SyAAF MiG-23ML (Part II)

Back to the previous post of SyAAF MiG-23ML; and looking at the above photo showing Su-27's and few L-39 Albatroses, we can generate a preliminary layout for the area, starting from the segmented shield adjacent to a higher and bigger bldg. in the background to the hanger where aircraft are being painted.

I spent hours on GE searching and checking base by base for where this overhaul/repair might took place in, I found out the following:
- Uzbekistan: for sure it's not the targeted place, as no airfield has the same configuration.
- Kazakhstan: also no airfield can be that place.
- Belarus: most airfields' images are not clear, moreover most of them look abandoned, the only interesting airbase was Baranavicy where 32 MiG-23 were stored as shown above (the first image dated May.2003 while the second is Oct.2005 both shows the same quantity of MiG-23's but moved from place to another); I can't assure that these are the same MiG's delivered to Syria.

Ukraine: the most famous country in repairing and overhauling the eastern europe aircrafts, the above map shows the most important military airfields indicated in Yellow, the Red pins indicate the most important repair facilities.
Checking one by one made me exclude Lviv, Odessa, Zaporizhia and others, I may focus and pay more attention to Chuguev...the famous facility for L-39 which appears everywhere in these images.

An airial photo for Chuguev airfield with red circle indicates where - in my opinion - the event took place near the lines of stored aircrafts, unfortunately the Google Earth image is still blur.

With your help I think we may reveal two facts: the first is that MiG-23ML with SyAAF roundle is not the one imported from Belarus...it was from the Syrian fleet, the other fact is the place of overhauling.

Special thanks to "Spongefob" & "SyAAF SIG" for their great and precious additions.


  1. hiya!

    thanks for the kind words!

    been doing some digging round on the Uzbek photo; one source credits Baranóvichi as the location! thought it wouldn't make a lot of sense to send migs to syria to have them sent back to be refurbished!

    the UN arms database lists a transfer of 33 Russian mig-23s to Syria occurred in 2008 so its possible these aircraft are just in line for refurbishment

  2. Spongefob...i just referred to Baranóvichi as the estimated source of these Migs...not the place of overhauling. ;)

  3. oh lol, i mean; i read somewhere else that the photos of the Uzbek flanker were taken at branovichi - but that doesn't make sense to me!

    here are some pics of mig-23s in Belarus, probably now in syria.




  4. Woow...great pics !!
    These Migs are also landed in Baranovicy airbase?
    Any more photos?

  5. Sy AAF SIGMay 11, 2011

    Firstly apologies Spongefob,I unintentionally referred to you as Hiyal having wrongly extracted your greeting 'Hiya!' as your name...comes with middle age and need for reading glasses!
    The precise location of the overhaul facility in Eastern Europe is of only passing interest to me.The fact is that clearly some aircraft do go to Eastern Europe for overhauling and some are overhauled in Syria. It is clear that Eastern Europe has a facility which has been upgrading Migs and Sukhois for many years. The interesting question is what work is done on the aircraft in Eastern Europe which cannot be done in Aleppo.
    The aircraft in the paint shop looks absolutely pristine and gorgeous.In fact it almost looks like a scale model in its gleaming bright new camo colours. I would expect that that aircraft (along with many other Migs and SAF Sukhois) is most likely around 25 years old and has had a major overhaul including structural fatigue evaluation and strengthening as well as new cockpit and weapons guidance systems.You can imagine that the East European facility has had many hundreds of aircraft through its hangar doors and will have upgrades which were incorporated into the last generation of Russian Migs prior to their retirement.They may even have upgrades available for older jets today which were not even available in Soviet/Russian Mig-23s during their service.
    So far as the location is concerned, I suggest that someone spends a bit of time trawling the internet on who is doing upgrades on Sukhois and Migs and what is on offer.The new build look on the factory Mig would suggest to me that this is like a new aircraft such is the extent of the refurb/overhaul/upgrade . Spongefob has clealy identified an advanced targeting prism just behind the nosecone.Was this featured on the Mig which defected in 1991? If I remember correctly that aircraft was supposedly a very late export aircraft with locally produced upgrades, including the chaff dispensers on either side of the tail fin which were quickly removed for examination by the new 'owners' and were never reinstated.
    The Aleppo facility will be experts in service and repairs and local upgrades but the massive overhaul and nuts and bolt rebuild seen in the Ukraine will only be carried out there to return a like new aircraft.
    What do you think?