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How good is the MiG-23 compared to the Tomcat? Any chance to survive an encounter? How effective is the radar of the MiG-23?

FC3, Ka-50, A-10C, AJS-37, MiG-21bis, F-14A/B, F/A-18C, F-16C, NTTR, Persian Gulf, Super Carrier, TacView Advanced

Next in line: F-5 II , MiG-19 , MiG-23 MLA

Wishlist: PA-100 Tornado, F-104 Starfighter, MiG-25 Foxbat, A-6 Intruder

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MiG-23 rear landing gear assembly is just so beautiful engineering. It always amazes me what kind a "sparrow legs" does a F-16 have, and F/A-18 has "chicken legs". F-15 has a "toothpicks" etc.   A tr

I'd guess it's comparable to the Tomcat in terms of acceleration, top speed and climb rate. The AIM-7 is roughly similar to the R-24 (well, not right now in DCS, but that's because nobody cares about AI assets), while I'd guess the R-60 is a bit worse than the AIM-9L/M.

 

 

However, the Tomcat's radar is far better, it carries the Phoenix, it's RWR is better (although if the Flogger carries the SPO-15, that's subjective I suppose), and it's way more agile. All in all, the Tomcat has the edge, but a well flown Flogger could stand a chance (much like a Fishbed does now).

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I mean, tomcats killed a fair number of mig23's and I don't think it went it the other way. So there is that.

 

If you manage to get to WVR ranges I think its got a decent chance, but the issue is surviving to the merge, you gotta fight your way through multiple phoenix launches on your way in. Then maybe at medium range you can employ R-24's vs Sparrows, and if you manage to survive to the merge R60's vs 9L/9M. So more or less you are just going to be outranged with every missile except possibly the R24 vs sparrow. And then given how sturdy the tomcat is, you will likely have to hit him with 2 or maybe even 3 R-60's. And that's with the current damage model, who knows if its gonna get tankier…

 

But really, the Tomcat will have superior situational awareness, superior range weapons, probably better kinematics, at the merge it will also have better SA since the back seater will be spotting you. And as I mentioned, its a tougher airframe than yours.

 

Part of the issue is that some of the disadvantages of the 'Cat aren't modeled in DCS. And some of the advantages of the MLA may or may not be modeled.


Edited by Harlikwin

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Mig-23 is a 3rd gen. That should answer your question.

 

But honestly, even 4th gen red fighters are going to have most of those same issues vs the tomcat. Especially earlier versions without R-77's and even those still have the range issues with the phoenix. And with the current state of DCS datalinks the FC3 planes are still at somewhat of a disadvantage.

 

Then again in DCS versus a M2000, a mig23 will do much better. M2k's situational awareness will likely be the same (in DCS). It will have a somewhat better radar though. Both are using Fox1's and while the 530D is likely going to be better, its not a phoenix. WVR the M2k will probably be better than the 23 due to better turn rates and better Fox2's, but the fight is much more likely to end up at the merge than the tomcat. I think down the road the interesting, and probably more historically relevant fights are going be the mig23 vs the F1C, or the F4E.

 

I remember reading an 80's era soviet combat manual with some basic thoughts on tactics vs western jets, which mostly involved GCI guided high speed slashing attacks against most western jets (F16/F4/etc), aside from the F15, which the advice was to avoid combat with. The F14 wasn't mentioned, but I'm sure the advice would be same. Never were turn-n-burn dogfights with western jets even suggested.

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If you manage to get to WVR ranges I think its got a decent chance
Mig-23 is a bad dogfighter.

 

 

Source :

 

At 1h03min 30 sec.

 

 

(but watch the whole video, it's very interesting about the whole program)

 

 

So F-14 and F-5 will probably eat it in a turn fight.

It might get interesting once we have a F-4 though.

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Constant Peg evaluated a Mig-23MF, which is heavier and draggier than the MLA we will have. I still wouldn't expect an MLA to be an amazing dogfighter, but Constant Peg is not necessarily representative of the Mig we're getting.

 

 

I do agree that regardless of variant (except perhaps the MLD), the Mig-23 should be at a distinct disadvantage in WVR against most Western jets in DCS, save maybe the A-10, F-5 or Harrier.

 

 

edit: also what Buzzles posted.

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Does it actually matter?

 

Even on the airquake servers, no-one in DCS is hyper competitive, and the rest of us should be flying what we want to fly to have fun.

