The characteristic outline of the nose of the aircraft was determined unequivocally by the operating conditions of the sight ASP-17. This automatic rifle sight, developed in the Kiev Arsenal Central Design Bureau, was the latest development by that time. The sight provided accurate bombing, the launch of the NAR and the shooting of a cannon from horizontal flight and diving. During the sighting of the target, his movable aiming mark could deviate downward by an angle up to 18 *, projecting onto the reflector of the sight. So that the nose of the plane did not close the target, it was executed obliquely downward from the canopy of the lantern. In this case, the field of view from the cockpit down was just 18 ', allowing you to observe the target for the required time, up to the completion of all the operations required during the aiming and weapons. In a new guise, the aircraft acquired an expressively functional look, as if emphasizing the purpose of the shock machine and recognizable for all subsequent modifications.
In addition to the shooting, the aircraft was equipped with a special sight for bombing from a PBC-3-23С bombardment. In accordance with the wishes of the military, the armor was supposed to cover the cockpit and the most important engine components. According to the experience of local conflicts, the most vulnerable parts of the attack aircraft were the power plant, the fuel system, the controls, and the need to protect the crew was dictated by the obvious calculation - even when injured, the pilot can save the car, while its failure even in good condition.
For an impact machine, it was necessary to ensure the proper range by increasing the fuel supply, especially with regard to operations at low altitudes, where fuel consumption was significantly higher than economical cruising conditions. The specified radius of action when flying off the ground with one ton of bombs was to be at least 600 km. To ensure the required fuel reserve in the rear fuselage, the fuel tank compartment No. 4 was installed, which was previously installed only on two-seat MiG-23UB. Behind the cockpit of the pilot, under the bookcase with radio equipment, a “keg” was installed - an additional tank No. 1А that contained 225 l of kerosene. Due to the reduction in the number of REO units in the cabin compartment compared to the original fighter, a certain amount of space was released, where they placed an “additional fuel tank No. 1” (as it was called in the documentation, since tank No. 1 already existed) on the 435 l, which was a fence between air intake sleeves. The total amount of fuel in the internal tanks reached 5630 L, and 700 L more than the fighter. Above this, an extra fuel tank on the 800 l could be hung on the ventral pylon. The tail plumage of the MiG-23B was shifted back to 860 mm due to the rearrangement (a similar modification was made in the design of the new modifications of the fighter, starting with the MiG-23 of the 1971 model of the year).
The increased mass, which reached 15 450 kg with normal refueling, as well as the condition for ensuring operation from poorly prepared and unpaved airfields, required an increase in the nose landing gear. All wheels were replaced with increased low-pressure tires: nasal size 570x140 mm against 520x125 mm on the fighter and the main ones - 840x290 mm against the previous 830x225 mm.
The fighter-bomber was supposed to be equipped with a new power plant. This question was of paramount importance: the calculated mass with 1000 kg of bombs was already two tons higher than the normal take-off mass of the fighter. The plane clearly needed a higher thrust engine. The engine P-27F2М-300 on the original fighter by re-shaping the first stages of the compressor, changing the adjustment of the fuel equipment and the design of the nozzle increased compression ratio in the compressor and the gas temperature behind the turbine, which ensured the afterburner 10 200 kg. However, the "ten-toner" was no longer satisfied with the aircraft, besides the engine was very "voracious", differing by a fair specific fuel consumption, which adversely affected the flight range. The new version of РХNUMX-29 with design improvements, including changing the profiles of compressor blades, turbines and increasing the bore diameter, on which TMKB Soyuz engine sheets promised to give traction in 300 12 kg, was still being refined (experienced MiG-500M with this engine rose into the air only in June 23 of the year).
At the same time, the AL-21F engine, designed in the design bureau of the Moscow Saturn machine-building plant under the direction of AM Lyulka, was put to production. The engine was created with the 1965 of the year as a third-generation turbofan engine and was a rather original design - a single-circuit single-shaft turbojet engine, optimized for high-speed flight at low altitudes. In the serial modification of the AL-21F-3 (product 89), the afterburner was brought to 11 215 kg (7800 kg at the maximum mode) with good economy. Expendable parameters of the engine promised to significantly improve the performance of the aircraft in range - the most important quality for a striking machine, which was to act not only in the immediate frontal depth, but also at operational-tactical removal.
The first copy of the MiG-23B fighter-bomber ("32-24 / 1") at the LII airfield in Zhukovsky. February 1971
A successful engine could be applied to the “24 product”, however, the government decree and the corresponding MAP order prescribed its installation primarily on the Su-17M and Su-24.
