MIG25 Russian Fighter
MiG-25 Foxbat Interceptor

MIG25 Russian fighter Interceptor MiG-25
See Also:
Pre/Post WW2 USSR Russia Planes - List of Aircraft Ilyushin_IL2 IL-4_Ilyushin Operation Stalingrad , Operation Barbarossa Zhukov (Zukov) MIG19_Farmer SU35_Sukhoi SU27_Flanker SU24_Fencer MIG21 MIG23_Flogger MIG25_Foxbat MIG29_Fulcrum MIG31_Foxhound Mi24_Hind_Gunship Ka50_Hokum_helicopter KA25_Kamov_Naval_Helicopter Kirov_Battlecruiser Kuznetsov_Russian_Aircraft_Carrier Soviet_Aircraft_Carrier_Varyag

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (Foxbat): The MiG25 (NATO reporting name Foxbat) was an interceptor produced by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the 1960's. The aircraft, armed solely with AA-6 Air-to-air missiles, was designed to meet the threat of the American XB-70 Valkyrie Mach 3 bomber, and therefore has better speed and altitude performance than any other fighter aircraft, with a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 and a ceiling of 90,000 feet. However, the MiG-25, built for sheer speed, is inferior to almost all other jet fighters in maneuverability, and was therefore somewhat redundant as an interceptor following the XB-70's cancellation. In addition, the aircraft in service had to be limited to Mach 2.8, as higher speeds than this tended to overheat and wreck the engines.

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Despite its limitations, a false appreciation of its abilities caused NATO to develop new designs to counter this perception. A combination of poor information gathering (including misidentifying the radar traces of several ballistic missiles being test fired as Foxbats being put through their paces) and poor extrapolation led to NATO's belief that the Foxbat was a long-range, high-maneuverability fighter-interceptor. While the information on speed, altitude and radar was reasonably accurate, the rest of the assessment was not, and it led to the perception of the Foxbat as a "boogeyman", a plane that far exceeded those of NATO. This perception led to the creation of several extremely advanced fighters, designed to counter the perceived threat. Among these planes were the McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and, less directly, the Dassault Mirage 2000. Thus, despite its own inadequacies, the Foxbat secured its place in aviation history by spurring on these advances.

Many former Soviet client states use an unarmed version of the MiG-25 as a reconnaissance aircraft.

In an intelligence coup for the west, on September 6th, 1976, a MiG 25 Foxbat of the Soviet Air Defense Command flown by Lt. Viktor Belenko landed at Hakodate airport, Japan. Belenko was defecting to the west and gave them the first in-depth look at the aircraft. It was carefully dismantled and analysed by the Foreign Technology Division of the USAF, at Dayton, Ohio. After 67 days the aircraft was returned to the Russians in pieces. The analysis showed some surprising facts:

The particular aircraft was brand new, representing the very latest Soviet technology.
The majority of the on-board avionics was based on vacuum tube technology, not transistors. Some have speculated that this was not in fact inferior technology, but a deliberate approach by the Soviets to build a system much less prone to the effects of EMP during a nuclear explosion. Vacuum tubes are up to 1000 times more able to withstand EMP than solid-state electronics.
Welding was done by hand.
Construction was relatively crude, with exposed rivet heads in areas that were unimportant for good drag performance.
The airspeed indicator was redlined at Mach 2.8, and pilots were required not to exceed Mach 2.5. The Americans had witnessed a MiG 25 flying at Mach 3.2 over Israel in 1973, a flight that had resulted in the total destruction of its engines. The Americans were unaware of the inevitability of the destruction, which helped to fuel the myths about the aircraft's capabilities.
Combat radius was 186 miles, and without afterburner, straight line range was only 744 miles. In fact Belenko had only just made it to Japan without running out of fuel - without sufficient fuel for a carefully planned landing, he narrowly missed a commercial airliner taking off, and overran the available runway on landing.
There was no pilot ejection system, which was a weight-saving measure.
Maximum G rating was just 2.2 with full fuel tanks, with an absolute limit of 5G. This was significantly poorer performance than the previous generation F-4 Phantom.
The aircraft was built of steel alloy and not titanium as supposed. Some titanium was used in heat-critical areas. The steel construction contributed to its massive 64,000 pounds unarmed weight.
While built to counter the threat of the XB-70, its performance was such that it was unable to effectively intercept the Lockheed SR-71 - it had neither the range, speed nor altitude capability to do so.

Countries of Origin CIS (formerly USSR)
  • MiG-25 P Foxbat A
  • MiG-25 RB Foxbat B
  • MiG-25 RBV Foxbat B
  • MiG-25 BBT Foxbat B
  • MiG-25 R Foxbat B
  • MiG-25 PU Foxbat C
  • MiG-25 RU Foxbat C
  • MiG-25 U Foxbat C
  • MiG-25 RBK Foxbat D
  • MiG25 RBS Foxbat D
  • MiG25 RBSh Foxbat D
  • MiG25 RBF Foxbat D
  • MiG25 PD Foxbat E
  • MiG25 PDS Foxbat E
  • MiG25 BM Foxbat F
  • Similar Aircraft
  • F-14 Tomcat
  • F-15 Eagle
  • MiG-31 Foxhound
  • Crew One
  • intercepter
  • reconnaissance
  • Length 70 ft (21.34 m)
    Span 41 ft (12.6 m)
    Ceiling 24400 meters
    Cruise range 1560 nm
    In-Flight Refueling No
    Internal Fuel 14200 kg
    Sensors Foxfire radar
    Drop Tanks na
  • AA-6 Acrid
  • AA-7 Apex
  • AA-8 Aphid
  • User Countries
  • Algeria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • CIS
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Ukraine

  • Text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

    MIG25 Russian Fighter
    MiG-25 Foxbat Interceptor