The Moskit airborne radar is intended to equip light and medium fighters, in particular to replace the Sapfir-23 airborne radar, and makes it possible to convert the MiG-23 fighter into a sophisticated powerful multifunction aircraft capable of conducting air defense and delivering attacks against ground and sea targets.
There are two versions of modernization of the aircraft with the Moskit airborne radar. The first version involves replacing the Sapfir-23 airborne radar or its modifying with the Moskit-23 radar to be installed in the aircraft nose section in place of the main monoblock unit (antenna, receiver, transmitters of the main and illuminating channels of the Sapfir-23 radar). In addition to the main operating modes of the Sapfir-23 radar, the Moskit-23 radar features the following operating modes: - air-to-air operating mode: surveying/ranging and tracking; while-scan tracking eight targets and simultaneously engaging two of them; close air combat; - air-to-surface operating mode: ground mapping while searching for ground (sea) targets by the following methods: scanning beam, Doppler beam narrowing, antenna aperture synthesizing; detection of moving ground (sea) targets; ground ranging.
The Moskit-23 airborne radar is interfaced with the upto- date R-27R(T), RVV-AE and R-73 air-to-air missiles and allows the use of the R-23T and R-24T missiles, Kh-31A air-to-ship missiles, as well as the KAB-500Kr aerial guided bombs, unguided rockets, gun armament and unguided aerial bombs.
Equipping the aircraft with the Moskit-23 multifunction radar makes it possible to markedly enhance aircraft combat efficiency, first of all, due to:
- increasing the aerial target detection range up to 90 km;
- using the mapping mode to employ the Kh-31A antiship active-homing missiles (with an effective range of up to 100 km against sea targets) and the KAB-500Kr guided aerial bombs.
Second Version On retention of the Sapfir-23 airborne radar, the Moskit- 21K airborne radar is additionally pod-mounted, which does not require equipment rearrangement of the MiG- 23, MiG-23BN and MiG-27 aircraft. Much like the Moskit-23 radar, Moskit-21K is interfaced with the same armament.
Equipping the aircraft with the Moskit-21K multifunction radar makes it possible to enhance aircraft combat efficiency due to:
- increasing the aerial target detection range up to 50 km and using new air-to-air missiles RVV-AE, R-27R(T) and R-73;
- using the mapping mode to employ the Kh-31A antiship active-homing missiles (with an effective range of up to 50 km against sea targets), KAB-500Kr guided aerial bombs, unguided rockets, gun armament and unguided aerial bombs.