIM-54 kills either just yet without seeing the actual Iraqi loss record for that day - Not just because Tom Cooper is / was a regular on here. :wink:

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 23:41
by f-16adf
The F-16B model is draggier than the A model obviously. It also is heavier. Also, not everything Israel says should be taken for gospel.

There is a tale on the net of a US NAVY B Tom supposedly "hanging" with an Israeli two seat Viper. Wow, guess what, all the Tomcat worshipers get wood from this. First, what model Viper was it? B or D? ...Well, every Israeli B or D model Viper is draggier and far heavier than the single seat and standard USAF versions. So here we only get part of the story not the entire incident-

But again, once the Top Gun/Tom Cruise fanatics hear that they immediately come to the conclusion: "see, with the new engines the Tomcat was equal to the F-16." Which again is complete garbage. I do not have to be on that Tomcat fanboy website to understand that...



I was too lazy to look into Sierra Hotel, my apologies for the error.


But the fact of the matter remains it is generally A NEAR IDENTICAL AIR-FRAME as the prior versions (yes some tweaks here and there). Extra thrust is not going to completely 180 degree change a crummy design.


The jet doesn't even have automatic sweep as the Tomcat.

So what sweep do you suggest the pilot puts the wings at? Once VG goes above 40 degrees (it is even rather weak in the 35-40 range) turn rates and radius worsen.

Look at the Tomcat charts, its only significance is low speeds. Once the pilot puts knots on it, everything falls apart. And even at low speeds the Tomcat (A-D, I have all their charts) is inferior to the original F-16A and even the F-16C Block 30 big mouth. And no i'm not going to reference the HAF Block 50 which is a poorer performer than the MCID Block 30. The only charts I have for the Block 30 are sea level and 30K. And even at 30K the Block 30 has a turn advantage (rate/radius) still over the Block 50.


Theoretically I could put canards on an F-4E, strakes on the nose, improved engines, and the jet is still an outdated 3rd gen jet. Same for the MLD. Plus I do not think a Viper driver is going to be terrified that the MLD has 3 degrees AOA better than he does. I think I will ask a few of my brothers old Viper squadron mates that question, and wait to see their faces turn white- :D

Same tales for its radar, it was "always suppose to be improving" what did it ever accomplish? A radar that by 1985 was probably still inferior to the AWG-10B in the F-4S? And the same tall tales for the Mig-25's ever, ever, ever, ever improving radar.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 00:29
by basher54321
Twin seaters have a draggier canopy and were probably carrying drop tanks (assumed) - not always heavier remember carried ~900 lbs less internal fuel.

I will say again - don't be surprised if there is a significant difference between the 2! - even just the large thrust and weight difference will assure this - and no it was not the same airframe - shorter vertical tail, Wing root and nose vortex generation, automatic high lift slats added to the wings. The addition of an AoA limiter would have helped things no end.

This doesn't mean it turned it into a superfighter regarding turn rates but it was better than the M as I keep telling you.

Regarding turn rates at 3200 ft the ML with 2 x R-23 had around 20% higher over the M - a max 16.7 degree instantaneous and 14 degree sustained at 421kts. Wing sweep was manual it would appear but best around 33 - 45 degrees for this.

Don't get hung up on the rate / radius thing.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 01:17
by f-16adf
I believe it had 3 manual settings: 16, 45, 72.

72 is obviously not for ACM. 45 would be similar to the Tomcat (meaning performance still is not optimum, it's losing trailing edge full span), 16 means slow speeds.

I understand it is better than the prior versions. But once again, A Super Flogger or a Super Phantom are no 4 gen jets.


Losing 3k in weight is not going to make it approach 21.5 on a F-16A. One report said it is "still slightly" inferior in the horizontal to the F-16A. Which is still complete nonsense-



I do not know the validity of this chart or the load out:

https://ibb.co/ceZ2Ka

Could be complete BS.





Yes, it is the ML version. But once again, what advantage is gained, it still has a very, very long way to go to even approach the F-16A. And it would be completely outclassed by a Block 30 big mouth.



Even with the F110 upgrade, the B/D tom never gained over 3 dps in STR.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 01:54
by basher54321
The strengthened wing on the MLD meant they added a 33 degree sweep - the pilot needed to get experienced on the different handling vices in each position obviously.

