Air International 1982-06
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R.Braybrook - Winds of change
"In the land battle, the Mi-24 Hind ... will pose a major threat.'' These illustrations show a Hind-D of the Czech Air Force, carrying four rocket pods hut without the four ASMs that can be mounted at the sponson tips.
Earlier air-air versions of the MiG-23, such as the Flogger-B (on photo), now tote late-generation AA-7 Apex long-range AAMs under the wing glove, as seen here, in concert with a pair of close-range AA-8 Aphids.
"... there is considerable speculation that the Russians will be operating ... nuclear-powered attack carriers by the end of this decade with conventional (rather than V/STOL) aircraft." For this purpose "a modified MiG-23/27 Flogger... is probably well suited to carrier landing requirements”. This new intercept photograph from the Swedish Air Force shows a MiG-23 Flogger-B carrying AA-7 Apex and AAS Aphid missiles.
“... it is a safe bet that... growing numbers of strike aircraft, notably the Su-24 Fencer, armed with runway-piercing weapons, will pose a major threat to NATO airfields." This photograph shows an Su-24 carrying drop tanks but without weapons on the wing and fuselage hard points.
For much of this decade many of the vertebrae of the Soviet ground attack and air superiority spinal column in the Central European scenario will be provided by upgraded members of the Flogger family of variable-geometry aircraft, such as the MiG-27 Flogger-J (illustrated) characterised by wing leading-edge extensions above the intake box to enhance turning performance and a lengthened nose embodying two optical flats.
Flogger-B has given place in production to Flogger-G which has gained in agility as a result of some aerodynamic refinements (eg, the vertical tail). This production version of the MiG-23 has made courtesy visits to Finland, France and Sweden, but devoid of operational equipment, a fully-operational Flogger-G being shown for the first time below.
"Regarding land-based helicopters ... for the longer term ... superior performance must be provided for the weapon platform, which suggests developments on the lines of the Bell tilt-rotor XV-15 (on photo) or the Sikorsky XH-59A."