MiG-23M

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A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
This page is about the Soviet jet fighter MiG-23M. For other versions, see MiG-23 (Family).
mig_23m.png
GarageImage MiG-23M.jpg
MiG-23M
AB RB SB
11.0 11.0 11.0
Research:300 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:830 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

During the 1960s, due to the advent of low altitude, high speed tactical delivery of nuclear weapons on modified fighters, namely F-104s and F-100s at the time, the MiG-21's lack of good ballistic armaments and "look-down, shoot-down" (LDSD) radar made it incapable of intercepting such threats. Mikoyan OKB quickly started work on an advanced fighter-interceptor with powerful missiles and a strong LDSD radar. The fighter was also required to have a low takeoff/landing speed and the capability to operate from makeshift/quickly paved runways. For this, two "MiG-23" designs were envisioned. The first, MiG-23-01, had a large, MiG-21 style delta wing and lift jets in the fuselage to give the aircraft STOL capability. The other prototype, MiG-23-02, had a variable geometry "swing wing" design. The heavy weight of the lift jets heavily degraded the delta wing flight performance when they were not in use, instantly putting the 01 prototype out of competition. This led to the MiG-23-02 prototype with the sweep wings to move forward. After a few modifications to the wing shape and overall structural design, the aircraft would enter service in 1970 as the MiG-23S, but due to delays with the Sapphire-23 radar, the MiG-23S had the older Sapphire-22, a modified version of the RP-21 found on older MiG-21s. The MiG-23M followed shortly after as the "true" first production variant, equipped with the Sapphire-23D radar and TP-23 IRST system, enabling it to fire the R-23R and R-23T medium range missiles.

The MiG-23M, introduced in Update "Red Skies", is a complete departure from the previous doctrine and playstyle learned from the MiG-21 airframes. Unlike the Fishbeds which lagged behind technologically and relied on their flight performance to compensate, the Flogger is far more reliant on its avionics and weapon systems. The MiG-23M has a lacklustre radar system compared to its adversaries, but a radar system with look down-shoot down nonetheless, a massive improvement over the Fishbeds. Another improvement over previous aircraft is the weapon systems; the MiG-23 is the first fighter in the soviet tech tree with medium-range radar missiles for BVR engagement. On top of that, the MiG-23M as a fighter provides many unique quirks which almost none of its adversaries have, such as the variable geometry wings and the IRST system for its R-23T medium range IR missiles. While the aircraft is limited by a flimsy construction that rips its wings when pushed too hard, and a comically small amount of countermeasures, the MiG-23M still improves vastly over previous aircraft, both in flight performance and weapon systems. Pilots who master this unique aircraft will be very pleased with the succeeding MiG-23MLD which is an improvement over the MiG-23M in every way.

General info

Flight performance

Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Drogue parachute
Reduces braking distance when landing on any runway
Max speed
at 13 000 m2 358 km/h
Turn time35 s
Max altitude16 000 m
EngineTumansky R-29-300
Type
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight20 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 13,000 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 2,339 2,329 16000 35.6 35.6 147.4 140.4 750
Upgraded 2,380 2,358 34.5 35.0 194.4 169.9

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1470 630 N/A 508 473 ~12 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 665 < 650 < 700 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Tumansky R-29-300 1 11,155 kg 395 - 445 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight
Weight (each) Type 10m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 35m fuel
1,780 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 12,367 kg 13,462 kg 14,615 kg 15,195 kg 18,400 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 10m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 35m fuel MTOW
Stationary 7,950 kgf 10,494 kgf 0.85 0.78 0.72 0.69 0.57
Optimal 8,268 kgf
(1,400 km/h)
12,987 kgf
(1,400 km/h)
1.05 0.96 0.89 0.85 0.71

Survivability and armour

Flares/Chaff
Aircraft countermeasures to distract IR and radar-guided missiles and also AA radar
Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear630 km/h

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 738 → 3 981 Sl icon.png
RB8 039 → 11 688 Sl icon.png
SB8 211 → 11 938 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications273 500 Rp icon.png
430 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 900 Ge icon.png
Crew training240 000 Sl icon.png
Experts830 000 Sl icon.png
Aces3 000 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 140 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 310 / 600 % Sl icon.png
238 / 238 / 238 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
470 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
G-suit
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
470 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
ns23_belt_pack
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
UB-16
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-3S
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
OFAB-100
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
320 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
UB-32
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-13M
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FAB-250
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
ns23_new_gun
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
470 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
S-24
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
470 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-60M
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
470 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FAB-500
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
470 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FAB-500
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
470 Ge icon.png
Mods napalm fire bomb.png
ZB-500
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
EFS
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mods agm missile.png
Kh-23M
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-23R
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
600 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow right 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-23T

Armaments

Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs) CCRP (Bombs)
Icon GreenCheckmark.png Icon GreenCheckmark.png Icon RedXCross.png Icon RedXCross.png