But MiG-23B also demanded a suitable engine. The new version of the AL-21F-3 possessed all the required characteristics and was already in production. In general, what you need. The decision to use it on the Mikoyan machine was supported by the leadership of the MAP and the Air Force. The head of the Air Force Orders Department, Lieutenant-General V.R. Efremov, a competent engineer and an educated person, when meeting with representatives of the Mikoyan Design Bureau also defended the choice of an engine “tailored to the measure” for a fighter-bomber.
There were arguments against the engine cradle. At first, on tests and in operation, the AP-21F was not very reliable, there were breakdowns and high-temperature “titanium fires” that instantly ignited and destroyed the entire structure. The painstaking fine-tuning of “childhood diseases” was eliminated, reducing the number of failures and providing the engine with an adequate resource. Another feature of the complex in the production of AL-21F was its extreme high cost: like everything new, it required special materials and technologies, costing almost four times more than Р27ФХNNXX-2.
At the Moscow factory "Salute", leading in the early 70's. the enterprise producing AL-21F-3, its cost was more than 600 thousand rubles — five times more expensive than the AL-7F-1 engine produced here for the Su-7B. Technological problems and costs limited the industry’s ability to produce new engines: the labor intensity of one AL-21F-3 was fabulously high, in the numbers of 1972 it amounted to 45 hours compared to 10 hours required for the production of the AP-750F-7 engine. As a result, the AL-1F-21 was simply not enough even for testing new aircraft. It got to the point that the minister aviation industry P.V. Dementiev literally distributed scarce engines to customers by the piece.
The head of the defense department of the Central Committee of the CPSU, I.D. Serbia, known for his perseverance up to harshness in dealing with those under his supervision, personally dealt with this issue and defended the expansion of the AL-21F issue. This decision was also supported by the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, P.S. Kutahov, interested not only in the prospects of the twenty-third, his beloved creation, but also inclined to unify the IBA and the FSA motor park. Equipping the MiG-23B with the same power plant as the Su-17M and Su-24 allowed them to significantly simplify their maintenance, supply and training of the flight and technical staff. The head of the aviation industry P.V. Dementiev, with great respect for Mikoyan, was on their side and expressed interest in the production of the shock MiG.
After an appropriate decision in the spring of the year 1970, the Design Bureau received several crankshaft engines. To test the power plant and the AL-21F systems, they installed a MiG-23С fighter (“23-41 / 1”), which 20 August 1970 took to the air PM Test-pilot. Ostapenko.
The construction of the first prototype of the MiG-23B fighter-bomber (32-24 / 1 vehicle) was completed in January of the 1971 year. The glider and a number of MiG-23M fighter systems with factory number 0390217055 became the basis for the new machine. The aircraft carried the tail number 321, in the tradition of the Design Bureau reflecting the name of the product and its sequence in the experimental series (for example, the first “twenty-third” had the number 231). 18 February 1971, the lead test pilot OKB A.V. Fedotov lifted him up into the air. The chief-pilot of the company then had the military rank of Major General, despite serving in a civil organization, which was the OKB (by the way, AI Mikoyan who headed it had a general's post post-war years). The general designer did not wait for the flight of the new machine - A.I. Mikoyan died two months earlier, December 9 1970 of the year.
Aircraft turbojet engine AL-21F-3
The nose of the aircraft "32-24 / 1"
Prototype MiG-23B ("32-24 / 1")
The first prototype of the MiG-23B was equipped with a wing of the so-called I (first) edition, used on the MiG-23С and having a slat. The variable sweep wing was controlled by a handle mounted near the throttle in the cab. The consoles were rotated using the SPK-1A wing rotation system, which included the HPK-1A hydraulic motor and VP-23 screw converters. Consoles could be installed in three fixed positions - 16 °, 45 ° or 72 ° by a quarter of the chord. When the sweep changed from 72 ° to 16 °, the wingspan was almost doubled, the area increased from 34,16 м2 to 37,27 м2, and the elongation - from 1,48 to 5,26. Accordingly, the aerodynamic quality of the "orthoptera" aircraft improved and its takeoff and landing characteristics improved.
The aircraft was equipped with an AL-21F-3 engine No. 89-02, due to a defect in the oil system, replaced in March with No. 8911, and later the next.
The first prototype machine did not yet carry out the booking of the cabin and most of the equipment and served primarily to confirm the general concept and basic design decisions. The second and third aircraft, “32-24 / 2” and “32-24 / 3” (onboard numbers 322 and 323), built in the same year, were already fully equipped, including the KN-23 complex and the Fon laser rangefinder . The mass of the aircraft has increased, and the preservation of the specific load on the wing has become the limiting factor.