Not seeing any real basis for comparison with the F-14 outside of a VG wing - my only word would be (being OT) suspect even the Block 25 was more than capable against the F-14AD in that arena despite what a few isolated variables on an EM chart might show you.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 02:11
by f-16adf
Actually the B/D tom was lucky if it gained almost 2dps over the A model (I have the charts but am tired of F-14D and HAF Block 50 data, I could care less-)

And this was from a "Massive Thrust" increase that all the Tomcat fanboys are always referring to. How on God's green earth could the MLD even gain over that? It is just too, too far away from the F-16A.

VG died out for a reason.


[In 1982, an upgrade program was authorized for the MiG-23ML/MLA fleet, with the upgrade to provide enhanced aerodynamics, better countermeasures, and improved avionics. The modified aircraft were designated "MiG-23MLD", where "D" stood for "dorabotannyi / upgraded". The changes included:

Small strakes or "vortex generators" attached to the side of the nose pitot tube and a distinctive notch at the leading-edge root of each wing glove, both innovations intended to create vortexes over the flight control surfaces of the aircraft and ensure controllability at high AOA. However, the notches imposed a drag penalty.

******A stronger wing pivot system and a new, fourth sweep setting of 33 degrees for combat maneuvering -- though it was tricky to use and was generally only employed by experienced pilots.

An SOS-3-4 automated flight limiting system, obtained from the Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter, to prevent the aircraft from being pushed outside of its maneuvering envelope and so preventing departure from controlled flight.

Two six-round KDS-23 chaff-flare dispensers integrated into the centerline pylon. Most aircraft also had two BVP-50-60 upward-firing 60-round chaff-flare dispensers tacked onto the back of the rear fuselage. These dispensers were prominent, resembling large strakes, and were on the draggy side.

A still further improved Sapfir-23MLA-11 AKA N008 radar, with greater range -- about 70 kilometers (44 miles /38 NMI) for a bomber-sized target -- plus a new close-combat mode, and general enhancement of earlier features.

Improvement of other avionics and aircraft systems, including the SAU-23-18 flight control system; a new Beryoza RWR; a new Klystron digital tactical radio and automatic landing system; an improved nosewheel steering scheme; and a crash-resistant flight recorder.
All weaponry carried on earlier variants could be carried by the MiG-23MLD, and from 1984 it could also carry the R-73 (NATO AA-11 Archer) heat-seeking dogfighting missile, with one fitted to each fuselage pylon while the wing glove pylons carried R-24R/T AAMs. There was some follow-on effort to fit the MiG-23LMD with an RF jammer -- either the Siren jammer (not to be confused with the Sirena RWR) or the improved Gardeniya jammer -- but though trials were performed, no operational MiG-23 fighter ever carried an RF jammer. About 500 upgrades were performed. NATO gave the type the reporting name "Flogger-K".]


So they added more vices to a jet that already had inherit ones??? :(

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 13:45
by basher54321
f-16adf wrote:So they added more vices to a jet that already had inherit ones??? :(



Better words would be acceptable compromise, they got better high AoA handling for more drag, and improved survivability for more drag - fair to say pilots would prefer the expendables over a small drag increase.

As you mentioned earlier modifying the F-4 - with the F-4E they added a gun but had to reduce radar range and exposed it to higher vibration. The added slats added drag but improved AoA handling and G onset rate - the end result was preferable.


Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 19:48
by f-16adf
Basher,


I saw the Phantom vid a while ago, but thanks for posting it.


I understand what you are saying. However, I don't have any issues with you. The issue that I have is this:


[If the MiG-23 and its defects had likely produced more than a few alcoholics among Mikoyan's engineering staff, they still worked with impressive persistence in trying to fix the machine. The next stage of fixes focused on producing a lighter, stronger, and more reliable machine, resulting in the "MiG-23ML". Initial flight of the MiG-23ML prototype was on 21 January 1975, with Mikoyan OKB test pilot Aviard Fastovetz at the controls. The variant quickly went into production, with NATO assigning it the reporting name of "Flogger-G".

The most important feature of the MiG-23ML was a re-engineered fuselage, with improved aerodynamics and 1,250 kilograms (2,755 pounds) of weight trimmed off, partly achieved by removing a fuselage fuel tank. The MiG-23ML could be distinguished from its predecessors by the fact that the dorsal fin fillet on the tailfin had been substantially trimmed back. The length of the nose gear strut was also reduced, resulting in a less prominently nose-up posture on the ground.

