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Tactical use of Mig-23

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  • nastle
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Feb 2005
    • 547

    #21
    Originally posted by seahawk View Post
    That was far from TopGun, it was even far from the daily bounces between NATO aircraft. It was something along the line of BFM tactics, with both parties following a scripted sequence of manoeuvres.

    The basic use of the MiG-23 would have been similar to the MiG-23, with a pair of fighters being directed by GCI to intercept enemy planes. The better avionics of the MiG-23 should have been an advantage, especially the use of BVR missiles. In the offensive role MiG-23 fighters would use their speed to make slashing attacks against NATO CAPs to open a gap for strikers. High Speed and the use of BVR would give them a decent chance to fire the first shot, which allows them to gain in initiative in the merge, but the high fuel use would mean that they would bingo quickly, especially if they want to get out at high speeds as well. The experience of forgein MiG-23 users can be called a mixed bag. The plane had some serious problems with the avionics in the early versions and was hard to master. Many pilots preferred the MiG-21, which was more nimble.
    I have read that the main Mig-23 tactics against other fighters was mainly "hit and run" and to avoid prolonged dogfights
    But then I see the Mig-23P, ML, MLA and MLD had the R-60 which was a ultraclose range weapon designed to counter maneuverable fighters ,from a practical standpoint when was the Mig-23 expected to use this weapon ? WHat is the benefit of having 4 of these weapons with a very short range ?
    since it was outranged by the sidewinder the Wests most common AAM
    Wouldn't it be better to equip the Mig-23 with 4 x R-24 missiles as they would give them longer spear to deal with the sidewinder armed opponents esp when the IR version of this version was essentially a fire and forget weapon

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    • ijozic
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • May 2014
      • 613

      #22
      Originally posted by nastle View Post
      Wouldn't it be better to equip the Mig-23 with 4 x R-24 missiles as they would give them longer spear to deal with the sidewinder armed opponents esp when the IR version of this version was essentially a fire and forget weapon
      You can't fit four of those on the MiG-23. The subsequent MiG-23 variants (ML and MLD) which carried R-60M missiles had improved their maneuverability as it was expected by then that they will have to get involved into close combat as well. In that light those missiles make sense as they are more maneuverable than the R-24T missiles. Besides, R-24T IR seeker acquisition is of limited range and best used for a rear hemisphere shot so R-24R makes more sense IMHO as you can truly use it to engage an approaching target at a BVR distance.

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      • nastle
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Feb 2005
        • 547

        #23
        Originally posted by ijozic View Post
        You can't fit four of those on the MiG-23. The subsequent MiG-23 variants (ML and MLD) which carried R-60M missiles had improved their maneuverability as it was expected by then that they will have to get involved into close combat as well. In that light those missiles make sense as they are more maneuverable than the R-24T missiles. Besides, R-24T IR seeker acquisition is of limited range and best used for a rear hemisphere shot so R-24R makes more sense IMHO as you can truly use it to engage an approaching target at a BVR distance.
        Was the R-60M range a big issue ? I mean it was much shorter range than the AA-2-2 advanced atoll missile

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        • ijozic
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • May 2014
          • 613

          #24
          Originally posted by nastle View Post
          Was the R-60M range a big issue ? I mean it was much shorter range than the AA-2-2 advanced atoll missile
          I would expect so as the MiG-23ML(D) is still not a great dogfighter and the missile range is rather limited from the rear hemisphere, while its small IR sensor also has supposedly rather limited if not practically useless front hemisphere lock-on capability. The development of the R-73 would indicate so since it has a much improved range and an all aspect seeker which would be much more useful to the 23's (or any plane for that matter) than the low minimum engagement range of the R-60 series.

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