For this, the second and third prototypes of the MiG-23B received a new wing of the second edition (similar to the MiG-23 type of the 1971 model of the year). It differed increased in 5 m2 console area. This was dictated by the need to maintain an acceptable specific load on the wing, which determines both the take-off and landing characteristics and the range. The area was increased by expanding the consoles along the chord by 20%, which is why a characteristic “tooth” appeared on the wing, which gave the plane similarity to a bat in terms of. The new console also differed aerodynamic twist.
The wing of the second edition was equipped with suspension nodes for additional fuel tanks, the pylons of which were attached to the reinforced ribs of movable consoles. With the suspension of three tanks PTB-800 (fuselage and two wing), the fuel supply increased by one and a half times, and the range increased by about 40% (some of the suspension itself ate up, increasing the aircraft mass and aerodynamic drag). The pylons were rigidly connected to the tanks, suspended under the consoles, with the help of brackets and could not turn. When they were suspended, the wing turning system was blocked, the consoles did not fold. After the fuel was developed, the PTB was dropped along with the pylons using a pyromechanism, after which the wing was fixed before the attack or for acceleration.
MiG-23B was equipped with an integrated control system that significantly increased flight safety and ensured high combat effectiveness due to precision control at all stages of flight and facilitation of the pilot’s working conditions. The system included the SAU-23B manual and automatic control systems, the KN-23 navigation system, the Sokol-23С aiming complex (C-23), the display system and the PB-5P radio altimeter. The Sokol consisted of the PBC-3-23С bomber sight, the ASP-17 riflescope with the C-17VG sighting head and the Fon laser rangefinder.
Developed in the Moscow Geophysics Central Design Bureau, the Fon range finder was a novelty in sighting equipment, ensuring high accuracy in determining the distance to the target, the most important parameter when aiming. The laser rangefinder (or, as it was then called, an optical quantum locator) gave the current range value to the sight calculator, which was taken as the basis for bombing, firing and launching rockets. An optical quantum generator was used as a transmitter, and a silicon-based photodiode served as a receiver. Oblique range to ground targets could be determined in the range from 400 to 5000 m and was calculated from the time difference between the moment of radiation and the reception of the light pulse. The movable mirror of the “Background” associated with the automatic sight, tracked the angle of sight of the movable mark, and its beam synchronously followed along with the mark, bending at an angle from 0'to -17 'in the vertical plane.
The 32-24 / 1 aircraft completed service at a junior aviation school near Moscow as a teaching aid. Since the test, the aircraft has retained a contrasting black and white marking for the trajectory of cinema photography during bomb drops and missile launches. On the girder holders of the aircraft - APU-13М launchers for air-to-air missiles R-ZS
The first MiG-23B with the suspension of the bombs FAB-500М-62 and the ventral tank PTB-800
When attacking, “Background” was turned on for 5-10 seconds. before the start of aiming, and half a minute after combining the aiming mark with the target, it was automatically turned off, radiating an 32 pulse with a repetition frequency 1 Hz during this time. The accuracy of determining the range was literally jeweler - even at the maximum distance the error remained within 30 m. The laser range finder was very effective, however, like all optical devices, it performed the task mainly in clear weather with a meteorological visibility of at least 10 km, while like fog, rain, snow, and especially dust or smoke, usual over the battlefield, significantly absorbed the beam and impeded the work of the “Background”. Nevertheless, the characteristics of determining the range with its help made the solution of the sighting task much more accurate than the previous methods, when the range was entered by the pilot almost manually by eye.
The armament of the aircraft included almost the entire arsenal of the then aviation means of destruction of ground targets - from cannons to special (nuclear) bombs and guided missiles. On the MiG-23B, the double-barrel V-gun GSH-23L with the 200 rounds of ammunition remained. The gun was a fairly powerful weapon, with a small own weight of 50 kg, possessing a rate of fire up to 3200 shots / min. and providing a ten-kilo second salvo. The GSH-23L could be used not only in the fight against vulnerable targets - its 180-gram shells pierced the armor up to 15 mm, allowing them to hit BTR and BMP. The leading specialists in the development of the gun mount for the aircraft were the designers of the weapons department O.V. Short and B.A. Korolev. The suspension of two more such guns in the unified cannon containers UPK-23-250 with ammunition for 250 cartridges was also provided for.
Uncontrolled C-5 rocket caliber 57 mm could be used from 16- and 32-charging units UB-16-57 and UB-32, which the aircraft could carry up to four pieces. 57-mm missiles were designed to destroy not only ground, but also air targets. According to a plan in an air battle, a volley of several dozen missiles was able to cover an enemy plane even at extreme ranges, reliably hitting a fighter type target with even one hit of a half-kilogram charge. Up to four heavy NAR C-24 240 mm caliber and 235 kg weight could be suspended on the nodes under the wing and fuselage. The C-24 was equipped with both the B-24A mechanical shock fuse and the PB-24 radio fuse, which undermined the missile over the target, which significantly increased the impact efficiency - a high-explosive impact and thousands of fragments hit the target from above.
