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Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat

Interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft

Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat

Reconnaissance variants of the MiG-25 Foxbat remain an important type in Russia despite the age

Entered service 1972
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 23.82 m
Wing span 14.02 m
Height 6.1 m
Weight (maximum take off) 36.7 - 41 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x MNPK 'Soyuz' R-15BD-300 turbojets
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x 86.3 / 109.83 kN
Maximum speed 3 000 km/h
Service ceiling 23 km
Range 1 250 - 1 730 km
Endurance 2 hours 5 minutes
Missiles 2 x R-40R / R-40RD radar-guided and 2 x R-40T / R-40TD IR-guided air-to-air missiles, plus 2 x R-23R/T or 2 x R-24R/T or 4 x R-60/60M AAMs


   The Mach 3-capable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (NATO designation Foxbat) was developed in the early 1960s to fulfill the high-altitude and high-speed interception and dedicated reconnaissance roles. First prototype made its maiden flight in 1964. Production of the MiG-25P (interceptor) commenced in 1971 and it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1972. Production ceased in 1985. A total of 1186 MiG-25s of all versions were built. In 2001 Russian Air Force still operated limited numbers of MiG-25PD/PDS Foxbat-E interceptors. And 42 MiG-25RBs remained in service in 2010. These are found with units that predominantly use the MiG-31. Also these aircraft were exported to some countries.

   The MiG-25 has tremendous performance and achieves high speed, altitude and rate of klimb. However it lacks maneuverability and was difficult to fly at low speed.

   Introduced in 1978, the MiG-25PD was the ultimate Foxbat variant and featured an RP-25 look-down/shoot-down radar, undernose infra-red search and track system, R-15BD-300 engines and provision for a huge ventral fuel tank.

   Elsewhere, MiG-25 interceptors remain in significant use with Libya and Syria, each equipped with three to four units. Algeria has ten MiG-25 interceptors, that are responsible for the air defense of the capital Algiers and the strategic nuclear site near the air base, while Turkmenistan has two regiments equipped with the earlier MiG-25P model. All MiG-25P/PD/PDS operators also have small numbers of MiG-25PU Foxbat-C two-seat conversion trainers with stepped cockpits.

   Although use of the fighter variant is diminishing in Russia, reconnaissance variants of the MiG-25 remain important types. Two ORAPs have around 70 MiG-25RBs of various marks; these flew missions during the 1999 campaign in Chechnya.

   The MiG-25RB Foxbat-B is a dual-role reconnaissance/bomber capable of releasing bombs from altitudes of more than 20 000 m at supersonic speeds. Subvariants of the MiG-25RB were developed with a variety of systems for Electronic intelligence and specialized reconnaissance roles. The reconnaissance Foxbat has its own dedicated two-seat trainer, the MiG-25RU.

   Export MiG-25RB/RUs remain in limited service with Algeria (3) and Syria (8) while India's No.102 Sqn operates dedicated photo-recce MiG-25R/RUs. MiG-25RBs based in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are not thought to be operational. Small numbers of the MiG-25BM Foxbat-F defense suppression variant may remain operational with the Russian air force's research-instructor regiment based at Lipetsk for the development of operational tactics and various research projects.


Video of the Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat interceptor

Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat

Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat

MiG-25PU Foxbat-C

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