The MiG-23ML featured a new Tumanskiy R-35F-300 turbojet with dry thrust of 83.8 kN (8,550 kgp / 18,850 lbf) and afterburning thrust of 128 kN (13,060 kgp / 28,800 lbf), as well as much improved specific fuel consumption. An auxiliary power unit was fitted in the fuselage near the front of the tailfin.


MIKOYAN MIG-23ML "FLOGGER-G":
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

spec metric english
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

wingspan (open) 13.97 meters 45 feet 10 inches
wingspan (closed) 7.78 meters 25 feet 6 inches
wing area (open) 37.27 sq_meters 401 sq_feet
wing area (closed) 34.16 sq_meters 368 sq_feet
length with probe: 16.71 meters 54 feet 10 inches
height 4.82 meters 15 feet 10 inches

empty weight 10,230 kilograms 22,560 pounds
normal loaded weight 14,770 kilograms 32,570 pounds
MTO weight 17,800 kilograms 39,250 pounds

max speed at altitude 2,500 KPH 1,550 MPH / 1,350 KT
service ceiling 18,600 meters 61,000 feet
range (clean) 1,450 kilometers 900 MI / 825 NMI
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

The avionics system was comprehensively updated, including:

A new Sapfir-23ML or "N003" radar, which was lighter, had greater reliability, and featured improved capability over its predecessor.

A new Type 26SH1 IRST.

A new ASP-17ML HUD / gunsight.

An improved Lasour-23SML datalink, with all commands displayed on the HUD.

A much improved Polyot 23-21 navigation system.

Improved radar altimeter; and modernized flight control system.
The updated weapons control system allowed the MiG-23ML to carry an R-23R and R-23T AAM on the same flight, and also permitted the carriage of a 23-millimeter cannon pod on each wing glove pylon. All earlier stores, including a tactical nuclear weapon, could be carried as well.

Although some of the structural weaknesses of the wing box system lingered in early MiG-23ML production, later production featured a stronger box, and with the introduction of improved flight control technology -- such as a "stick pusher" that restricted the aircraft's AOA -- the MiG-23ML eliminated the worst handling problems, though some restrictions remained. VVS pilots felt confident that they could outfly US Phantoms. The new General Dynamics F-16 and McDonnell-Douglas F-15 were tougher customers; the F-16 was seen as an even match, but in a one-on-one fight the MiG-23ML was seen as being well at a disadvantage against an F-15.

* The MiG-23ML was quickly followed in production by the "MiG-23MLA", which was identical in terms of its airframe and engine but featured a better avionics suite. Its centerpiece was a modestly improved Sapfir-23MLA radar, with incremental enhancements in range, reliability, and electronic counter-countermeasures capability. The updated radar also was able to operate on different bands, allowing multiple MiG-23MLAs flying together to use their radars without interference. In addition, the MiG-23MLA supported the new R-24R and R-24T AAMs, which were enhanced derivatives of the R-23R and R-23T respectively. The new AAMs had improved seeker systems, better aerodynamics and maneuverability, longer range, and a heavier warhead. They retained the NATO reporting name of "AA-7 Apex". An improved R-60 / AA-8 Aphid variant, the "R-60M", with a better seeker, was also introduced.

Initial flight of the MiG-23MLA was in 1977, with the variant going into production in 1978. It retained the NATO reporting name of "Flogger-G". Export versions were shipped from 1981, replacing the MiG-23MF and MiG-23MS on the export production line. Warsaw Pact countries obtained a slightly detuned MiG-23MLA variant, while other Soviet client states featured a more substantially stripped-down variant. About a thousand MiG-23MLs and MiG-23MLAs were built.

* The Soviet Union had an entirely separate military service, the "Protivo Vozdusdushnoi Oborony (PVO / Homeland Air-Defense Organization)" to operate radar networks, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and interceptors to deal with airborne intruders. The PVO operated the MiG-19P/PM and Sukhoi Su-9/11 interceptors well into the 1970s, but by the end of the decade these aircraft were showing their age, and a better solution was required.

The MiG-23ML was very attractive, its good performance and BVR look-down / shoot-down missile capability being exactly what the PVO needed, while its deficiencies in maneuverability were not a major concern in the pure interceptor role. The PVO was strongly oriented towards automated CGI operations, and so the service obtained a variant of the MiG-23ML with appropriately optimized avionics, designated the "MiG-23P" -- the "P" standing for "perekvatchik (interceptor)". Once again, it retained the NATO reporting name of "Flogger-G".

