MiG-23MLD

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VTOL | Rank 5 USSR
Yak-38 Pack
This page is about the Soviet jet fighter MiG-23MLD. For other versions, see MiG-23 (Family).
MiG-23MLD
mig_23mld.png
GarageImage MiG-23MLD.jpg
MiG-23MLD
AB RB SB
11.3 11.3 11.0
Research:400 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 080 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The MiG-23MLD is a rank VII Soviet jet fighter with a battle rating of 11.3 (AB/RB) and 11.0 (SB). It was introduced in Update "Ground Breaking".

The MiG-23MLD is the ultimate production fighter variant of the "Flogger" family. Though it still looks quite similar to the MiG-23M, there are a great number of improvements: the airframe is lighter, aerodynamic refinements like vortex generators and a revised vertical stabilizer have been installed, the engine is much more powerful, and a new avionics suite allows it to use the R-24 series of medium-range missiles instead of the MiG-23M's R-23s, among other changes. The MLD fixes many of the MiG-23M's shortcomings and continues to improve on its strengths. The end result is well-rounded fighter with excellent performance and potent armament, a worthy opponent to other top-tier jets like the JA37C Viggen and F-4EJ Kai Phantom.

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 time33 s
Max altitude16 000 m
EngineTumansky R-35-300
TypeJet
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight20 t

The MiG-23MLD's performance leaves little to be desired. The MiG-23M boasted a high top speed but was somewhat underpowered; this is very much fixed on the MLD because its engine is 20% more powerful, and as a result its thrust-to-weight ratio practically matches the F-104S and MiG-21bis. It has an excellent climb rate exceeding 200 m/s at sea level and fantastic acceleration, particularly at transonic or supersonic speeds when the wings can be swept back. Thus, the MLD will have few issues rushing to the front lines, climbing for an altitude advantage, or chasing down a fleeing opponent.

The MLD is also very competitive in dogfights. As on the MiG-23M, the swing wings fundamentally allow for good sustained turning at low to medium speeds provided the wings are swept forward. The MLD's vortex generators, dogtoothed wing gloves, and superior thrust-to-weight enhance its turning performance further. It can reliably beat any F-4 Phantom in a turning engagement, and it can at the very least keep up with if not outplay agile opponents like the MiG-21bis and JA37C.

There are a few quirks to watch out for. First, the MiG-23MLD's excellent engine power means that it will quite easily reach its rip speed when flying in a straight line on full afterburner, so be mindful of the IAS. Second, though it has great acceleration and climb rate at transonic and supersonic speeds, the manoeuvrability in these zones can be a bit sluggish or wobbly at times, so keep that in mind when trying to score high-speed snapshots, and in situations requiring turning or precise aim it's best to slow down and allow the wings to sweep forward a bit.

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 2,333 2,320 16000 33.5 33.9 193.9 186.0 750
Upgraded 2,498 2,358 32.6 33.0 248.3 220.0

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 + -
1,470 630 N/A 508 473 ~13 ~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-35-300 1 10,705 kg 374 - 422 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Takeoff
Weight
Weight (each) Type 9m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 31m fuel
1,760 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 11,815 kg 13,020 kg 14,178 kg 14,405 kg 17,800 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 9m fuel 20m fuel 30m fuel 31m fuel MTOW
Stationary 7,103 kgf 10,305 kgf 0.87 0.79 0.73 0.72 0.58
Optimal 8,368 kgf
(1,400 km/h)
15,787 kgf
(1,400 km/h)
1.34 1.21 1.11 1.10 0.89

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 800 → 4 258 Sl icon.png
RB5 900 → 8 973 Sl icon.png
SB15 000 → 22 815 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications511 000 Rp icon.png
471 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost3 000 Ge icon.png
Crew training310 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 080 000 Sl icon.png
Aces3 200 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 210 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
80 / 250 / 220 % Sl icon.png
244 / 244 / 244 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
28 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
26 000 Sl icon.png
620 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
G-suit
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
28 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
26 000 Sl icon.png
620 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
ns23_belt_pack
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
UB-32
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-13M
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
OFAB-100
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
B-8M1
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-60
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
510 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
ns23_new_gun
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FAB-250
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
S-24
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-23R/T
Research:
21 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
460 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods gunpods.png
Gun pod UPK-23-250
Research:
28 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
26 000 Sl icon.png
620 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FAB-500
Research:
28 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
26 000 Sl icon.png
620 Ge icon.png
Mods agm missile.png
Kh-23M
Research:
28 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
26 000 Sl icon.png
620 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
R-24R/T
Research:
28 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
26 000 Sl icon.png
620 Ge icon.png

