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 c/n 0390324249 was delivered to the East German Air Force Jagfliegergeschwader 9 'Heinrich Rau', Peenemunde AB in 1990 in July 1982 with serial Red 610. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 this aircraft and others were later absorbed into the unified German AF and recoded 20+37. Not long after this, the aircraft was placed into storage and in August 1993 it was sent to Fassberg AB Technical School to be used as a ground trainer. The aircraft Camo scheme is Brown/Dark Brown/Olive Green/Medium Green on top and blue on the underside.