MiG-23MS 4012  IrAF TC-63

MiG-23MS 4012 IrAF TC-63


Al Quwwat Al Jawwiya Al Iraqiya. Iraqi Air Force
No.39 Squadron. Tammuz/al-Taqaddum AB, 1981

: TC-63
Dimensions : Standard - DINA3 (29,7x42cm) (16,5"x12")





Manufacturer: Mikoyan i Gurevich
Model: MiG-23MS
Seial: s/n 4012


Established in 1974, as the first Iraqi MiG-23-unit, early during the war with Iran the No.39 Squadron was held back for air defence of Baghdad. Down to few short clashes with IRIAF Phantoms, this unit thus saw relatively little action before its aircraft were released for interception tasks over the frontlines, in 1981. Nevertheless, in autumn of the same year, the CO of No.39 Squadron was shot down and killed while attempting to intercept a group of Iranian Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters. The aircraft is depicted wearing the squadron insignia  showing a sabre with three stars on a light blue field and inscription, “39 Squadron”. The serial, “4012” is somewhat of a mystery: a burned-out MiG-23MS with such a serial applied on the fin was found by US troops near al-Assad AB, in 2003. This, however, would contradict the tradition according to which pre-1988 all IrAF aircraft were serialled in the sequence as they entered service in Iraq: the only exception from this rule were Mirages, and there was a Mirage serialled “4012”.

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Data sheet

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Tom Cooper / ACIG.info

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