And as evidenced by the online community, what you'd do IRL and what you do in DCS when having a scrap are wildly different things, so direct comparisons are a bit moot. People are happily taking the Mig-21 out against statistically better aircraft, and getting a few kills here and there.

 

I'm going to fly it as it should be *fun*, regardless of it not being the best.


Edited by Buzzles
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Mig-23 is a bad dogfighter.

 

 

Source :

 

At 1h03min 30 sec.

 

 

(but watch the whole video, it's very interesting about the whole program)

 

 

So F-14 and F-5 will probably eat it in a turn fight.

It might get interesting once we have a F-4 though.

 

 

Uh... no. A lot can change over an aircraft's lifespan. F-16 includes everything from 70s era to 20teens, and SURPRISE they're not all even remotely comparable. Likewise, the first P-51s were low altitude, armored divebombers that would have sucked as bomber escorts. In same vein, early 23s do not equal later 23s, which were several thousand pounds lighter, more aerodynamically refined, and considerably more effective.

 

According to the Israelis, the 23s they captured were roughly comparable to their F-16As with superior climbrate, so safe to say it will be superior to a F-5 by a large margin (it will be nearly twice the speed, and has a BVR capable radar, for starters, so it'd kill the F-5 before it ever knew the MiG was there).

 

As for F-14s, they could be considered high technology interceptors vs a cheaper mass produced point defense fighter... not exactly remotely similar in design philosophy. The F-14 will have by design a massive advantage at range... because that is what it was designed to have.

 

Assuming a guns-only AirQuake server, or the MiG manages somehow to survive the barrage of AiM-54s, the differences will become much less pronounced. I would still give the F-14 a good edge in low speed maneuvering due to auto-sweep and a lifting body vs manual sweep and a narrow body (MiG will likely be less stable at low speeds). That said, if I remember the later 23s should have R-73s, though I think that may have only been the MLDs. If the MLA has 73s, then it would have a decisive range and fire aspect advantage over the inferior Sidewinders, which didn't really become comparable until the 9X. If it has to use R-60s, it'll probably take 2-3 to bring a Tomcat down (they're very small missiles, and short range).

 

It won't stand up well to Phoenix or the SPAMRAAM configs, but against Sparrows and in a dogfight, it should be a threat, definitely wouldn't want to ignore it.

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Mig-23 is a bad dogfighter.

 

 

Source :

 

At 1h03min 30 sec.

 

 

(but watch the whole video, it's very interesting about the whole program)

 

 

So F-14 and F-5 will probably eat it in a turn fight.

It might get interesting once we have a F-4 though.

 

The F-5 probably don’t gonna get visual contact before been hit first. F-14 is a generation ahead probably more comparable with MiG-25 and MiG-31. F-4 have non option without Aim-120.

 

First you need look in the main tactics MiG-23 originally was made for. High speed attack. Obviously this tactics become obsolete against newest missiles and radars. Was not build thinking in dogfight. That’s why they made it with single engine and simple as possible because also will be superior in numbers and easy to build in war time. They wanted use different tactics together with air-defense.

 

Actually I keep thinking is a big mistake remove the production of single engine fighters.

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Also keep in mind get an air Superiority advantage against a strong Air-defense combined with MiG-23 fighters was almost imposible. Don’t believe in what ED wanted to show you simulating the currents Air-defenses weak as possible. In a real war of 80s with a smart and well armed enemy the dogfight will be ultimate by a Soviet OSA or Buk. They never plan offensive move with MiG-23 because MiG-23 was not an Air-superiority fighter. All was made together with air defense In mind. In This simulator ED make the air-defenses tracking radar work together with search radar. This is unrealistic and ED know that. The sales and propaganda are a priority, not the simulation.


Edited by pepin1234
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Constant Peg evaluated a Mig-23MF, which is heavier and draggier than the MLA we will have. I still wouldn't expect an MLA to be an amazing dogfighter, but Constant Peg is not necessarily representative of the Mig we're getting.

 

Didn't they evaluate a MiG-23MS (and BN) they've gotten from Egypt?

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This is unrealistic and ED know that. The sales and propaganda are a priority, not the simulation.

 

I understand sales but Propaganda?

Russian coders from Russian company based in Russia Moscow are hidden element of anti Russian propaganda? Oh, give me a break..

