Should the Chinese tech tree get the MiG-23?

The MiG-23 has a long range and a large payload, so the ground attack effect is better. However, due to the growing estrangement between China and the Soviet Union, China could no longer obtain technical information on the MiG-23 through negotiations. The only way is to purchase the MiG-23 from other countries. After many negotiations, China finally exchanged several MiG-23s from Egypt. Although the deal was successfully concluded, the other party was not responsible for transporting the aircraft, so the delivery of the MiG-23 to China became the key. In August 1978, many aviation experts, including Academician Gu Yifen, were notified that the competent authorities would form an expert group to visit abroad for the purpose of exchanging technology. It is not uncommon for expert groups to go abroad, so most people think it is just an ordinary visit, and it is not until the plane takes off that everyone knows that the destination is Egypt. The plane landed in Cairo, Egypt, and the Chinese ambassador to Egypt had been waiting for a long time, and after meeting the delegation, he explained the mission: to exchange the J-6 for the MiG-23. In addition to the Chinese embassy staff, Egypt also sent a colonel to meet the delegation, and two police officers in civilian clothes lined up on the left and right. It is not difficult to imagine that this mission is not public, but as a secret mission, and from the moment it is connected, it needs to be guarded against everywhere. Although this MiG-23 is a military weapon of Egypt, the country that built it is the Soviet Union, which is resolute in the transfer and sale of the MiG-23, and is even more reluctant to transfer it to China. More critically, Egypt had a good relationship with the Soviet Union, and there were many Soviet KGBs in the country. Although relations between Egypt and the Soviet Union were much worse during the MiG-23 trade, a large number of KGBs remained here and served as intelligence for the Soviet Union. As soon as the deal is revealed, then the task of transporting the MiG-23 to China will become especially difficult. In order to bypass KGB surveillance, China decided to split the MiG-23, reduce the target size in a fractional way, and then ship it back to the country little by little. However, the news of the Chinese delegation’s presence in Egypt was learned by the British media. The news quickly spread and attracted the attention of the Soviets. The Chinese delegation could only temporarily return to China to divert the attention of the outside world and buy time for the dismantling and delivery of the MiG-23. After the MiG-23 returned to China and was reassembled, China conducted a series of test flights and tests of the MiG-23, and Chinese researchers tried to decipher the advanced technology of the fighter and apply it to China’s next-generation fighter. One of the most valuable components for Chinese is the R29 engine installed on it, under the suggestion of Lu Xiaopeng, the chief designer of Q5, the above two fighters will be used as a template for the follow-up model of Q5, for in-depth development, and eventually to develop a domestic fighter. According to the situation at that time, Nanchang Aircraft Factory had rich experience in manufacturing strong aircraft, so the follow-up work was studied here. By 1980, the design had been repeatedly revised to meet the performance targets, and with the approval of the authorities, the experts decided to try to create a new aircraft. This aircraft is based on the resulting MiG-23, and since this aircraft is a support aircraft, the final name is set: Q6.
[The test pilot of China’s test flight MiG-23 is named Xu Yongling, and he has expressed his thoughts on the test flight in his memoirs and in the military programs he participated in.In addition, China also tested the MiG-23, and the test pilot was Zhang Jingting]
【The following three images are Q6 models or drawings】



Gu Yifen, the chief designer of the aircraft J-8II, wrote in the book “My Career as an Aircraft Designer” written by himself that the MiG-23 solved the technical problems of the J-8II in the aerodynamic shape design and the air intakes on both sides
【J8II with MiG-23】

Pictures of the MiG-23 introduced by China

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