Mecha Profile: MiG-27 Aligatori – Muv-Luv Alternative

The BETA War is an ever-changing war, the demand for newer, better hardware to combat the alien threat is always high. For frontline nations like the Soviet Union whose territory was directly threatened by the BETA, having stronger TSF is essential. And with the MiG-23 Cheburashka‘s underwhelming performance, Mikoyam Guluvich needed another TSF to bolster the frontline, and the MiG-27 Aligatori was born.

I. Development History:
– After only 3 years of deployment, the MiG-23 Cheburashka received underwhelming reception from the frontline Soviet Union troops, in addition to the poor state of deployment model due to being rushed, as well as lack of experienced support crew. Hence many of them were recalled for a quick refurbishment. Mikoyam Guluvich later announced that there were no problems with the unit, and used East German’s Stasi troops outstanding result as reference, however, this made the Party’s high official lost face, and they ordered Mikoyam to submit another proposal to resolve the situation.

– Mikoyam later submitted a refurbishment plan for the quasi-2nd generation craft, but in fact it was more of a re-design than an upgrade. The proposal primarily focused on removing the stigma of the MiG-23, so changes were made to various components, especially to the head and forearms – which are the most noticeably points that sway the impression of the craft. Furthermore, 90% of the new craft would be built with new, different parts, so they gave it a new formal designation: the MiG-27 Aligatori to completely distance itself from the Cheburashka.

– To prevent history from repeating itself with the MiG-27, Mikoyam performed extensive combat trial in East Germany first before deploying it to the Soviet frontline, particularly in the hands of the Stasi’s Beatrix Brehme. Thanks to the testing effort, the Aligatori received appropriately high praise from frontline personnel. Unfortunately, 1 year earlier than the formal deployment of the MiG-27 – in 1982 – the F-14 Tomcat was deployed as the world’s first 2nd-generation TSF. This unfortunately caused the MiG-27 to be mocked as being instantly obsolete from the first days of its deployment in 1983.

– Even though the MiG-27 wasn’t deployed with ideal conditions, it still continued to support the core of the Eastern Bloc militaries as well as the Soviet Armed Forces until the 1990s – when more advanced TSF such as the Su-27 Zhuravlik and Su-37 Terminator was deployed. As of 2001, the MiG-27 and refurbished MiG-23 still makes up about 40% of the Soviet Armed Force’s TSF, which is a testament to their reliability and maintainability.

II. Technical Specs & Armaments:

– The Aligatori stands at 17.7-meter, utilizing two K-35-300 Jump Units. The variable-wing mechanism is still present on the Jump Unit’s aileron like the Cheburashka albeit with a different nose shape to increase durability. It deployed just 1 year after the debut of the first 2nd-generation TSF – the F-14 Tomcat. Even though both are 2nd-gens, the F-14 tech was more advanced than the MiG-27 – hence why people said it was obsolete on day one.

– In terms of appearance, the MiG-27 features a different head with a larger sensor mast and a smaller wire-cutter which resulted in a better target acquisition and identification capabilities. The forearm knife sheaths are also enlarged to improved close-combat abilities. The rest of the airframe structure is very similar to the MiG-23, but over 90% of the parts are newly designed components. Overall, the MiG-27 has higher mobility, better operation uptime, as well as enhanced close-combat capabilities compared to its predecessor. Thanks to extensive testing, the maintainability was also increased.

– The MiG-27 can be equipped with the standard WS-16 Autocannon and the DS-3 Multi-purpose Supplemental Armor. It can also equip the Type-77 Battle Halberd. The WS-16 Autocannon uses the standard 36mm shell and 120mm smoothbore attachment. The Knife Sheaths on the Forearms are enlarged and equipped with a new type of combat dagger which resemble a machete. It was developed independently by the Soviet Union.

III. Variation:
MiG-27 Aligatori Soviet color
MiG-27 Aligatori Stasi Color

IV. Trivia:
– The real-life MiG-27 isn’t named “Aligatori” but its NATO reporting name is “Flogger-D/J”. The name “Aligatori” – which means Aligator – is likely inspired by Gena the Crocodile – an iconic Soviet literature character which was created by the creator of the Cheburashka character as well.
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