 

BTW. Real life communication and coordination between GCI and interceptors with systems like Lazur and automated interception is not modeled in DCS but 'propaganda' is the last possible reason for that. It sounds silly.

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Didn't they evaluate a MiG-23MS (and BN) they've gotten from Egypt?

 

 

You are right. Performance wise they are the same as the MF though, the improvements came from the ML onwards.

 

 

edit: also, disregard Pepin. All he posts is raging about how everything in DCS is biased against Soviet/Russian equipment.

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Any further Soviet module without improve the silly air defense of the current DCS is a bias and not a simulation. All the tactics in the front must be done with interaction with Air-defenses. If they keep improvement in western aircraft been MiG-21 and MiG-23 available in the game we are in a bias situation. Migs need their tactics... how come they wanted to face western tactics of Air superiority and air offensive without give it the tools to the Migs. Is important that.

 

Is not a job for Razbam. Is an management issue for the ED westerns owners order to the russian team in Moscow work in something that need work time. I think is important for the simulation do it that.

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Since this talk is all about the MiG-23 I think that´s it is ok not call it OT.

 

Now, regarding the 23 capabilities, I advice everyone here to go to Razbam Discord once again. There´s a good technical discussion over there and you can always ask any time you want. You also have the chance to talk in real time with developers there.

 

The MiG-23 is certainly one of the most controversial aircraft regarding performance when it comes to aircraft enthusiasts form the west. Many judge the entire MiG-23 lineup by the lackluster performance if the very downgraded export MiG-23MS which was a MiG-21Bis in MiG-23 disguise.

 

The original MiG-23 variants used by the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact allies were much more formidable than anything that was exported to the Middle East, with the exception maybe of the MiG-23ML exported to Iraq, which got very good result in the Iran-Iraq war, shooting down many Iranian fighters of all types, including 2 confirmed and two more probable F-14 fighters. The version to come to DCS is the OG Soviet version with all the performance increases you could expect when compared to an export model.

 

It is my opinion, after being able to read many manuals form different aircraft types that the MiG-23ML, that was later updated into the MLA and MLD late variants, is perfectly capable to go against 4th gen Sparrow armed opponents. The MiG-23MLA has clear advantages over all the other 3rd gen fighters and is only slightly inferior in avionics and some maneuvering performance parameters to 4th gen fighters.

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Mig-23 is a bad dogfighter.

 

 

Source :

 

At 1h03min 30 sec.

 

 

(but watch the whole video, it's very interesting about the whole program)

 

 

So F-14 and F-5 will probably eat it in a turn fight.

It might get interesting once we have a F-4 though.

 

I really depends WHICH mig23, The originals, yes, terrible, MLA much less so, and the MLD isn't bad. They are all different.

 

Doctrinally they weren't to be used as dogfighters anyway, but again they should be very competitive with any western 3rd gen (F4/F5) and probably at least close to western 4th gen at least in terms of agility. Where they will fall down is in missiles and avionics compared to modern 4th gen stuff like the bloc50 F16, but against an early bloc F16A which is much more in their time frame they are competitive. But its gonna have a hard time against modern western stuff for sure, and even the F14A.


Edited by Harlikwin

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Doctrinally they weren't to be used as dogfighters anyway

 

The MiG-23 was designed from the start for the role of air superiority and as an interceptor, hence, being able to dogfight, escort, intercept fighters or bombers and even to be used as ground attack aircraft with respectable capabilities for the time.

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F-14 vs MiG-23 1v1 is not a fair fight, the F-14 is clearly better in both BVR and WVR, there is nothing to argue...

 

 

BUT

 

 

Wiki says that an F-14A in 1977 cost 19.2 million USD, while the MiG-23 between 3.6 to 6.6 million

 

 

If that is accurate, then you could buy 3-5 MiG-23 for the price of 1 F-14A, and production numbers reflect that.

 

 

Based on that I'd say that a 1v4 scenario should be considered when talking about MiG-23 vs US 4th gens like the F-14 or the F-15

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From what I read on Russian forums, It seems that MLA is going to be good dogfighter. There are claims that experienced pilot could even win a dogfight with MiG-29. As came for avionics many pilots claimed that its wasnt much difference compared with 29A. Radar and missiles were praised highly for its time. I think this plane is going to be nasty suprise for BLUEFOR pilots.

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