MiG-23MLA?

Read the forum code of contact

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 2,257

I've never heard of such a variant- as far as I know, the only MiG-23 fighter variants that saw service are:

MiG-23S (only 50 built, for evaluation)
MiG-23M
MiG-23MS
MiG-23MF
MiG-23ML
MiG-23MLD
MiG-23P

So what is the MiG-23MLA, does it really exist, and what were it's features compared to it's relatives?

Original post

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 1,437

There are two main theories:

1) It never existed- perhaps it was simply MiG-23ML Variant A (Warpac standard, as opposed to Variant B Third-world)

2) It was a late production MiG-23ML with an improved radar

Member for

19 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

MiG-23MLA actually existed. It was referred as Izdeliye 23-14 or MiG-23P (Flogger-G) and produced in small numbers only for Soviet Air Defence. It was basically a MiG-23ML with an upgraded target guidance system which featured a real-time link with ground radar net. The system automatically updated the aircraft's navigation system with real-time target data and suggested the optimal conditions for attack, as well as weapon for use.. After the Sapfir-23 caught the bloody target, all data were automatically transferred to ground receivers in the real-time, as well.

AFAIK, there are no external differences to MiG-23ML, maybe some datalink antenna was added, but do not know this for sure..

All in all, you got the MLAs included in your list under MiG-23P.. It is the same aircraft..

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 7,877

Originally posted by flex297
AFAIK, there are no external differences to MiG-23ML, maybe some datalink antenna was added, but do not know this for sure.

There are some slight differences in the antenna configuration around the tail, but these are pretty small and impossible to explain without a proper pic or drawing. And even more impossible to explain before i look it up again ;)

Member for

15 years 1 month

Posts: 44

MiG-23MLA existed.

Sources form a friend of mine.

MiG-23MLA factory code 32-12A

in production - 1978~ 83 750-770 planes, ~ 600 for VVS, 560 of them converted to MLD (32-18) in 1982-85

- for VVS only 0390310388~ 0390322399,

And all MiG-23MLA use name of MiG-23ML in VVS.;)

Member for

13 years

Posts: 2,114

Slight correction ...its 23-12 or such and such , not 32-12

Erwinhans, do you have more info ? Like what is your friend saying about the differences between a MLA and a ML...and how many MLs were built before MLAs?

I have seen pics of german MLs with R-24 missiles...from what i've read over time the P introduced among others improved radar that can fire the R-24 and the MLA has the same modifications , but for VVS , and aparently whitout the tell-tale identification marks of the P from a ML...

The questions is are those german MLs actually MLAs? i have seen german MLs with both R-23 and R-24 ,i have seen cuban MLs( or are they MLAs?) with R-24 so frankly, i have no bloody idea whats going on ...:p

( PS: the Mig-23P has a different antenna configuration on the tail, AND two flush antennas on the intakes sides...actully for those of you who have Y.Gordon's Mig-23 book , look at the first or second pic inside , the ML flightline ...those are Ps!)

Member for

17 years 9 months

Posts: 451

Didn't Bulgaria get some Mig-23MLAs to replace the Mig-25RBs or at least make up for them once they were withdrawn?

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 11,742

There were just two main series of the MiG-23 Flogger built.
The MiG-23 23-11 and 23-12

The real series production 23-11 did enter service from 1973.
The real series production 23-12 did enter service from 1977.

From that the related basic design was modified for exports or PVO demands and several "variants" appeared.

The MiG-23P/23-14 was a MiG-23ML/23-12 as the basic design for that modification.
During the service time the variants were refitted and modified further, but did hardly justify a new designation.
Some got the "combat-wing 3", when others kept their "combat-wing 2", when the Flogger-fans had no problems to attribute the gains from that to a much bigger number, when the constant rise of suffix letters to the Flogger designation to keep track with that modifications was not helpful either.

Two further main type were the MiG-23UB/23-51, which did enter service from 1972 and MiG-23B variants/32-2*, which did enter service from 1974. The later modifications of MiG-23Bs did justify a new designation and it became the MiG-27 Series/32-2*.

