Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27

The Mikoyan MiG-27 (NATO reporting name Flogger-D/J) is a ground-attack aircraft, originally built by the Mikoyan design bureau in the Soviet Union and later license-produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics as the Bahadur (Valiant). It is based on the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 fighter aircraft, but optimized for the air-to-ground role.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Mikoyan and Gurevich
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1970
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
India View
Russia (USSR) 1975 1994 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Mikoyan and Gurevich 1075 View

The MiG-27 shares the basic airframe of the MiG-23, but with a revised nose — nicknamed "Utkonos" ("Platypus") in Russian service, first introduced on the MiG-23B. Dissatisfaction with the MiG-23BN led to the further development of the basic airframe to accommodate a stronger undercarriage, simpler intakes and a shorter exhaust nozzle, without radar in favor of a downward-sloping profile for improved pilot visibility, a laser rangefinder and marked-target seeker. Among its test pilots, it was also called "Balkon" ("Balcony") because of the increased frontal view from the cockpit. Additional cockpit armor was installed, along with a totally new nav/attack system.

Since the MiG-27 was intended to fly most of its missions at low altitude, the MiG-23's variable intake ramps and exhaust nozzles were discarded in favor of a simpler fixed configuration, reducing weight and maintenance requirements. The aircraft also has larger, heavy-duty landing gear to facilitate operation from poorer-quality airfields. In accordance with the MiG-27s strike and low-level attack requirements, provisions were made to mount missiles and precision-guided munitions, as well as retaining a nuclear capability in line with other Soviet combat aircraft by introducing specialized navigation systems.

It was used by Soviet forces during the later stages of the Afghanistan conflict in 1987–89.

Although several Western observers considered the MiG-27 widely exported, confusing it with the MiG-23BN, the aircraft type was only exported to India and Sri Lanka which also utilized the MiG-27 in regional conflicts.

Sri Lanka

MiG-27 aircraft entered service with the Sri Lanka Air Force in 2000. During the Sri Lankan Civil War, they saw considerable action bombing targets and providing close air support. In August 2000, a MiG-27 crashed near Colombo International Airport, killing its Ukrainian pilot. In July 2001, a second MiG-27 was destroyed on the ground during an assault on the same air force base by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. A MiG-27 crashed into the sea near the airport in June 2004. Another MiG-27 fighter jet crashed on a routine training mission on 13 February 2012 near the Dummalasuriya area at around 1.35 p.m. The pilot managed to eject from the jet without sustaining injuries.


On 27 May 1999, during the Kargil War, one Indian MiG-27 was lost together with a MiG-21 while supporting an Indian ground offensive in the Kashmir region.

Since 2001, the Indian Air Force has lost more than 12 MiG-27s to crashes. In mid-February 2010, India grounded its entire fleet of over 150 of the aircraft after a MiG-27 crashed on 16 February 2010 in Siliguri, West Bengal. The crash was attributed to defects in the R 29 engines of the aircraft, suspected to have occurred during the overhauling of the aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Another Mig-27 crashed in the Barmer area on 27 January 2015.


The MiG-27 remains in service with the Kazakh Air Force.

Role Attack aircraft, Fighter bomber
Manufacturer Mikoyan OKB
First flight 20 August 1970
Introduction 1975
Status In service with foreign users
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Russian Air Force
Indian Air Force
Produced 1970–86
Number built 1,075 including licensed production
Developed from Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 17.1 m (56 ft)
  • Wingspan: * Spread: 13.8 m (45 ft 3 in)
  • Swept: 7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 5 m (16 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: * Spread: 37.35 m (402.0 ft)
  • Swept: 34.16 m (367.7 ft)
  • Empty weight: 11,908 kg (26,252 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 18,100 kg (39,900 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 20,670 kg (45,570 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Khatchaturov R-29-300 afterburning turbojet
    • Dry thrust: 81 kN dry (18,300 lbf)
    • Thrust with afterburner: 123 kN (27,600 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: *sea level: Mach 1.10 (1,350 km/h, 839 mph)
  • at altitude: Mach 1.77 (1,885 km/h at 8,000 m, 1,170 mph at 26,000 ft)
  • Range: 780 km (480 mi) combat, 2,500 km (1,550 mi) ferry
  • Service ceiling 14,000 m (45,900 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 200 m/s (39,400 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 605 kg/m (123 lb/ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.62


  • 1x GSh-6-30 30 mm cannon with 260-300 rounds
  • One centerline, four fuselage, and two wing glove pylons for a total of 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) of stores, including general-purpose bombs, rocket pods, SPPU-22 and SPPU-6 gun pods, and various guided air-to-surface missiles.

End notes