The primary change was the incorporation of an SAU-23P autopilot / flight control system, which was integrated with a Lasour-M GCI datalink to permit intercepts almost completely under ground control, the pilot only handling the throttle as instructed by the system. At least 500 MiG-23Ps were built for the PVO from 1978 into 1981, and the type became a mainstay of the Soviet interceptor force in the 1980s. Upgrades were provided in service to support the R-24R/T and R-60M AAMs.

BACK_TO_TOP
[1.6] MIG-23MLD FLOGGER-K

* In 1982, an upgrade program was authorized for the MiG-23ML/MLA fleet, with the upgrade to provide enhanced aerodynamics, better countermeasures, and improved avionics. The modified aircraft were designated "MiG-23MLD", where "D" stood for "dorabotannyi / upgraded". The changes included:

Small strakes or "vortex generators" attached to the side of the nose pitot tube and a distinctive notch at the leading-edge root of each wing glove, both innovations intended to create vortexes over the flight control surfaces of the aircraft and ensure controllability at high AOA. However, the notches imposed a drag penalty.

A stronger wing pivot system and a new, fourth sweep setting of 33 degrees for combat maneuvering -- though it was tricky to use and was generally only employed by experienced pilots.

An SOS-3-4 automated flight limiting system, obtained from the Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter, to prevent the aircraft from being pushed outside of its maneuvering envelope and so preventing departure from controlled flight.

Two six-round KDS-23 chaff-flare dispensers integrated into the centerline pylon. Most aircraft also had two BVP-50-60 upward-firing 60-round chaff-flare dispensers tacked onto the back of the rear fuselage. These dispensers were prominent, resembling large strakes, and were on the draggy side.

A still further improved Sapfir-23MLA-11 AKA N008 radar, with greater range -- about 70 kilometers (44 miles /38 NMI) for a bomber-sized target -- plus a new close-combat mode, and general enhancement of earlier features.

Improvement of other avionics and aircraft systems, including the SAU-23-18 flight control system; a new Beryoza RWR; a new Klystron digital tactical radio and automatic landing system; an improved nosewheel steering scheme; and a crash-resistant flight recorder.
All weaponry carried on earlier variants could be carried by the MiG-23MLD, and from 1984 it could also carry the R-73 (NATO AA-11 Archer) heat-seeking dogfighting missile, with one fitted to each fuselage pylon while the wing glove pylons carried R-24R/T AAMs. There was some follow-on effort to fit the MiG-23LMD with an RF jammer -- either the Siren jammer (not to be confused with the Sirena RWR) or the improved Gardeniya jammer -- but though trials were performed, no operational MiG-23 fighter ever carried an RF jammer. About 500 upgrades were performed. NATO gave the type the reporting name "Flogger-K".]




THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, .... PURE INTERNET GARBAGE:

"The MiG-23ML eliminated the worst handling problems, though some restrictions remained. VVS pilots felt confident that they could outfly US Phantoms. The new General Dynamics F-16 and McDonnell-Douglas F-15 were tougher customers; the F-16 was seen as an even match, but in a one-on-one fight the MiG-23ML was seen as being well at a disadvantage against an F-15."



First, this paragraph is referencing the ML version as "pilots felt confident that they could outfly the US F-4 Phantoms."

THEN:

It later states "the F-16 was seen as an even match."

THEN:

"In a 1v1 fight the F-15 could beat it."



It boggles my mind how they "think it could outfly the Phantom, be even with a Viper, and lose to the F-15."


Now, yesterday I will admit that I was mistaken in saying that Sierra Hotel spoke of the MLD. But I know for a fact that the author says (who had almost 10 years F-15 experience/commanded a squadron I believe) that WVR the F-16 beats the F-15, and easily beats the Phantom.

Fulcrmuflyer has even said the same thing: that the F-16 WVR beats the F-15.

I think the book "Viper Pilot" says the exact same thing, ((but I am just too lazy to pull it out of my closet)).


So my point is that some of the data in this article on various Flogger versions that I posted is wrong or they are just plain lying. How could they think they are now even with a Phantom, beat an F-16, and lose to the F-15? It's a nonsensical illogical deduction. ....anecdotal fallacy....