At the same time, the MiG-23B did not provide for the use of guided air-to-air missiles. As it was considered, the fight against aerial targets is not a priority for the “strike bomber”, and the NAR cannon will suffice for self-defense. In this form, the aircraft was tested and was put into service, and only later the Air Force Command came to the conclusion that it was necessary to equip machines of this class with melee missiles, which significantly expanded its capabilities both in defense and when used as a fighter.
The plane was supposed to carry up to 3000 kg of bombs, but already in the development of the machine, the designers of the weapons department found that placing them on the “twenty-third” was not an easy task. The suspension of weapons, primarily bombs, literally became a bottleneck: the four points of suspension available were not enough. Even at the preliminary stage, their number was set to reach six to eight. There was a problem: where to equip additional holders? Bombs and blocks should be placed closer to the center of mass, so that the unloading does not affect the alignment of the aircraft. However, under the wing "extra" nodes simply had nowhere to attach.
The tail section remained an unoccupied place, where the niches of the main landing gear had to be searched for the possibility of mounting bomb racks. This decision was forced - the nodes here were rendered back almost three meters from the center of mass. Because of this, they, in order to avoid getting a dangerous rear centering of the aircraft, could only be used together with the front holders, but there was no other way out.
During the study of the construction of the site, the task was complicated by the fact that the tail part of the fuselage in this place did not have power frames or beams, powerful enough to fasten holders with massive ammunition. I had to resort to an unconventional solution, installing powerful hatch covers on the sides of the fuselage between the 25 and 28 frames, brackets that were attached to the frame with screw locks, and served as holders. Between the walls of the cast brackets, locks DZU-1 were installed under the bombs caliber 100 ... 250 kg. Under the covers were hydraulic units for access to which they could open on hinges (of course, in the absence of suspensions).
Additional capabilities were provided by multi-lock beam holders (MBD), the development of which began in 1967 in response to the demand of the military to increase the number of bombs on airplanes. The MiG-23B used MBDZ-U2T-1 holders for 250 caliber bombs ... 500 kg with their location in tandem and MBNXXUMX-2У bombs for 67 kg caliber bombs attached in pairs on both sides of the beam. MBD allowed to load each point of the suspension to the limit of its carrying capacity, instead of one taking the maximum number of bombs. Thus, the typical for a fighter-bomber holder 100-th class of carrying capacity instead of one bomb in 3 kg using MBD500-2У could carry up to four "acres". MiG-67B was able to use up to four "small" MDBs under the wing and fuselage, raising with their help up to 23 hundred kilogram bombs, and with the installation of wing-mounted units of two MBDZ-U18T-2 the plane was loaded with six five hundred kilograms bombs (four MB-BNBX-1T-60 bombs (four five hundred kilograms MBBM bombs) (four five-hundred-kilometer MBNZ-23T-1 bombs) - on ventral BDZ-250-XNUMXФXNUMX) or eight caliber XNUMX kg (four - on MDB and the same on the front and rear ventral points).
The second experimental aircraft "32-24 / 2" with a full combat load: four bombs caliber 500 kg, two 250 kg and three outboard fuel tanks 800 l
A significant novelty was the equipping of the shock MiG-23B with air-to-surface missile guided missiles. It should be noted that work on such weapons took place in our country with a fair delay: until 1964, for obvious reasons, aircraft were assigned a secondary role, along with military aircraft, and practically no funds were allocated for development. At the same time, in the USA, according to the experience of the Korean War, they began to engage in the development of guided missiles to destroy ground targets from the 1954 year onwards. In April, the Americans adopted the AG-1959 "Bul-lup" rocket 12. The presence of such a weapon from a potential enemy and information about its effective use received from Vietnam boosted the development of ours, especially since the lag in high-precision weapons was at that time estimated to be at least ten years old.
The task was issued by OKB-134 (from 1966 of the year - ICB "Vympel") and the design bureau of plant No. 455 in Kaliningrad near Moscow (later - OKB "Zvezda" at the Strela PO, also known as Zvezda-Strela), engaged in the release of aviation weapons, including guided missiles for fighters. Later, all work on a guided missile to destroy ground targets focused on the "Star", and "Vympel" focused on the subject of the class "air-to-air". The design of the rocket, designated X-23, was headed by GI. Khokhlov. The future rocket, as was clear from its name, was created in close conjunction with the MiG-23. Under it, the first twenty-third was already equipped appropriately, and the fighter and the Sparki carried the missile control equipment. In the first instance of the MiG-23B (product "23-11 / 4"), the guidance station was supposed to be placed on the site of the radar sight, and the antenna was placed in the nose cone, where the best conditions were provided to the control command carrier.
