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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23S Flogger-A - HävLLv 31, Ilmavoimat, 1975


The initial production batch of 60 MiG-23S aircraft were used for both flight and operational testing but did not actually enter operational service due to various teething problems and delays to the Sapfir-23 radar necessitating the use of the earlier S-21 weapons control system with the RP-22SM radar as used in the MiG-21MF. In 1974, 30 of the surviving MiG-23S aircraft were refurbished by Mikoyan-Gurevich for export to Finland for an undisclosed sum but believed to have been 'gifted' to Finland as a gesture of thanks to Finnish President Urho Kaleva Kekkonen for his acknowledgement of Soviet concerns regarding Finland's negotiations with the EEC for a free-trade agreement during the previous year. Entering service with HävLLv in late 1974 the MiG-23S served with just one squadron but suffered from high attrition leading to Ilmavoimat officials withdrawing the type from service in early 1978 and re-equipping HävLLv 31 with second-hand Saab Drakens from Swedish stocks.














N.B. On this occasion, the Finnish roundel on the fin is deliberate and done as a request by someone over at the What If Modelers website.

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