I look at pictures all day
- Jan 24, 2006
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I don't think the JAY BIRD equipped FLOGGERs were ever capable of using the R-23 or R-24. At least one source says they couldn't even fire the R-60.
There is a brief mention in Yefim Gordon's and Dmitriy Komissarov's "Mikoyan MiG-23 & MiG-27" book (see below) which stated that in 1971/72 the Mikoyan OKB contemplated a dedicated reconnaissance variant of the MiG-23B designated the MiG-23R. It was to feature both cameras in the nose and SIGINT and IRINT and TV equipment on interchangeable pallets in a special bay aft of the cockpit. The MiG-23R did not progress beyond the preliminary design stage but work on a reconnaissance version resumed in the mid 1970s with the MiG-23BM (MiG
The Twitter thread with this picture has some follow-up on that. Turns out the metal bashing to make a suitable pylon was easy enough, but the MiG-23 did not have enough room for some specialized equipment that Exocet needed, so this idea was a bust in the end.Another interesting conversion was the Iraqi conversion to allow the MiG-23 to carry the french Exocet missile:
Apparently a power supply. Probably Etendard had it from the get go. Possibly as simple as having the wrong AC bus power parameters, which would require a transformer to mate up to the missile. But that's only a guess.The electronic components can fit inside the micro nose of an Etendard IV!?!