Later, (with the MLD version) it had to gain weight over the ML because of the further air-frame/aerodynamic improvements. I can tell you the Viper did in its evolution. Why wouldn't the MLD? So dare I say that the MLD has a weaker T/W ratio over the ML??? And I think they both use the same engine??


I just don't see even with the improvements how it could close that wide margin between it and the F-16A???


If the F-14B added over 13K additional thrust with the F110 and it was still not "F-16 like". I am perplexed that people think the MLD could do the same thing with less??? :doh:

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 22:19
by basher54321
Don't worry about Internet Garbage and try to stick to good sources of Information that will provide us with something useful. Even published books from years back have been filled with X is better than Y because of authors total lack of understanding and information - This is a very complex subject.


Now you posted that graphic before and you are right it is total BS because even though those ITR/STR figures are in the ballpark nothing can be based on a few STR & ITR figures at a single altitude - compare any EM charts and that big difference can drastically change at other speeds & altitudes (Note the MiG-21bis and MiG-23ML were both 8.5G airframes subsonic AA - but this again does not suddenly turn them into good dogfighters)

The given empty operating weight for the MLD was heavier - I have missed that - only ~1500 lbs lighter over the M.




After Bekaa Valley in the early 80s the Soviet Air Force published a supplementary air combat manual called Aide-Memoire for the MiG-23MLD Pilot on Air Combat vs F-15A, F-I6A, F-4E and Kfir C.2, - this was translated by Mladenov back in 2003 for airforces monthly.com - this is basically the version Syria and Bulgaria had which was a new build MLA airframe with MLD avionics.

Firstly this was information for the actual pilots so unless they were making some pretty wild **** guesses - the information can only have come from Human Intelligence sources! - I will just put the parts more relevant to BFM:


However, the MiG-23MLD's air combat performance, as quoted in the manual, is cited as definitely inferior to the McDonnell Douglas F-15A and General Dynamics F-16A. There are only a few areas within the MiG-23MLD's envelope where it could boast performance equal to, or slightly better than, the third generation US fighters.

The manual's authors claim that in comparison with the F-4E (though whether they mean the slatted or non-slatted sub-version of the Phantom is not clear), the MiG-23MLD has superior sustained turn performance throughout the entire envelope, excluding the range between 377 and 540kts (700 and 1,000km/h) below 21,000ft (6,400m). It also has the edge over the Phantom II in zoom climb performance at all altitudes and speeds, excluding the true airspeed range between 485 and 647kts (900 and ,200km/h) above 18,000ft (6,000m).
Compared with the F-15A, the MiG-23MLD's only notable advantage is in zoom climb performance at speeds above 620kts (1,150km/h). However, the manual asserts that compared with the F-16A, the Soviet swing-wing fighter produces a somewhat better sustained turn performance above 15,000ft (5,000m), at speeds close to the maximum, as well as better zoom climb performance at true airspeeds exceeding 590kts (1,100km/h).



The Soviets listed the F-16A as having better acceleration from 324 kts to 594 kts at 3000ft and a better climb rate (figure given is 14,000 fps lower than actual best for a light F-16A ) however they list the same F-4E figures as lower than the MiG.


I am not going to list any of Mladenovs assumptions just the actual manual data - so we can see that the Soviets thought there were parts of the envelope where the MiG-23MLD had better STR - and this is quite possible as I said before - there might be small parts of the envelope where it had better STR but without the MiG-23 EM charts there is no way to disprove this - however is it relevant? Not really.

The manual assures MiG-23 pilots that the F-15A or F-16A have no valuable advantage in their close air combat weapons. However, these US new generation fighters are regarded as being much more manoeuvrable, and could consequently achieve a weapons employment solution in their turning engagements much easier and earlier than the MiG-23MLD. In view of this, MiG-23MLD pilots are strongly advised that prolonged turning engagements against F-15As and F-16As, both
offensive and defensive, should be avoided by all means
.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2017, 23:04
by outlaw162
Good, readable series of posts, even for a old dinosaur like me.

I remember seeing an F-15 squadron end-of-course presentation plaque at the 4477th that said simply....

...."We don't need no stinking lag."

I'm just curious if any of the USN Viper guys ever flew the thing in Cat 3? Or was it safety-wired in Cat 1 for the Navy? :mrgreen:

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 00:05
by f-16adf
It would be interesting to compare the F-16A to the F-15A/C charts. I just cannot find a F-16A -1-1 manual supplement anywhere. The only thing on the net are estimations. USAF has not flown the A model in years, don't understand why they still consider its performance numbers classified.

