3 MiG-23BNs on the Jalandhar Amritsar axis

Three MiG-23BNs have been found at various places , all within a radius of 75 kms of each other.

All the three are from Halwara . Halwara operated the 220 Sqn with MiG-23s until they were retired , the squadron now flies the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI.

Detailed articles with photographs :

SM201 : Science City , Kapurthala



SM219 : Sainik School , Kapurthala



SM268 : GNDU,Amritsar



Visited each location and tried to gather as much info as much as possible  , especially on the construction numbers. Other than SM268 ,c/n plates of all seem ok,


Jai Hind


MiG-23BN SM268 at GNDU,Amritsar

Nailed another BN just a few days back!

This one is SM268 at Guru Nanak Dev University,Amritsar!

IAF operated the BN variant of the MiG-23 for 27 years with four squadrons flying aircraft serials from SM201 to SM295.A number of these have been given to various institutions , public places etc!


Located just ahead of the admin block

The bird has been dedicated to the university by the Marshal of the Indian Airforce Arjan Singh , who formally inaugurated it on 28th March 2008. The MiG was sanctioned in early 2007 and transported from Halwara and installed under the leadership of Sqn Ldr Harjinder Singh Marwaha.

The aircraft has been kept in a pretty good condition with a plastic mesh cover on the exhaust , retaining Tipnis Grey ,roundels and finflashes, the serial has been painted in a different font. The serial is painted on the NLG doors and the tail.Image

‘SM268’ in a different font


C/N : 8*25

C/N plates at all locations are unreadable.

 The aircraft is maintained better than the other two MiGs of Kapurthala and has been mounted perfectly.



India’s first MiG-23BN : SM201 at Science City , Kapurthala

A newspaper article helped me nail this airframe down.

Discovered that the Pushpa Gujral Science City in Kapurthala boasted a Defence Gallery containing a Vijayanta tank , Torpedoes , AA Gun , Rockets and a MiG-23 BN.This is the second BN in the district on display.

Little research on the net and identity was confirmed as SM201 : The First ‘Vijay’ of the IAF

Here we go …..


The aircraft was manufactured on August 25th,1980 and inducted in the IAF in 1981-1982.Used in Op.Safed Sagar and Op. Brasstacks , with a total of 1542 hours.

Last flown by Flt Lt.Rahul Lilani on 5th Oct 2001 , operated by 220 Sqn , Halwara.

Science City received the aircraft in 2006.

It has been placed in a fenced enclosure at a junction of the road to the auditorium and main complex.



Closeup of the Nose

No serial markings are present and have been painted over with coats of paint.Painted in Tipnis Grey the finflashes and roundels are intact however , the livery is a darker and bluish shade of Tipnis Grey.No attention seems to be paid to the aircraft after the authorities have placed it there other than the annual paintjob. Exhaust cover is present however Engine Intakes are without covers.

The whole airframe and enclosure are in a poorly maintained state , some places metal corrosion has created gaping holes in the skin.


Layers and more layers

SM201 has been painted over and over , even without the removal of the previous layer , Was able to count FOUR layers of Berger 😛 

Construction Number and Identity

C/N plates are intact at their respective locations and are readable to a good extent.


C/N : 7542


There are 2 plates on the starboard MLG compartment and only once of them is readable .


The nose landing gear compartment is very clean from the inside and I was able to stand upright because of the depth of the compartment. The NLG c/n plate is on the rear bulkhead of the cockpit and is readable and confirms 7542 as the c/n.


NLG C/N plate

There is a small step ladder placed beside the NLG. The step ladder helped me reach the cockpit , the cockpit glass is stained and all joints have rusted to glory .Not much can be seen from the outside , however on straining a little  , saw that the joystick and majority of the instruments are intact.

An identity confusion was created after seeing ‘SM-294’ painted on the pilot seat’s headrest , but chances are that the airframe is 201 with the seat which was once in SM294.


Pilot seat headrest with SM-294 marking



Note : The lower tailfin has been folded so that it doesn’t touch the ground

Jai Hind



MiG-23BN SM219 at Sainik School,Kapurthala

Visited the Sainik School in Kapurthala after a recent input regarding a MiG-23BN located in the school.Sainik School are preparatory schools which prepare the students for the National Defence Academy.These schools are run by the state government and every state has a Sainik School barring aside a few.

Sainik School Kapurthala is from the oldest of the schools and is built on the palace of the Maharaja of Kapurthala.

The MiG-23BN nicknamed ‘Vijay’ is situated around 50m from the main gate of the school.


The MiG is flanked by a Vijayanta tank to its starboard and an AA gun to the port.

The aircraft was presented by AVM Anil Chopra on 6th December 2008.

The airframe is largely intact however the maintenance is questionable.The aircraft is painted in the light grey with serials painted on the NLG doors and tail and finflashes and roundels on either side.


The paint was a fresh coat and the serials are painted in the same font as that of the IAF.Also , all ports , afterburner and engine intakes are without covers and are serving as nests for pigeons.

MiG-23BNs have c/n plates stamped on the rear bulkhead of the starboard MLG compartment  and in some cases on the NLG compartment.

C/N Plate SM219

C/N plate : 7650

The BN has two plates  , one below the other at this location.The second plate has the same number however ,repeated painting and mechanical vagaries have made the number fade out on both plates.


Head On : Tilted a little

Mounting of this bird has not been done properly as suggested by the image above . The aircraft is tilted slightly to the port side . Also , the the wings are swept at different angles and there are no covers on the engine intakes , exhaust and other ports.Sainik Schools are well staffed and should take appropriate care of this aircraft , given the fact that these serve as a inspiration for our future aviators.