Description: Type: MiG-23BN ('Flogger-H)
Registration: 696 / 2044
The MiG-23BN was the definitive fighter-bomber variant. It was otherwise the same as MiG-23B, but had the same R-29-300 engine as contemporary fighter 'Floggers'. They were also fitted with "type 3" wings. There were other minor changes in electronics and equipment, and some changes were made during its long production run. This variant proved to be fairly popular and effective and it was extensively exported. As usual, a downgraded version was sold to Third World customers. Serial production began in 1973 and lasted until 1985, with 624 examples built. Most of them were exported, as the Soviets always viewed it as an interim type and only a small number served in Frontal Aviation regiments. The most distinctive identifying feature between the MiG-23B and MiG-23BN was that the former was rather a developmental aircraft and had the dielectric head just above the pylon, but this was removed from the MiG-23BN.The last of the MiG-23 BNs were flown by 221 Squadron (Valiants) of Indian Air Force and were decommissioned on 6 March 2009. Wing Commander Tapas Ranjan Sahu, was the last pilot to land the Mig-23 BN on that day.