When they (the sources that I listed) say the F-16 was better WVR vs F-15, I imagine it was "normal" DACT altitudes; probably 25K and under? I think the Eagle did best the F-16A in certain (few) areas of the envelope above 30K.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 13:31
by basher54321
outlaw162 wrote:
I'm just curious if any of the USN Viper guys ever flew the thing in Cat 3? Or was it safety-wired in Cat 1 for the Navy? :mrgreen:


Ha reminded me of this from an interview with Paul Nickell but no mention of Cat used when playing MiG-23s - wonder if 35_aoa did something similar.

The beauty of the F-16N was that it could simulate all of these threats well if flown properly by the adversary pilot. To simulate the MiG-17 or a similar threat, we simply flew the F-16 full up, except we never used the afterburner. To simulate the MiG-21, we flew it full up, except we would select more than zone two (zone five being the max) afterburner. To simulate the MiG-23 we flew the F-16N at the speed of heat and made no turns greater than about four G. On top of that, we could simulate the fourth generation Soviet fighters, the SU 27 and MIG 29, if we flew it full up, full burner and at any speed.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 13:32
by viper4ever
Common people, be professional.

The fact that an aircraft is stressed for 8 or 9G tells you nothing about its dogfighting abilities.

What really matters is at what speed can it pull this load. If they are not telling you this, they are BSing you.

In order to out-turn an opponent you need to be pulling the same amount of G at a LOWER speed. This requires a lower stall speed for an instantaneous rate advantage, or a more efficient wing (ie a higher L/D ratio) for a sustained rate advantage.

[Recall that sustained load factor is computed as the product of the T/W ratio times L/D ratio. T/W varies with height, L/D varies with speed and height]

So if you think the MiG-23M/ML/MLD/MLSD (Snoopy Update) has a lower stall speed or better wing efficiency than any of the other types that were mentioned above, well you may also believe I am as big as a horse.

Further you should use caution with regard to the "areas" of the "Envelope" where their a/c is supposedly superior...If they claim suppremacy in areas not used in combat, they are again BSing you.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 14:07
by basher54321
viper4ever wrote:Further you should use caution with regard to the "areas" of the "Envelope" where their a/c is supposedly superior...If they claim suppremacy in areas not used in combat, they are again BSing you.



Errr - suggest going back and reading it again - you appear to be a few miles wide of the conversation.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 14:14
by viper4ever
My friend I just saw that you made a reference to the instructions given to Russian MiG-23 pilots, in an effort to boost their moral, after the syrian Mig-23s were blown to smitherins in 1982.

Could you enlighten us on how did the Russians arrive at these conclusions? Where did they find a VIPER/EAGLE/PHANTOM to test it against their aircraft? I do not recall any incidents involving US pilots defecting to Soviet Russia.

Clearly the entirety of the document is light-years of the truth, let alone the topic, don't you think?

Now this document refers to parts of the envelope where the Mig-23 is supposedly superior. IMO people should read this with caution. There is indeed a lot of garbage on the Internet.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 14:24
by basher54321
viper4ever wrote:My friend I just saw that you made a reference to the instructions given to Russian MiG-23 pilots, in an effort to boost their moral, after the syrian Mig-23s were blown to smitherins in 1982.

Could you enlighten us on how did the Russians arrive at these conclusions? Where did they find a VIPER/EAGLE/PHANTOM to test it against their aircraft? I do not recall any incidents involving US pilots defecting to Soviet Russia.

Clearly the entirety of the document is light-years of the truth, let alone the topic, don't you think?




Well okay we know that - I will repeat what I stated above for you - they were either making wild **** guesses or the Information was from Human intelligence (e.g. KGB).
The author does note that the VVS and KGB have omitted or did not know about Python 3 (or the F-15C ) - both were used in 82.

Can you provide any useful information on the VVS MiG-23MLD such as a full set of EM charts ?

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 14:33
by viper4ever
Mr Cavano can provide you with the info you require. May be he could give you a ride as well...

http://www.warbirdsofdelaware.com/Airpl ... fault.aspx

The MiG-23 has been flight tested by US and allied pilots. The consensus is that a flight in this a/c is the worst thing that may happen to you.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 14:38
by mixelflick
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...

