The Mikoyan MiG-27 is a ground-attack Russian aircraft used by Soviet clients like India and Sri Lanka in many conflicts. During the Cold War the Soviets also used it in Afghanistan, between 1987 and 1989. Based on the MiG-23 , the MiG-27 is still in military service for India and Kazakhstan (three regiments) Air Force with the MiG-27M Flogger-J variant. Flogger is the NATO reporting name, a code name that was easier to understand, with the first letter “F” indicating the type of aircraft.

MiG 27 Flogger MiG 27 Flogger Pictures

Built as an upgraded version of the MiG-23BM, the 27 variant flew for the first time on 17 November 1972, with pilot Valeriy Menitskiyan. One year later, serial production started in Irkutsk, Siberia. The disappointing features of the first model were replaced with more capable ones, but the Soyuz R-29B-300 turbojet engine remained, with a maximum speed of 1 885 km/h.

MiG 27 Flogger MiG 27 Flogger Pictures

Airframes were given a stronger note, the exhaust nozzle shortened and the intake ramps discarded for reducing weight to 300 kilograms (660 pounds) and make maintenance more manageable. The new “splitter plate” was less prominent but prevented fuselage ingestion and the heavy-duty landing gear was larger. Speed was reduced to a maximum Mach 1.7 by the modified intake. The strengthened landing gear allowed an external load of 4,000 kilograms (8,800 pounds). Visibility was improved with a downward-sloping profile that replaced the radar. Pilots called it “Balkon”, balcony, because of the look-down cockpit view or “Platypus” for it’s redesigned radarless nose. A raised position was installed for the pilot seat and the wide screen and cockpit walls were armored.

MiG 27 Flogger MiG 27 Flogger Pictures

Built for low altitude attacks, the MiG-27 Flogger was highly equipped with precision-guided munition and specialized navigation systems. The PRnK-23 nav-attack digital system was more precise and allowed nuclear capacity. A new 1×30 mm six barrel rotary Gatling-type GSh-6-30 cannon with 300 rounds of ammunition supply replaced the former two-barreled Gsh-23 L cannon.

With a high degree of accuracy, the MiG-27s have automatic blind bombing for both day and night. The center-line pylon can carry a FAB-500 but it usually carried an external tank. The wing glove pylon and the forward fuselage pylon have a capacity of a single napalm tank or two FABs. The rear pylons carried most of the times only a 250 kg FAB (550 pounds). Guided air-to surface missiles and anti radar missiles completed the team.

The Mikoyan MiG-27 was not as successful as it’s original model with only 1,075 specimens in circulation between production years 1970-1986.

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