In the 1960’s the Soviet military required a replacement for the MiG-21 that could compete with the USAF F-14 Tomcat. It had to be very fast, rapid acceleration, carry a larger payload, capable of a high service ceiling, long range and beyond visual range intercept capabilities. The project was given to the Mikoyan- Gurevich Design Bureau that produced the Model 23-11 that first flew on June 10, 1967. Production began in 1969 and eventually completed over 5,000 swing-wing MiG-23s. A ground-attack variant was also produced, the MiG-27.
MiG-23ML Flogger 4644 c/n 0390324644/17218 was delivered to the Czech Air Force in November 1982 assigned to the 1 SLP (1st Fighter Air Regiment). In late 1994 the aircraft received the special Tiger scheme and in 1995 transferred to the 41 SLT (41st Fighter Squadron) and by 1998 it was the last Czech MiG-23MLand withdrawn from active service but continued to be flown until 2000 for training purposes. 4644 participated in the annual CIAF (Czech International Air Fest) held at Hradec, Kralove in 1999. It was moved and preserved at Caslav AB.