Offensive armament

Main article: GSh-23L (23 mm)

The MiG-23M is armed with:

  • 1 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon, belly-mounted (200 rpg)

Suspended armament

The MiG-23M can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5
Hardpoints MiG-23MLA (Germany).png
100 kg OFAB-100 bombs 4 4 4 4
250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs 1 1 1 1
500 kg FAB-500M-62 bombs 1 1
ZB-500 incendiary bombs 1 1
S-5K rockets 16, 32 16 16 16, 32
S-24B rockets 1 1 1 1
Kh-23M missiles 1* 1*
R-3S missiles 1 1 1 1
R-13M1 missiles 1 1 1 1
R-23R missiles 1 1
R-23T missiles 1 1
R-60M missiles 1 2 2 1
Large calibre countermeasures 12
Delta-NG targeting pod 1*
800 l drop tanks 1
* It is required to equip the Delta-NG targeting pod with the Kh-23M missiles
R-23R and R-23T missiles cannot be mixed, only one type may be carried across hardpoints
The drop tank cannot be equipped in conjunction with quad bombs on adjacent hardpoints
Default weapon presets
  • 1 x 800 l drop tank
  • 12 x large calibre countermeasures
  • 4 x R-3S missiles
  • 2 x R-13M1 missiles
  • 4 x R-13M1 missiles
  • 6 x R-60M missiles
  • 2 x R-23R missiles
  • 2 x R-23T missiles
  • 64 x S-5K rockets
  • 64 x S-5K rockets
  • 4 x S-24B rockets
  • 2 x Kh-23M missiles
  • 16 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs (1,600 kg total)
  • 4 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x 500 kg FAB-500M-62 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x ZB-500 incendiary bombs

Usage in battles

Two different tactics are recommended when flying the MiG-23M:

  • Low altitude, high speed, side of the map. Try to get as much speed as possible maintaining a very low altitude and go to the right if you want a more head-on engagement or to the left if you want a side/back of the enemy attack position (in a majority of maps players go to their left). Use boom and zoom tactics to minimize danger and revert to dogfighting with manually unswept wings when the enemy team thins out. Better used with a squadron, the MiG-23M can eliminate several enemy aircraft if played right with 3 teammates and using the all-aspect IR-guided R-23T missile. More applicable in uptiers, with a heavy emphasis on boom and zoom as the manoeuvrability of the MiG-23M is poor compared to top tier aircraft.
  • High altitude, high speed, together with your team, BVR. Fly to the side of a map at an angle, accelerate up to Mach 1, then climbing up to 5-7 km. Turn back to face the furball and use your radar to lock onto high altitude enemy targets (if any). Once all high altitude targets are eliminated or have dove down to the deck, dive down to the deck and use boom and zoom tactics with your R-60Ms to minimize danger. Once the enemy team has thinned out, manually unsweep your wings in order to enhance manoeuvrability and dogfight individual planes in a ratefight. Not recommended fighting this style when flying in an uptier, as the R-23R missile, radar, aircraft performance, and countermeasure count is not up to par for top tier BVR engagements or dogfighting.

No matter which tactic though, it is recommended to engage your enemy from their front hemisphere, since you can carry all-aspect IR missiles. This way it leaves your enemy less time to react and dodge the missiles.

Also, since both the R-60Ms and the R-23Ts have a relatively wide FOV, it is recommended to lock the enemy using your IRST before engaging the missile lock to slave the missile, and better utilise their wide FOV.

Only use the R-60Ms at close range, around 1.5 km. They perform best under such range, and it also gives your enemy less reaction time to release the countermeasures, since R-60Ms are easily tricked by flares. However, if the enemy target has no flares and you are closing in at high speed, ranges up to 2.5 km can be reached even at the deck (under ideal conditions).

When firing R-60Ms in head-ons, try to wait until the last possible moment to launch and pull off the head on (pull off when you see enemy tracers) to minimize the amount of time your enemy has to react to drop countermeasures, maximizing probability of a hit.

When in a 1v1 situation, manually unsweep your wings and get into a ratefight to best utilize the performance if your aircraft. The MiG-23M is unable to pull off high AoA manoeuvres, so one circle fights are not recommended unless it is against a lesser manoeuvrable enemy like a Phantom.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very high low-altitude top speed, could outrun any of your opponents
  • Reasonably high acceleration for its size
  • Very good high speed acceleration
  • Variable swept-wing aircraft, allowing for decent performance at any speed
  • Amazing energy retention if wings are fully unswept
  • Contains IRST tracking system and decent radar that allows you to track aerial targets at ground level
  • HUD displays speed and altitude information, most useful in simulator mode
  • Varied armament preset selection
  • R-23T and R-60M all-aspect missiles
  • Good R-23R missiles for long range engagements
  • Can carry 6 x R-60M AAMs

