The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
Dirty Little Secrets
A MiG That Won't Be Missed
The Indian Air Force is retiring the last of its Russian MiG-23BNs, ending an unimpressive career. India bought 72 of the 18 ton, single engine, swing wing fighter-bombers in the early 1980s, but never used them in combat. The MiG-23 was the Russian answer to the U.S. F-4, but with only one engine, and swing wings (like the U.S. F-14 and F-111). The MiG-23 had a top speed of 2500 kilometers per hour, combat range of 1,150 kilometers and max bomb load of three tons. The MiG-23BN was optimized for ground-attack missions. It had a laser designator and a bomb sight. The only air-to-air missiles it carried were heat seekers. Half the 72 MiG-23 BNs bought were lost in accidents. An air-superiority version, the MiG-23MF, was retired from Indian service two years ago.
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