MiG-27 swing-wing attack aircraft can be recommissioned. This is a scenario considered after Russia even had to reuse outdated T-54/55 tanks to supplement the lack of military equipment.

The number of new fighter production has not met expectations, causing military analysts to believe that the Mig-27 may be a necessary addition to the Russian air force.

According to Poland’s Defense 24, in 2023, the Russian Air Force received only 27 new fighter jets and 8 attack helicopters. This is less than the expected 40 units, so Moscow needs an urgent additional source. There have been rumors that the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) will take the MiG-27 attack aircraft out of storage. It should be noted that these aircraft have been out of service since 1997.

The MiG-27 and MiG-23 share the same basic airframe, but the former comes equipped with a uniquely revised nose, referred to as “Utkonos” in Russian service. This feature was first unveiled with the MiG-23B. The MiG-23BN, however, was met with disappointment, leading to significant enhancements to the primary airframe.

These improvements included a reinforced undercarriage, a simple intake system, and a shortened exhaust nozzle. Designers eschewed radar in favor of a downward-leaning profile to enhance pilot visibility and added a laser rangefinder and a marked-target seeker for better precision.

The cockpit offers an expansive frontal view, earning the aircraft the nickname “Balkon” among its test pilots. Furthermore, the cockpit was outfitted with extra armor and equipped with an entirely new navigation and attack system to amplify the plane’s maneuverability and defense.

As the MiG-27 was designed for low-altitude voyages, it replaced the MiG-23’s adjustable intake ramps and exhaust nozzles with a more straightforward fixed configuration. This change reduced both the aircraft’s weight and its maintenance requirements.

This aircraft model also comes with a robust, large-sized landing gear, which makes it ideal for operating from airfields that are in less-than-optimum conditions. The MiG-27 was created with strike and low-level attack functionalities in mind, which led to the integration of options for missile and precision-guided weapon attachments. This aircraft also continued to uphold the Soviet combat aircraft tradition of nuclear capacity, thanks to the incorporation of specialized navigation systems.

The 1980s saw the advent of advanced versions, the MiG-27M/D variants, which were succeeded by the -K variant. The latter variant boasted the ability to carry a broader selection of weapons, including tactical nuclear bombs.

The MiG-27 units that were deployed to Afghanistan underwent further enhancements. Updates included the addition of BVP-50-60 flare dispensers and the NAZ-7B emergency survival kit. Engine modifications were also undertaken to better adapt to the hot, high-altitude conditions prevalent in the area.

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