Hobby Master HA5312 MIG-23MLD Blue 03, Soviet Air Force, Bagram, Afghanistan, July 1987 1/72
Hobby Master HA5312 1/72nd MIG-23MLD Blue 03, Soviet Air Force, Bagram, Afghanistan, July 1987
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.
At Bagram AB, Afghanistan MiG-23MLD Blue 03 was one of the very few aircraft to receive desert camouflage. Late in the 1980s the MiG-23MLD Blue 03 was assigned to the 2nd AE, Center of Flight crew training (Aggressor). The unit had 2 squadrons with the 1st flying Mig-29s and the 2nd MiG-23. The MiG-23s would wear special “star” stripes on both sides of the fin and rudder as well as a sharkmouth. Under the starboard side of the cockpit the MiG-23s had a painted “Brave Viking” holding a cudgel and a helmet with a 2 on it.