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

Ammunition200 rounds
Fire rate3 396 shots/min
Main article: GSh-23L (23 mm)

The MiG-23MLD is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • 1 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon, belly-mounted (200 rpg)
    • 1 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon + 72 x countermeasures

The MiG-23MLD still retains the 23 mm GSh-23L cannon with 200 rounds from the MiG-23M. It has an excellent rate of fire and will likely do significant damage if it hits a target, but the muzzle velocity is unimpressive and it can be a challenge to aim it properly in high speed engagements. It's generally best to reserve the gun for extended dogfights where the MLD can use its manoeuvrability to pull lead on a slower target. The limited ammunition supply means that the average pilot can only expect a kill or two with the gun before needing to go back to base.

The MLD has a far healthier supply of countermeasures than the MiG-23M. It retains the pack of 12 countermeasures installed in the central underbelly pylon but now features the twin 30-round dispensers installed on the wing gloves, first seen on the MiG-27M. There is no need to be as stingy when flaring incoming IR missiles or using chaff to disrupt a radar lock. Also, these are still "large calibre countermeasures", so on a unit basis they have stronger effects than standard flares or chaff.

Suspended armament

List of setups (41)
Setup 12 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
Setup 216 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 32 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 42 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 52 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 62 x R-23R air-to-air missiles
8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 72 x R-23T air-to-air missiles
8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 84 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
Setup 92 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
Setup 102 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
Setup 112 x R-23R air-to-air missiles
2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
Setup 122 x R-23T air-to-air missiles
2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
Setup 132 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
64 x S-5K rockets
Setup 142 x 500 kg FAB-500M-62 bomb
Setup 152 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
4 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
Setup 162 x R-23R air-to-air missiles
4 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
Setup 172 x R-23T air-to-air missiles
4 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
Setup 184 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
Setup 192 x R-23R air-to-air missiles
2 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
Setup 202 x R-23T air-to-air missiles
2 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
Setup 216 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
Setup 222 x R-23R air-to-air missiles
Setup 232 x R-23T air-to-air missiles
Setup 2496 x S-5K rockets
Setup 254 x S-24B rockets
Setup 262 x Kh-23M rockets
Setup 2740 x S-8KO rockets
Setup 282 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
40 x S-8KO rockets
Setup 292 x R-24R air-to-air missiles
Setup 302 x R-24T air-to-air missiles
Setup 312 x R-24R air-to-air missiles
8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 322 x R-24T air-to-air missiles
8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bomb
Setup 332 x R-24R air-to-air missiles
2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
Setup 342 x R-24T air-to-air missiles
2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bomb
Setup 352 x R-24R air-to-air missiles
4 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
Setup 362 x R-24T air-to-air missiles
4 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
Setup 372 x R-24R air-to-air missiles
2 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
Setup 382 x R-24T air-to-air missiles
2 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
Setup 392 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon (ammunition: 500 rounds)
Setup 402 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon (ammunition: 500 rounds)
2 x R-13M1 air-to-air missiles
Setup 412 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannon (ammunition: 500 rounds)
4 x R-60 air-to-air missiles
Main articles: R-23R, R-23T, R-24R, R-24T
Main articles: R-60, R-13M1

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

  • Without load
  • 2 x R-13M1 missiles
  • 16 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs (1,600 kg total)
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs + 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs (1,300 kg total)
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs + 2 x R-13M1 missiles (800 kg total)
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs + 2 x R-60 missiles (800 kg total)
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs + 2 x R-23R missiles (800 kg total)
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs + 2 x R-23T missiles (800 kg total)
  • 4 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs + 2 x R-13M1 missiles (500 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs + 2 x R-60 missiles (500 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs + 2 x R-23R missiles (500 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs + 2 x R-23T missiles (500 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs + 64 x S-5K rockets (500 kg total)
  • 2 x 500 kg FAB-500M-62 bombs (1,000 kg total)
  • 4 x R-60 missiles + 2 x R-13M1 missiles
  • 4 x R-60 missiles + 2 x R-23R missiles
  • 4 x R-60 missiles + 2 x R-23T missiles
  • 4 x R-13M1 missiles
  • 2 x R-13M1 missiles + 2 x R-23R missiles
  • 2 x R-13M1 missiles + 2 x R-23T missiles
  • 6 x R-60 missiles
  • 2 x R-23R missiles
  • 2 x R-23T missiles
  • 96 x S-5K rockets
  • 4 x S-24B rockets
  • 2 x Kh-23M missiles
  • 40 x S-8KO rockets
  • 40 x S-8KO rockets + 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs (500 kg total)
  • 2 x R-24R missiles
  • 2 x R-24T missiles
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs + 2 x R-24R missiles (800 kg total)
  • 8 x 100 kg OFAB-100 bombs + 2 x R-24T missiles (800 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs + 2 x R-24R missiles (500 kg total)
  • 2 x 250 kg FAB-250M-62 bombs + 2 x R-24T missiles (500 kg total)
  • 4 x R-60 missiles + 2 x R-24R missiles
  • 4 x R-60 missiles + 2 x R-24T missiles
  • 2 x R-13M1 missiles + 2 x R-24R missiles
  • 2 x R-13M1 missiles + 2 x R-24T missiles
  • 2 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannons (250 rpg = 500 total)
  • 2 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannons + 2 x R-13M1 missiles
  • 2 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannons + 4 x R-60 missiles