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 14:55
by basher54321
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

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 15:47
by f-16adf
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-

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 17:02
by basher54321
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 17:29
by basher54321
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 18:55
by f-16adf
found it-

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 16:56
by f-16adf
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 22:19
by basher54321
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 12:46
by hornetfinn
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 13:04
by basher54321
Great stuff thanks HF - knew you were about somewhere 8)

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 13:11
by basher54321
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 20:51
by basher54321
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 21:31
by f-16adf
I think Avialogs has a Ml manual, but I cannot read Cyrillic. Anyways good info.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 02:34
by garrya
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?
Image

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 07:09
by hornetfinn
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.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 13:15
by basher54321
Crikey yes - based on the above the MiG-23ML/D is no where near comparable to an F-16C Block 52 - lot closer to an F-4E perhaps.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 21:28
by milosh
f-16adf wrote:
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?


Germans reduce engine thrust for ~10% (so it had ~20% less thrust then BAF MiG-29) to extend service life until EF2000 be ready.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 21:53
by f-16adf
Yes, I am well aware of that.

Fulcrum: A Top Gun Pilot's Escape from the Soviet Empire authored by the late Alexander Zuyev says the Mig-29 takes 18 seconds to complete a 360 degree turn. The Block 30 F-16 can do it in 15 seconds.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 22:41
by basher54321
milosh wrote:
Germans reduce engine thrust for ~10% (so it had ~20% less thrust then BAF MiG-29) to extend service life until EF2000 be ready.


Somebody - possibly Jon Lake never got the full story it seems.

When people say they were detuned or reduced what they mean is the ground crew flicked a switch on the standard RD-33s to put them into LPM (Limited Power Mode) - they were set back to the fully tuned up mode when deployed for these exercises.

The RD-33 had 3 modes (flight manual) :

Normal Power Mode (NPM) - Fully tuned up mode
MaxAB =8300kgf / Mil = 5040kgf

Limited Power Mode (LPM) - reduces thrust and as the flight manual states "In order to enhance the service life time "
MaxAB =7520kgf / Mil = 4680kgf

Combat Mode (NPM+) - Gives additional thrust over M1.5 at Max AB (F-16As had a similar mode but switch was in the cockpit)

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2017, 05:31
by fulcrumflyer
We ran the engines in the normal power mode for our annual deployments to Sardinia. The most noticeable increase in thrust was in MIL power. Still noticeable in full AB; however, not as significant an increase. The MiG-29's combat power switch is in the left main gear well.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 12:33
by basher54321
Many thanks for that :notworthy:

Found it interesting that the sustained turn charts in the manual suggest the LPM mode is even putting out more thrust over NPM around the 469 - 518KIAS mark at higher altitudes.


LPMvNPM.JPG
MiG-29G_LPMvNPM



One thing I have noticed is that the acceleration charts in the GAF manual are exactly the same as the ones in the Russian MiG-29 manual (albeit drawn on a graph to make usable) which probably means they use the same standards - and the MiG-23 charts might not be far off.


No surprise the MiG-23ML might have had better supersonic acceleration over the F-4E - an F-16C however with 2 missiles is pretty much twice as quick as the MiG.

MiG-23ML (2 x R-23 / 67% fuel) vs F-4E Block 50 ( 4 x AIM-7E / 67% fuel)
• MiG-23ML Accel @ 32808ft M1.0 to M1.6 full AB = ~87 seconds [72 degree sweep]
• F-4E B50 Accel @ 30000ft M1.0 to M1.6 full AB = ~114 seconds

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 14:47
by madrat
MiG-23 was - using an analogy of sports cars - designed for high speed in a straight line. It was fuel starved for taking advantage of that speed in a sustained flight. And it's turbojet was optimized for conditions over a small set of parameters against a much larger reality of possible conditions. The MiG-23MLD was by far the best use of the design, but by today's standards its design is rather narrow in scope.

Surely a redesign of the MiG-23 would have made it much more similar in capability to the F-16. But the Soviets were incapable of funding that development.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 15:37
by f-16adf
The MIg-23ML(D) with the wings back at 72 degrees will pretty much blow by anything at supersonic speeds. The frontal air-frame cross section is tiny (hence low drag) coupled with 72 degree set wings. It's pretty much like a blazing arrow.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 22:32
by dragracingmaniac
f-16adf wrote:The MIg-23ML(D) with the wings back at 72 degrees will pretty much blow by anything at supersonic speeds. The frontal air-frame cross section is tiny (hence low drag) coupled with 72 degree set wings. It's pretty much like a blazing arrow.

