|Ye-152 Flipper model on display at the Air Force Museum|
Using the same basic planform as the much smaller MiG-21, the Ye-150 of 1960 proved to have a very high performance, reaching speeds exceeding Mach 2.6, but the R-15 engine's useful life was so short as to make it virtually useless. The two Ye-152s had the R-15-300, but this was little better.
Actually preceding the R-15 powered aircraft into flight was the Ye-152A, which had an altered rear fuselage design incorporating a pair of R-11 engines. This was shown off to the West at the Aviation Day display at Tushino in 1961, receiving the NATO ASCC codename Flipper. The designation "MiG-23" was bandied about in western circles for a time, until it became evident that development was not proceeding. The prototype Flipper was seen armed with a pair of the large K-9/AA-4 Awl SARH missiles; the K-8/AA-3 Anab was also a potential armament.
"Modern Soviet Aircraft No.5: Mikoyan's Flipper" John W.R. Taylor Air Pictorial September 1962 p.280-281