Member for

19 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

Didn't Bulgaria get some Mig-23MLAs to replace the Mig-25RBs or at least make up for them once they were withdrawn?
Yes, they had several MLAs (#203, #204, #211 and maybe some others). These are often misidentified as MiG-23MLDs. Bulgarian also received few genuine MLDs but I've only ever seen one, #308.

Interestingly, one of the aircraft delivered to Ivory Coast was MiG-23MLA, most probably #204. Another one was said to be MiG-23ML #32. Can anyone confirm?

Member for

13 years 6 months

Posts: 204

AFAIK only 204 and 219 were supplied to the Ivory Coast.
Andy Marden

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 11,742

There are some slight differences in the antenna configuration around the tail, but these are pretty small and impossible to explain without a proper pic or drawing. And even more impossible to explain before i look it up again ;)

See pic.
Attachments

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 11,742

"There were no MiG-23MLDs as variants with a seperate existence: they were merely MiG-23MLs that, when returned to overhaul shops, had been fitted with a dublicated SOS-3-4 unit to replace the SOUA. This was an automatic device ..."

Source: MiG by R.A. Belyakov p. 374f

Member for

19 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

From my information 204 and 219 went to the Ivory Coast along with 2 Mi-24D. There is a rumor that 219 was the very last MiG-23MLD assembled.

flex, if you are interested in pictures of Bulgarian 23s - see this link:
http://www.airgroup2000.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2360&start=1065

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg210/kokanaki/23-25.jpg

From the photo it is clear that the 219 was no MiG-23MLD

MiG-23MLDs had a dog-tooth in the root of the wing LERX, just like seen on these pictures
http://www.airwar.ru/image/idop/fighter/mig23mld/mig23mld-10.jpg
http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/9/0/8/1144809.jpg

Member for

17 years 8 months

Posts: 1,189

this is the thruth about MLA....

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 11,742

If a MiG-23MLD modification can be identified by the wing installed is questionable. Related to wing-setting all have a dog-tooth. The MLD modifications could be identified by its wing-edge root extension and by the small vortex generators on the Pitot probe. Not all ML were refitted to full MLD standard.
All that in mind none will be surprised about the many hybrids around and the problem to find the main designation for that.

Attachments

Member for

19 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

this is the thruth about MLA....

Do I read that correctly? Just an export version of MiG-23ML?

Member for

19 years 3 months

Posts: 10,217

If a MiG-23MLD modification can be identified by the wing installed is questionable. Related to wing-setting all have a dog-tooth. The MLD modifications could be identified by its wing-edge root extension and by the small vortex generators on the Pitot probe. Not all ML were refitted to full MLD standard.
All that in mind none will be surprised about the many hybrids around and the problem to find the main designation for that.

Sens, I have said "dog-tooth in the root of the wing LERX", not "dog-tooth in the root of the wing". A big difference. Check the area where the wing glove attaches to the main fuselage, there is another dog-tooth there, but only on MLDs..

Member for

17 years 8 months

Posts: 1,189

Do I read that correctly? Just an export version of MiG-23ML?

The Mig-23MLA factory code "izd.23-12A" originated from the Mig-23ML "izd.23-12" produced on the same production line as the advanced Mig-23P "izd.23-14". There was an effort to unify aircraft assembly, aggregates and systems on the production line. Then slighly modified ML became suffix MLA and replaced it on the production line. WP countries received almost the same or identical version as Soviet VVS, whereas third world allies were getting differently equipped aircraft systems.
Warsaw pact members Soviets, Czechoslovakia and GDR got used to the Mig-23ML designation, except Bulgarian airforce.

Logbook of Czechoslovakian Mig-23ML.

Member for

22 years 11 months

Posts: 11,742

Sens, I have said "dog-tooth in the root of the wing LERX", not "dog-tooth in the root of the wing". A big difference. Check the area where the wing glove attaches to the main fuselage, there is another dog-tooth there, but only on MLDs..

Please show it for all to see.