Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA5309 MiG-23MLD White 55, 120 IAP, Bagram AB, Afghanistan 1989. Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
In the 1960’s the Soviet military required a replacement for the MiG-21 that could compete with the USAF F-14 Tomcat. It had to be very fast, rapid acceleration, carry a larger payload, capable of a high service ceiling, long range and beyond visual range intercept capabilities. The project was given to the Mikoan- Gurevich Design Bureau that produced the Model 23-11 that first flew on June 10, 1967. Production began in 1969 and eventually completed over 5,000 swing-wing MiG-23s. A ground-attack variant was also produced, the MiG-27.
The 120th IAP arrived at Bagram and Shindad Afghanistan as part of the 23rd Air Army in 1988 and stayed until January 31, 1989. The 120th IAP was formed in 1969 at Brest Oblast and transferred to Domna in 1971. The 120th IAP was re-equipped with MiG-23s in 1978 and flew them until 1993 when they converted to the MiG-29. The MiG-23MLD was the most numerous MiG-23 variant in Afghanistan. The MiG-23MLD was nicknamed “Grif – griffon” by VVS crews. Soviet forces were in Afghanistan from late 1979 until late 1989.