Cons:

  • Underwhelming instantaneous turn rate, cannot pull some extreme windows easily
  • Loses quite a lot of speed in turns if manual wing sweep is not properly utlized
  • Low countermeasures count
  • Low ammo count and low muzzle velocity for the GSh-23L cannon
  • R-60Ms are easily distracted by flares
  • R-23T/R-23R air-to-air missiles struggle in close combat
  • Radar is not on par with NATO counterparts

History

The MiG-21 was the main Soviet fighter jet from the 1960's onward. However, the jet left much to be desired. The nose cone radar was too small and weak to be useful for BVR engagements, and the range of the MiG-21 was notoriously small. Compared to the American F-4 Phantom, the MiG-21 was far behind in avionics and missile armament. To address these shortfalls, a new Soviet fighter jet was conceived. The MiG 21 had a short take off run, which the Soviets were pleased by as it gave the MiG-21 the ability to use improvised runways in a potential Cold War gone hot situation, so the successor to the MiG-21 would also have to have a short takeoff run. One prototype of the MiG-23 was the Ye-8, which resembled a larger MiG-21 with canards, an underbelly air intake and a large radome. Another was the 23-01 or Izdeliye 92, which resembled a larger MiG-21 with side-mounted air intakes, a large radome, and most notably, liftjets to shorten its takeoff run. In the end, a variable sweep wing system was chosen to give the MiG-23 a short takeoff run.

The first variants of the MiG-23 inherited the same avionics system as the MiG-21, lacking look down radars. Later, the MiG-23 was equipped with the Sapfir-23L radar, allowing it to fire the considerably more capable R-23R missile (compared to the R-3R missile), yet the Sapfir-23L still lacked look-down capabilities. Finally, the Sapfir-23D was equipped to the MiG-23, changing its designation to the MiG-23M. The Sapfir-23D had look-down capabilities, greatly enhancing the performance of the radar.

Although the MiG-23M came with revolutionary features to the Soviet Air Force, the MiG-23 had its shortcomings. Primarily, the performance of the airframe. The wing sweep mechanism was difficult to near impossible to operate in a dogfight, so Soviet pilots used 3 settings: no sweep for takeoff and landings, a 45 degree sweep for standard flight and dogfights, and maximum sweep for high speed flight. The 45 degree sweep was used in dogfights, greatly reducing the agility of the MiG-23. More experienced pilots would reduce the wing sweep to 33 degrees, increasing lift and agility, but this made the aircraft unstable and difficult to fly, as well as hampering acceleration. Additionally, at high angles of attack, the MiG-23 would become very unstable and difficult to fly. Due to these shortcomings in performance, the MiG-23 pilots were relegated to hit and run tactics, often not even engaging in a dogfight when merging with an adversary. The only manoeuvre the MiG-23 excelled at was vertical loops, as the engine power could allow for steep climbs.

However, the MiG-23 was still a formidable aircraft in the right hands. The extreme acceleration and top speed allowed for great use of hit and run tactics, making it a formidable interceptor.

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (Микоя́н и Гуре́вич Опытное конструкторское бюро)
Fighters  MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34
  I-225
Jet fighters  MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l)
  MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH
  MiG-17
  MiG-19PT
  MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis
  MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD
  MiG-27M · MiG-27K
  MiG-29 · MiG-29SMT
Export/Licensed  ␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)
  ◊MiG-15bis · J-2*
  MiG-17AS · J-4* · Shenyang F-5*
  ◊MiG-19S · J-6A*
  ◄MiG-21 SPS-K · ◊MiG-21MF · ◊MiG-21 "Lazur-M" · ▄MiG-21bis · ◊MiG-21bis-SAU · J-7II**
  ◊MiG-23BN · ◊MiG-23MF · ◊MiG-23MLA
  ◊MiG-29 · ◄MiG-29G
  *Licensed and domesticated with Chinese designations.
  **Unlicensed, reverse-engineered and domesticated with Chinese designations.
See Also  Shenyang · Chengdu

USSR jet aircraft
Bereznyak-Isayev  BI
Yakovlev  Yak-15 · Yak-15P · Yak-17 · Yak-23 · Yak-28B · Yak-30D · Yak-38 · Yak-38M · Yak-141
Mikoyan-Gurevich  MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l) · MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH · MiG-17 · MiG-17AS · MiG-19PT
  MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis
  MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD · MiG-27M · MiG-27K
  MiG-29 · MiG-29SMT
Lavochkin  La-174 · La-15 · La-200
Sukhoi  Su-9 · Su-11
  Su-7B · Su-7BKL · Su-7BMK · Su-17M2 · Su-17M4 · Su-22M3
  Su-25 · Su-25BM · Su-25K · Su-25T · Su-39
  Su-27
Ilyushin  IL-28 · IL-28Sh
Tupolev  Tu-14T