The Fencer, with its distinctive three-position variable-geometry wings, is the Soviet counterpart to the American F-111, though somewhat smaller and lighter, and to a lesser extent the Tornado. Its origins certainly owed a lot to Soviet observation of the American TFX competition and the resulting swing-wing variable-geometry solutions. First flown in 1971, it entered service from 1974 as a replacement for the Yak-28 and remains an important part of the Russian VVS inventory, with several hundred having been in service. It is able to carry a wide range of air-to-surface missiles and is capable of carrying out precision attacks in hostile airspace at night or during poor weather. Much larger and more capable than previous Soviet aircraft, it combines great penetrative ability with a heavy and varied bomb load, but is such a versatile airframe that it has also been developed in various other versions including tactical bomber, electronic warfare, and reconnaissance. As usual with the Aerofax series, this book includes extensive detail of systems, equipment, weapons, etc., and a plethora of previously unpublished photographs and drawings.