Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23BN Flogger-H (20+53) as used by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) at the Luftwaffenmuseum, Berlin-Gatow (Germany)
This MiG-23BN flew from 1980 to October 1990 in the East German Air Force (Luftstreitkräfte der Nationalen Volksarmee) as 710
and belonged to the Jagdbombenfliegergeschwader 37 (37th Fighter Bomber Squadron) "Klement Gottwald" at Drewitz.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 (NATO reporting name: Flogger) is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third-generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 "Foxbat". It was the first attempt by the Soviet Union to design look-down/shoot-down radar and one of the first to be armed with beyond visual range missiles. Production started in 1970 and reached large numbers with over 5000 aircraft built. Today the MiG-23 remains in limited service with some export customers. The MiG-23BN (Flogger-H") was produced since 1973 and based on the MiG-23B, but had the same R-29-300 engine as contemporary fighter variants. They were also fitted with "type 3" wings. There were other minor changes in electronics and equipment, and some changes were made during its long production run. Serial production lasted until 1985, with 624 built. Most of them were exported, as the Soviets always viewed it as an interim type and only a small number served in Frontal Aviation regiments. As usual, a downgraded version was sold to Third World customers. This variant proved to be fairly popular and effective. The most distinctive identifying feature between the MiG-23B and MiG-23BN was that the former had the dielectric head just above the pylon, which was removed from the MiG-23BN. In 1990 the West German Air Force inherited 18 MiG-23BNs, 9 MiG-23MFs, 28 MiG-23MLs, 8 MiG-23UBs from East Germany.
The Luftwaffenmuseum, now known as the Militärhistorisches Museum (MHM) der Bundeswehr - Flugplatz Berlin-Gatow
(Bundeswehr Museum of Military History - Berlin-Gatow Airfield), is the Berlin branch of the Bundeswehr Military History Museum. The museum acts as an independent military department. Entrance to the museum is free. The museum is in Berlin at a former Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield, RAF Gatow. The focus is on military history, particularly the history of the post-war German Air Force. The museum has a collection of more than 200.000 items, including 155 aeroplanes, 5.000 uniforms and 30.000 books. There are also displays (including aeroplanes) on the history of the airfield when it was used by the RAF. Although there are also several helicopters and MiG fighters used during the Cold War by East German forces.