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MiG-22 Flipper

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MiG-22 Flipper


To fulfil the needs of the PVO (Protivovozdushnaya Oborona – air defence forces) for a heavy interceptor to carry out automatic interceptions, the MiG bureau had developed a range of large fighter aircraft starting with the swept wing I-3 series (a.k.a. I-380, I-410 and I-420), followed by the I-7 and the I-75. The requirement for supersonic interception speed and the ability to carry the heavy avionic systems dictated the size; in comparison the contemporary MiG-21F (similar in layout), weighed 4,819 kg (10,624 lb) and was 15.76m (51 ft 8-1/2in) long, compared with 12,345 kg (27,215 lb) and 18.14m (59 ft 6in) respectively, for the Ye-150.


The MAP (Ministerstvo Aviatsionnoy Promyshlennosti - ministry of aviation industry) ordered the Mikoyan OKB to build prototypes of the new interceptor, to be armed with either K-6, K-7, K-8, K-9, unguided rockets, or an aimable twin cannon installation. Automatic guidance to the interception point was to be provided by Urugan-5 (hurricane-5) integrated weapons systems.




The Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-152A was a twin-engined version of the Ye-152, sharing its general layout but utilising two Tumansky R-11 afterburning turbojets mounted side by side in a revised rear fuselage. The change in engine type, necessitated by the extremely poor reliability of the R-15, led to a widened rear fuselage with large ventral fins. The majority of the airframe was identical to the Ye-152, incorporating the extended inlet and fuselage found to be advantageous during testing for the proposed Ye-151 cannon armed variant of the Ye-150. Due to the use of fully developed and reliable R-11 engines the Ye-152A was ready for flight in July 1959 and continued to fly on test duties at the Mikoyan-Gurevich test centre until it crashed in 1965.


Armament was to have been two K-9 air-to-air missiles, as part of the Ye-152-9-V weapon system, featuring the TsKB Almaz TsP-1 fire control radar.


The Ye-152A was assigned the NATO reporting name Flipper after a flypast during the 1961 Aviation Day display at Tushino and also erroneously labelled as the MiG-23.




Development of the Uragan-5 automatic weapon system was initiated by the Council of Ministers in 1955 to intercept supersonic bombers flying at 10-25,000m ( ft) altitude at 1600–2000 km/hour up to 100–120 km range from the interceptor base, (with sufficient warning). The system relied on ground based radar to guide the interceptor to an intercept with the target and aircraft based radar and weapon aiming systems to complete the mission using the following components:


A high resolution ground based radar system, to provide accurate position and height data at a range of 345 km.

Active interrogation system (SAZO)

Automatic guidance facility

Digital control computer

Command data link (SPK)

Interceptor-fighter with Airborne radar (detection range of 25 km minimum), Autopilot, and Weapon-aiming computer (SRP)


Armament options included:


2 x 30mm cannon in a tilting rotatable mount.

Unguided rockets.

2x Grushin K-6 air-to-air missiles

2x Toropov K-7 air-to-air missiles

2x Kaliningrad K-8 (R-8) air-to-air missiles

2x Raduga K-9 air-to-air missiles


A combination of delays in development of the electronic components, missiles and poor reliability of the Tumansky R-15 engines for the aircraft component led to the Uragan-5 system, fitted to Ye-150 derivatives being cancelled in 1962.


Adoption of the Ye-152a


The PVO adopted in limited numbers the Ye-152a as the MiG-22. As part of the Mastrovoka campaign against Western Intelligence, the aircraft was given a different identification which Western Intelligence Agencies had erroneously given it (MiG-23). However, the MiG-22 was not a success and was quickly superseded by the Sukhoi Su-15.


This however did not prevent the MiG-22 being sold overseas to client states of the Soviet Union. Both the Cuban Air Force and the Indonesian Air Force adopted it. Both felt the need for a fast climbing, heavily armed interceptor which would allow them to protect their island nations.


After the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when Cuba was heavily dependent on the Soviet Union for it's protection against an impeding American attack and invasion, the MiG-22P (Perekhvatchik “Interceptor”) was supplied to the island nation. Armed initially with K9 “AWL” missile which looked impressive, even if it performed badly, the missile was quickly superseded by the much shorter ranged but more reliable K13 Atoll missile. This actually fitted more closely with the Russian's plans for the Cubans, preferring to keep their aircraft on a “short leash” rather than arming it with the longer-ranged K9s. The K9 missiles were however kept for intelligence purposes and nearly all photos of the MiG-22 in Cuban service show it carrying the larger, less reliable missile.


In 1965, when the Communist Party of Indonesia overthrew the Sukarno Government and created the Peoples' Democratic Republic of Indonesia (PDRI) under President Untung bin Syamsuri who had lead the Revolution on 30 September 1965. He replaced President Sukarno soon afterwards. The Indonesian Air Force, which had already been largely equipped with Soviet aircraft, adopted the MiG-22PFM (Perekhvatchik Forsirovannyy Modernizirovannyy "Interceptor Uprated Modernised"), an improved version, mounting the K8 Air-to-Air missile, in both Infra-Red and Radar homing versions. This missile was also carried by the Su-15 and Yak-28 Interceptors in Soviet Service.


The MiG-22PFM served with the TNI-AU for the next 10 years before it was replaced by Su-15 Flagon interceptor.








The Kit


A Modelvisit 1/72 Ye-152a Flipper model. A most unusual model in that it doesn't have a single locating pin in the entire kit! It uses ledges and channels to locate everything. A little difficult to build but quite interesting. The missiles came from another poster (Chris) and the Decals from Kit.













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