The X-23 design was based on a simple and well-developed radio command control principle, in which a missile was aimed at a target and its trajectory was adjusted by the pilot himself who controls the flight of the missile over the radio channel. He controlled it with the help of a special movable knob on the control knob, moving it up and down and left and right, the rocket control system worked out the movements of the rudders. Coded control radio commands were transmitted to the rocket board using Delta equipment, which formed a focused radio beam to increase noise immunity.
The design of the rocket was completely subordinate to the chosen guidance principle: the tail section was occupied by the Delta-R equipment units (“P” is the “missile” part of the system, and the one mounted on the carrier was called “Delta-N”) with an antenna that was moved back for better signal reception . There was a tracer right there, which made it possible to monitor the flight of a rocket from a long distance. In the middle part of the product there was a solid-fuel engine with two nozzles that led gases out on the sides of the body, and in the energy compartment there was a battery and an air cylinder that fed pneumatic steering machines. The defeat of different types of targets was provided by a 108-kg combined warhead, which had a cumulative and high-explosive fragmentation effect. With a direct hit, the X-23 was guaranteed to destroy any armored vehicles, including heavy Tanks with armor up to 250 mm thick, a high-explosive strike and a hail of one and a half thousand finished dice-fragments caused a complete defeat of weakly protected targets within a radius of 40 m.
By the end of 1967, the Zvezda pilot production assembled the first X-10 23 missiles (product 68). Their factory testing went from December 1967 to the end of 1968 of the year. The development of the design and guidance system went hand in hand with the refinement of the MiG-23 itself, and later other front-line aircraft were adopted as the carrier of the X-23. On the MiG-23B, in connection with the reconfiguration, in comparison with the Delta-N fighter, it was moved to the central section of the center, under which its transmitting antenna was placed in the fairing. State tests X-23 ended in the fall of the year 1973. The following year, it was adopted.
The requirements stipulated the use on the MiG-23B built-in electronic warfare (EW), intended to counter the air defense radar and radar sights of enemy fighters. The SPS-141 “Lilac-1FSh” personal protection station provided for the creation of active interference with radio-technical anti-aircraft artillery guidance systems and guided ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles. By fixing the irradiation of the enemy radar, the station automatically determined their operating frequency and power, and then, working on the repeater principle, allocated signals to interfering modulation, amplified them and reradiated into the forward hemisphere. The echo signal from the plane was hidden among the false marks, knocking down the guidance. "Lilac" could be completed in different versions, differing in the letters of the frequency ranges and allowing to cover a wide range of operating frequencies of the enemy radar. Receiving station antennas were placed in drop-shaped fairings at the bottom of the fuselage, called “ears”, and the transmitting antenna was under the radio-transparent “toe” above the laser rangefinder window.
On the MiG-23B, in addition to the Sirena-3M SPO-10 “Sirena-ZM” radiation warning station, it was planned to install Barrier, SB-1, which provided not only detection of the enemy’s radar operation (in the forward hemisphere), but also an indication of the exact direction to them. The two broadband antennas of the Barrier were located in the nose under the large bottom panel with a radio transparent insert. However, this station was still being brought up and, as a result, the first prototypes of the MiG-23Bon and other EW facilities were not installed, although the compartments for the equipment, rather significant, were provided at the prototyping stage.
The compulsory equipment of the aircraft also included the means of determining belonging to its armed forces and identifying an airborne object — the SRO-2М “Chrome” radar responder and the SOD-57М aircraft responder.
State tests of the MiG-23B were conducted in parallel with the tests of the MiG-23 fighters, which began at the end of the 1969, and continued in stages for four years. Their first stage was carried out on the basis of the LII in Zhukovsky, where almost all the staff of the LIDB OKB, then numbering about 400 people, were involved. The tests of the MiG-23 were difficult - the technical novelty and complexity of the aircraft, the characteristics of the onboard systems and armament affected. I had to overcome problems with a surge, corkscrew, insufficient structural strength. The test pilot A.G. Fastovtsev, who managed to eject from the machine that had lost its wing, collapsed right in the air. Six months later, presumably due to the "floating" malfunction of the oxygen system during high-speed flight in the crashed MiG-23, the MM tester died. Mosquitoes. It was also necessary to eject the chief-pilot of the company A.V. Fedotov.
