Support aircraft at the Sary Shagan missile test range in 1994
The Sary Shagan missile test range needed fighter and ECM aircraft during the live missile shooting and other exercises. From the early eighties to 1994, the 678th Guards Mixed Test Air Regiment used MiG-23M and UB 'Flogger-B/C' aircraft type as support aircraft.
Remote drone controller panel from the MiG-23UB ‘Flogger-C’ back seat
The main task of these MiG-23 aircraft was:
Flying as a real air target. They were capable of simulated low altitude maneuvering over the Kazakh desert.
The regiment used their twin seater MiG-23UB ‘Flogger-C’ aircraft as an observer and controller type. This aircraft controlled remotely the M-21 (MiG-21) ‘Fishbed’ and M-16 (Tu-16) ‘Badger’ type during the live missile shooting.
If the target is damaged and the connection lost with the target drone, the regiment's MiG-23M ‘Flogger-B’ fighter aircraft shoot that one. These shootings were marked with a small red star on the nose of the aircraft.
The 678th Guards Mixed Test Air Regiment used MiG-23M, MiG-23UB and MiG-23MLG ‘Flogger-B/C/K’ aircraft type at the at Kambala Priozersk airbase in the Kazakh desert
Squadron badge on the MiG-23 aircraft at Kambala Priozersk airbase in 1994. The regiment's aircraft were wearing Guards badge too.
Two rare MiG-23MLG ‘Fishbed-K’ aircraft with integrated electronic countermeasures systems and one ‘Red 56’ MiG-23M ‘Flogger-B’ support aircraft at the at Kambala Priozersk airbase in 1994.
Soviet MiG-23M 'Flogger-B' with R-60 'AA-8 Aphid' short-range lightweight infrared homing missile and R-23 'AA-7 Apex' medium-range air-to-air missile and MiG-23UB 'Flogger-C' observer and controller aircraft over Sary Shagan missile test range in the Kazakh desert.
The 678th Guard Mixed Test Air Regiment replaced their old YaK-28PP ‘Brewer-E’ ECM type with Su-24M ‘Fencer-D’ and rare MiG-23MLG ‘Flogger-K’ type from 1987. Both new integrated electronic countermeasures capacity aircraft type supported the research development and complex air defense combat training exercises over the Sary Shagan missile test field.
The 678th guard regiment used four Su-24M 'Fencer-D' aircraft between 1987 and 1994.
Soviet MiG-23UB ‘Flogger-C’ controller aircraft , Su-24M ‘Fencer-D’, M-21 (MiG-21) ‘Fishbed’ and M-16 ( Tu-16) ‘Badger’ drones, MiG-31D "anti-satellite" missile carrier at the Kambala-Priozersk airport in 1994.
Photos: Alexander Boltkov, Vladimir Kazantsev, Sergey Rolik collections