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The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is a third-generation jet fighter, the world’s most-produced variable-geometry aircraft, along with similar Soviet fighters such as the Su-15 “Flagon”. It was the first Soviet fighter to field a 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 5,000 aircraft built. Today the MiG-23 remains in limited service with some export customers.
The basic design was also used as the basis for the Mikoyan MiG-27, a dedicated ground-attack variant. Among many minor changes, the MiG-27 replaced the MiG-23’s nose-mounted radar system with an optical panel holding a laser designator and a TV camera.