...soon to become burning wreckage :devil:

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 23:19
by f-16adf
Wish I had some numbers on the Su-15 Flagon, such as acceleration (I am unable to locate a manual). I always wondered how it compared to the later Mig-23 versions? I was guessing the Flogger with the wings back could still blow by it, probably not by much. Seems like PVO still stayed with it, even if the Flogger was a superior interceptor.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2017, 03:20
by madrat
Su-15TM - the ultimate Flagon - probably was similar to the F-106A. Obviously without F-106A wing tanks the range issue rears its ugly head. Sorry to point out the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but raw physics is always going to slap us in the face with reality.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 29 Jul 2017, 02:37
by arian
lawndarter wrote:As to the general sequence of events of 12 September 1988, both the Pakistani and Soviet reports were largely coinciding. However, regarding the final stage of the skirmish and its immediate outcome, the Soviets had a slighly different story to tell.

According to Markovsky's narrative ("MiG-23 Fighters In Afghanistan") and Petkov's private recollections, Bunin and Golosienko were indeed very eager to retaliate the attack by firing R-24R missiles at the Pakistanis but were given strict orders to disengange, to join the rest of the group and to return to Bagram ASAP. Very much to the dislike of Bunin and Golosienko.The Soviet "higher brass" on the ground deemed the overall tactical situation infavourable, and with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan on the horizon, they didn't want to escalate the already existing tensions with Pakistan any further.
Petkov later stated that both Bunin and Golosienko were well able to detect and track the Pakistanis using the "ГОР/GOR" (mountain) mode of the MLD's Sapfir-23MLA-2 aka N-008 radar. A mode specifically implemented for operations over mountainous terrain.


Probably some wishful thinking on the part of these MiG-23 pilots, if this is indeed the case that they wanted to push on the attack. MiG-23MLD and R-24 would not have been able to engage retreating tail-on F-16s from anything but very close ranges, even more so in "look-down" mode (which is that this "mountain" mode was. There's no such thing, but some rudimentary look-down mode which was really just tilted antenna). Probably had to close to <5km range for that. And since these MiG-23s were responding after the F-16s had already carried out their attack and were flying low and retreating, the likelihood seems nil.

If it is true that they detected anything at all on their radars (which in look-down mode at such high separation between them and the targets, the range would have been ~20km in the ideal situation)

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 08 Oct 2017, 20:05
by piston
Well, is there any data about tests of late MiG-23 version (MLA/MLD) in US? I think some ex-east germany machines were tested....

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 09 Oct 2017, 00:29
by pmi
piston wrote:Well, is there any data about tests of late MiG-23 version (MLA/MLD) in US? I think some ex-east germany machines were tested....


Google Project Constant Peg & the 4477th TES. There have been other programs involved with testing Russian aircraft, but that is the one you'll find the most info about (Constant Peg's existence was declassified in '06).

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 09 Oct 2017, 06:09
by madrat
Based on what they had available, were there any glaring coulda shoulda woulda design elements that MiG missed on the MiG-23MLD? I remember reading how Al-31 could have improved MiG-27, but it wasn't a great idea for the MiG-23. It sounded like R-60 was a better fit than R-73, too. Anyone with experience during that timeframe have any thoughts on it? Not asking about a redesign, just if they could have managed a better design with different choices.

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 09 Oct 2017, 17:26
by piston
pmi wrote:Google Project Constant Peg & the 4477th TES. There have been other programs involved with testing Russian aircraft, but that is the one you'll find the most info about (Constant Peg's existence was declassified in '06).



I'm afraid that WarPac MiG-s were tested beyond "Constant Peg" ...
Also no joy with "Constant peg" at google (no .pdf with original docs found).. :roll:

Re: MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Unread postPosted: 09 Oct 2017, 19:34
by pmi
piston wrote:I'm afraid that WarPac MiG-s were tested beyond "Constant Peg" ...
Also no joy with "Constant peg" at google (no .pdf with original docs found).. :roll:


I stated as much in my post. Have Drill, Have Doughnot (which focused on the Mig-17 & 21) or whatever follows ons there have been. But it is going to be harder to find data on later DIA or USAF programs as they are still classified.

The best place to start is Red Eagles: America’s Secret MiGs by Stevie Davies.