The MiG-23 Flogger was developed in 1960s to exchange the MiG-21. It combined larger payload, range and firepower with beyond visual range intercept capability from a lot of powerful onboard sensors. The Model 23-11 prototype 1st flew in 1967. created MiG-23M Flogger-B introduced beyond visual range capability with Sapfir-23 (High Lark) pulse-Doppler radar and R-23 (AA-7 Apex) semi-active air-to-air missiles.
Two downgraded export versions of the MiG-23M were created. The MiG-23MS Flogger-E had the MiG-21's 'Jay Bird' radar in a very short radome and so no beyond visual range missile capability. The MiG-23MF retained the 'High Lark' radar, AA-7 missile capability and Flogger-B reporting designation.
The MiG-23ML Flogger-G was supposed to own improved handling particularly at high angles of attack, enhanced maneuverability and better 'g' limits. It featured a lightened airframe, more powerful R-35-300 engine, improved, light-weight Sapfir-23L radar adding a replacement dogfight mode, more capable defensive avionics and a replacement infra-red search and track. It shaped the idea for the MiG-23MLD Flogger-K that had variety of aerodynamic modifications to extend high angle-of-attack capability and controllability.