Aircraft laser rangefinder "Background"
Tests of a fighter-bomber were much easier - yet there is a blessing in disguise, and the advanced solution of many problems on fighters simplified the run-up of the MiG-23B, where the main tasks were to debug airborne equipment and weapons. At the same time, wing problems inherent in the early twenty-third did not pass the MiG-23B. The insufficiently strong consoles of the 32-24 / 1 had to be reinforced with overlays on the spars and the caisson. The wing with “teeth” was supposed to be equipped with deflecting toes, which contributed to the preservation of load-bearing properties at high angles of attack, especially during takeoff and landing, and improved roll control. However, the design of a thin wing with a mechanized leading edge turned out to be difficult to manufacture, and for economic reasons they decided to abandon the toe, confining themselves to increasing the area of the consoles. The load-bearing and maneuverable characteristics did improve, however, there was a tendency to disrupt the flow and stall at high angles of attack due to the decreased relative thickness of the profile, which complicated the take-off and landing. Often this manifested itself in the form of roll instability when the plane began to swing at a low altitude. Nevertheless, the wing went into production, and the plant launched 140 consoles of this type, which were also installed on the first MiG-23B.
Testers and combatant pilots more than once fell into the buildup mode at low speeds, aggravated by poor roll controllability (the rudders in the transverse channel became neutral). The defect caused a number of flight accidents, including catastrophes. MiG-23 V.E. During takeoff with full load, Menitsa-go immediately pulled away from the ground following the movement of the handle so tilted that sparks flew from the tip of the winged concrete, and yet “at the limit” the pilot managed to overcome the buildup and escape the climb. According to the operating experience of the first MiG-23, it was recommended to equip the new modifications with deflecting toes of the wing, which improve the stall characteristics.
The task was not easy, because the base wing of the MiG-23 with the TsAGI profile CP-16 was thin, having the relative thickness of the entire 8,3%. The construction height in the sock zone was only about 7-10 centimeters, the internal volumes were extremely constrained, and squeezing the drives and the kinematics of mechanization there was a fair problem. The new wing of the third (third) edition received four-section socks, which occupied two thirds of the leading edge of the console. The socks were attached to the wing by means of ramrod joints and deflected by hydraulic cylinders at 20 ° synchronously with the flaps. The installation of the socks had a positive effect not only on the stability and controllability of the aircraft at low speeds, but also made it possible to maintain acceptable take-off and landing characteristics.
The take-off and landing speeds of the MiG-23B with a wing of the 3 th edition were lower on the 40-45 km / h than twice as light as the MiG-21bis; The new aircraft was easier to manage on these modes, allowing you to plan steeper on the glide path. Accordingly, the run-up and mileage were smaller: at full refueling and loading in a ton of bombs, there was enough 700-750 m for the run-up, and 800 m for the mileage.
During the tests, the sensor angle of attack DUA-3M, mounted in the very nose for the purpose of removal from the disturbed zone, moved away, setting on board in front of the visor cabin. Here he was closer to the center of gravity and less subjected to dynamic perturbations, which made it possible to more accurately estimate the flight angles and expand their allowable range.
The plane received the reservation stipulated by the booking of the cabin of the pilot (it was not installed on the first machines). Various types of body armor were tested, including steel, titanium, high-strength aluminum alloys and their combinations combining layers of different materials. Ultimately, they chose steel that was technologically advanced and provided sufficient protection against small arms bullets and shrapnel. In order not to change the current layout and design of the "twenty-third", armor plates carried out, "knocking" the chamfer on the edges and thereby giving them a streamlined shape. Nine-millimeter patch armors were fastened to the fuselage on countersunk head bolts with the help of special boxes and fittings. To protect against secondary fragments, when hit with armor chipped from its back side, armor plates were installed on the sides of the fuselage with a small air gap with plastic gaskets along the contour.
At the second stage, the State Air Forces Research Institute joined the state tests. If the first MiG-23 fighters caused a lot of complaints, the MiG-23B pilots accepted with approval, and the fighter-bomber received a generally positive assessment. It was noted that the CIG capabilities allow for taking off and landing at lower speeds and angles of attack than other machines, which makes it easier for pilots to master the aircraft - takeoff and landing modes resemble the technique to which they were accustomed during training in training schools.
MiG-23B accelerated easily, going to supersonic, and at an altitude reached the speed of 1800 km / h. On the ground, it could perform a supersonic flight at speeds up to 1350 km / h (this value was the ultimate in head pressure and load), and from 3000 kg of bombs - up to 1000 km / h. The distillation range with three PTB-800 outboard tanks at a ten-kilometer height was 3100 km. The flight range with fuel reserves only in the internal tanks reached 2110 km — one and a half times higher than that of the MiG-23 fighters. In determining the flight range at a small “combat” altitude, A.V. Fedotov on the MiG-23B with refueling only internal tanks crossed the Zhukovsky-Akhtubinsk route, passing at an altitude of 600 m over 1000 km. The practical range of the aircraft with three PTB-800 and a ton bomb (two FAB-500 M-62) at a two-hundred-meter height was 610 km, with a three-ton bomb load (six FAB-500 M-62) - 400 km.
