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While the forums were down I started work on another Russian bird: A MiG-23MLDG.


I came across this rare find by chance when browsing Russian photos of Sary-shagan, Kazakhstan (home to ABM and radar test grounds).


While never put into production, it appears a small number in addition to the prototype were produced, with this one wearing the badges of the " 1st AE 99 Guards Transbaikalian Orapa 1076 CAD (Test SAM) defense forces "  or " АЭ 99 Гвардейского Забайкальского ОРАП 1076 ЦАО (Испытаний ЗРК) войск ПВО. "








From what I've pieced together the MLDG was a proposed upgrade for MiG-23MLDs incorporating many of the systems that would go into the MiG-29.


- The IRST under the nose was removed, and it was equipped with Shelm HMS cueing system, used in conjunction with the R-73 (although without the mig-29s IRST performance would most certainly have been degraded)

- SPO-15 Beyroza RWR was fitted

- "Gardeniya" Jammer was also fitted internally to increase survivability.

- Radar Remained the N003


- aside from the origional prototype, it appears another is also in moscow and this one at Sary - presumably for trials, and testing in conjunction with the radar/sam facilities - not to mention many electro and optical facilities were based as part of the sprawling complex by lake balkhash.


If anyone can translate this better than google, it would be really appreciated!! :-)


" МиГ-23 МЛДГ, бортовой номер 054 Последний полет 17 июня 1993г. Пилот - гвардии майор Гашигуллин О.Ф. Упражнение 27 КБП иа ПВО "Полёт в зону и по маршруту на предельно малой высоте", день, простые метеоусловия время полёта 0ч. 45 минут. В 1994 году при передаче авиатехники, доблестные казахские пилоты сожгли ТС на запуске. "



by a stroke of luck, decograph have the unit markings I need on their 23UB sheet:





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Took me forever to work out the paint colours I will use for this....many swatches later I settled on the following for a slightly sun faded/colour shifted look:




... on the plus side I got a nice match for a early mig-27:




I started work on the cockpit, using a coloured PE set, but I couldn't get the side walls to work and ended up damaging them so only could use the instrument panel!.. the cockpit technique I used for the su-15 diddnt work as well on this one...I'm hoping the bang seat will mask some of the differences between the details of the side console and the IP





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