The MiG-23MLD has similar loadouts to the MiG-23M. The main differences are that it has access to R-24R and R-24T missiles, which are straight upgrades to the R-23R and R-23T missiles, and does not have access to the all-aspect R-60Ms. The R-24s are deadly missiles, but the MLD is still limited to carrying only two of them. The R-23s should only be used as stopgaps before the R-24s are unlocked. The basic R-60 performs much the same as the R-60M in the turning dogfights that it excels at, so the MLD's weapons are still superior overall.

For ground attack, the MLD can use various unguided bombs and rockets. The only guided air-to-ground option is the Kh-23M MCLOS missile. It does have a ballistic computer but it can only provide CCIP guidance for the guns/gun pods and rockets. As dedicated attackers, the related MiG-27M and MiG-27K are much better options.

Usage in battles

The MiG-23MLD is a fairly forgiving fighter that can be used for many approaches. Players who want to beeline straight into battle and jump in dogfights will be satisfied by its great acceleration and dogfight performance. Those who prefer to hang back can use its climb rate to build up altitude and energy while observing the battle below. From this point, fans of long range combat can sling the R-24R radar-guided missiles to snipe targets at long range or low altitude, and opportunistic pilots can sneak in from the sidelines and use the IRST in conjunction with the R-24T IR missiles to eliminate distracted targets. The MiG-23MLD does not reign supreme in the pure beyond-visual-range role because it can only carry two R-24Rs compared to the four AIM-7E-2s or Skyflashes carried by the F-4EJ Kai Phantom II and Phantom FGR.2 for example, so one should plan on getting close and dogfighting at some point to not let the MLD's full capabilities go to waste.

The R-24s should be used wisely because of their limited capacity. R-24Ts in particular are excellent for sneak attacks against distracted targets because of their range, manoeuvrability, and tracking, but they can still be spoofed by flares if the target sees it coming. The R-60s are more plentiful, which offsets their high flare sensitivity, and should be preferentially used in close combat. Ideally, one can wait until opponents have run out of countermeasures and/or are no longer in a good position to make evasive manoeuvres.

The MLD can pull harder than the MiG-23M because of its aerodynamic improvements, which is definitely good for nosing onto targets, but if optimal rate fighting performance is desired, it's best to keep the airspeed at or above 600 km/h by managing the elevator.

The MLD's radar now features an ACM mode to quickly and conveniently acquire targets in dogfight scenarios, which can be helpful if one needs to use the R-24R or desires radar cueing for the IR missiles.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very high acceleration and top speed
  • Agile in dogfights
  • Good countermeasure supply
  • Access to powerful R-24 missiles for distant targets
  • Has an IRST for stealthy target acquisition
  • Radar has ACM mode
  • Extraordinarily fast, it will overspeed at any altitude, including at altitude 13 km at Mach 2.4

Cons:

  • Limited missile capacity
  • Cannot use R-60Ms
  • Gun is finicky to use and has limited ammunition
  • Limited ground attack ordnance and ballistic computer functionality, not very suited for ground attack

History

Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

Media

Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

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-23MLD
  MiG-27M · MiG-27K
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-21bis-SAU · J-7II**
  ▀MiG-23MF · ▀MiG-23MLA
  *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
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-21bis · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-23M · MiG-23MLD · MiG-27M · MiG-27K
Lavochkin  La-174 · La-15 · La-200
Sukhoi  Su-9 · Su-11 · Su-7B · Su-7BKL · Su-7BMK · Su-17M2 · Su-22M3
Ilyushin  IL-28 · IL-28Sh
Tupolev  Tu-14T