Fighter-bomber MiG-23B serial performance
Among the advantages were the well-thought-out of the onboard equipment, which facilitated the work of the pilot, a high degree of automation, the ASP-17 scope was considered very effective. When attacking a ground target, the mobile sighting mark automatically deflected to the calculated lead angles in the longitudinal and lateral directions, practicing the current flight parameters and indicating the point on the ground where the bombs would fall at that moment, had a gun burst or a NAR volley. The accuracy of the attack made it possible to increase the excellent visibility, which gave enough time for aiming and eliminating errors (the first bowly models of the first models that started to use the Su-17 quickly covered the target, and seconds remained for aiming). At the same time, it was noted that the MiG-23B in piloting is somewhat more complicated than the Su-17, which “forgave” the pilot many errors and independently left a number of dangerous modes.
First Deputy Chief of the Air Force Institute for Nuclear Research S.A. Mikoyan, who took part in the testing of the machine, during the evaluation of the maneuverability characteristics of the MiG-23B, “caught” the corkscrew mode. The flight was carried out with a suspension of four bombs, affecting the stability and controllability of the aircraft. The pilot later described the 1 August 1973 of the year as one of the most critical cases in his flight practice: “Starting a loop at low altitude with 45 'swept wing, I withstood an overload of about 5,5 units, and when, as the speed dropped, the angle of attack increased to the maximum allowed in 26 ', began to withstand this angle. Passed the top point, the plane in an inverted position has already bent its nose toward the ground. I looked at the pointer - the angle of attack was, as it should, 26 ". Height approached 1500 m. Only I looked away as the plane sharply spun around the longitudinal axis. Corkscrew! There were no warning signs, as if someone regardless I was immediately rejected by the rudders. Immediately, it can be said, reflexively, I gave my leg against the rotation and the handle from myself up to the stop. The plane immediately stopped, fortunately, with the cockpit up, which facilitated the withdrawal from the dive. It was saved by the fact that the corkscrew did not have time to develop - the plane did only half turn. If he had not immediately stopped If the rotation or turned upside down, the height of the conclusion would not be enough, it would only be necessary to eject. ”The reason for the unusual behavior of the aircraft was then still not revealed feature of the“ twenty-third ”- a tendency to stall at elevated angles when gliding with loss of track stability, "bringing" the nose to the side.
The sharp temper of the “twenty-third” on corkscrew modes was not yet fully revealed, as were the features of the aircraft’s behavior when approaching the stall boundaries. For the fighter-bomber with its increased weight, decent combat load and increased specific load on the wing, the behavior on these modes became more critical, especially considering the techniques of combat maneuvering with attendant large angles of attack. It took a lot of effort and inevitable victims to resolve issues related to the habits of the MiG-23 during stalling and spin.
The characteristics of the MiG-23B layout inherited from the fighter and the position of the suspension points led to a not very satisfactory placement of rocket armament. Equipping blocks NAR on the front ventral nodes prevented the landing gear, because of what had to make a change in the instruction, previously forbidden to hang already charged blocks. The C-24 missiles on these nodes were dangerously close to the outboard tank, which could have been damaged by a powerful torch of the rocket engine, and had to be dropped before firing. And the X-23 with nozzles placed on the sides, during start-up could have burned through a thin-walled tank, because of which they had to be hung just under the wing. However, when launching from the underwing holders, the rocket descended just half a meter from the cut-off of air intakes that were in a hot wave of powder gases, threatening to surge and stop the engine. To increase the dangerously close distance, both the ventral and underwing holders had to be installed with a slight camber to the sides, deflecting outward on the 6 gr.
To prevent surging, automatic fuel cut-off was introduced, which, in the event of a temperature overshoot, after pressing the combat button on 0,3 seconds, to prevent overheating, stopped the fuel supply to the combustion chamber, and after the missiles came off the guides, the engine went back to mode. When firing from a cannon and launching NAR from blocks of dangerous phenomena did not occur, although the gathering of heavy C-24s was felt as a “drawdown” of revolutions and a minute increase in temperature.
During the tests of the fighter-bomber, it was not without accidents: during the development of the aircraft’s armament, the Air Force State Aircraft Research Institute crashed MiG-23B of a military test pilot Lt. Col. Vasenkova. According to the pilot's story, the following happened: “It was necessary to check the strength of the MiG-23B aircraft with four FAB-500. At the maximum speed and altitude of a thousand meters the aircraft at 32-th second shuddered by impacts in the area of air intakes, then in the tail end of the aircraft - this is a clear surging. As expected, turned off the engine, but managed to gain altitude - one and a half thousand meters. And although the fire started, he tried to start the engine again - unsuccessfully. He left the plane a hundred and ninety kilometers from the airfield over the sand dunes. The chair, moving away, hurt the thigh, as instinctively pressed his leg, then there were strong bruises ... Some say they see how they leave the cabin. I did not see. The tablet is knee-shaped with a personal name, with an engraved last name — a gift from friends — jumped off the hip and hung on a shoe. He was afraid that he would fall under his feet when landing, and dropped. It's a pity, of course ... He himself fell into the sands. I waited a helicopter for about forty minutes. During this time, he changed his mind a lot, wondering if he did everything to start the engine. The investigation revealed the destruction of the bearing of the middle bearing of the compressor as a result of its oil starvation due to a constructive deficiency. ”
Placing hatches and antennas on the keel of the MiG-23B
Placing radio translucent panels of radio equipment antennas in the ventral crest of the MiG-23B
At the end of the tests, prototypes of the MiG-23B remained on the flight base of the OKB in Zhukovsky and were used in the development of equipment and systems of new modifications. Prototypes undergoing difficult test programs often have a short century. The fate of the MiG-23 samples in this regard was successful: both the 23-11 / 1 fighter and the impact 32-24 / 1 fighter passed the entire test cycle without crashes and serious breakdowns. The 23-11 / 1 aircraft, which flew more than 200 hours, in June 1971 was transferred to the Air Force Museum in Monino. The first experienced “32-24 / 1” served for a long time as a flying laboratory for equipment and weapons development, completing the last flight of 24 on June 1976 of the year. After working out the resource, he was transferred to a school of junior aviation specialists (SMAS) in south-west Moscow as a visual aid; subsequently, the aircraft became the exhibit of the now completely abandoned aviation museum on the Khodynka field.
In 1971-1972 on the basis of the MiG-23B was developed, but the project of the front reconnaissance MiG-23Р was not implemented with cameras in the forward fuselage. In the behind-the-cabin compartment, it was planned to place interchangeable reconnaissance equipment — stations of radio engineering, thermal, or television reconnaissance. The 32-24UB project, a double training version of the fighter-bomber, also remained on paper.
Even before the end of the MiG-23B tests, preparations began for its mass production. It was established at the Znamya Truda Moscow factory, where MiG-23 fighters were built. The oldest aviation company in the country, founded by Dux Joint-Stock Company in 1893, existed as the State Aviation Plant No. 1 (GAS No. 1) in Soviet times, then Plant No. 30 and, after the defense industry’s most renamed objects, were named Moscow machine-building plant (MMP) "Banner of Labor". The Mikoyan Design Bureau aircraft built the plant from 1965, when it launched the production of MiG-1962F fighters, and then its modifications, including export and Sparks. Total plant produced more than 21 Mig-3200, completing their release in the 21 year. Since 1974, MMZ built MiG-1967 airplanes, being the leader in producing single-type fighters of this type (combat training “Sparky” were produced at the plant in Irkutsk). The director of the plant at the time was PA Voronin, one of the most influential managers of the aviation industry, a representative of the OKB at the plant - M.R. Waldenberg, who worked with Mikoyan s23 year.
Mastering a fighter-bomber in production took place without any problems. The main technologies, materials and design innovations were developed during the production of MiG-23С fighters, similar to the airframe. In the aggregate assembly shops, only the stocks of the assembly of the new bow and the general assembly of the fuselage were added, as well as tanks No. 1А and No. 4, which the fighters of the early series did not have (at the same time, the tank-compartment No. 4 was introduced on the MiG-23М launched into production).
In 1972-1973 the plant built 48 fighter-bombers MiG-23B (product 24). Most of the aircraft passed the Air Force, several machines remained at the disposal of the Design Bureau and LII, where they served for a variety of tests related to the fine-tuning of new systems and units. The reason for the limited release of the machine was the shortage of engines AL-21F-3. In addition to the Moscow plant "Salyut", they connected the Omsk Engine-Building Plant to them. P.I. Baranova, but first of all, the AP-21F-3 went to Su-17M and especially Su-24, which had a special priority. Production volumes were still insufficient, due to the limited resource at the beginning and the defects found in operation, the engines often had to be changed. They were constantly lacking and reached the point that the planes in the combat units were idle without engines. Ultimately, the Deputy General Designer of the CGE. Lozino-Lozinsky insisted on the resumption of the equipment of the MiG-23B "tested" power plants "Union".
General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee L. I. Brezhnev inspects MiG-23B
Serial MiG-23B with two incendiary tanks ZB-360 under the fuselage