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Mikoyan MiG-25

Interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft

Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat

The MiG-25 was designed to engage high-flying and high-speed aircraft such as US Lockheed SR-71 reconnaissance planes

Country of origin Soviet Union
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 air-to-air missiles


   The Mach 3-capable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (Western reporting name 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. This aircraft was revealed by the Soviets in 1967. Its appearance led to serious concerns throughout the US Department of Defense that the US was being outclassed and led to development of a new F-15 air-superiority fighter in order to counter the threat posed by this Soviet warplane. Production of the MiG-25P (interceptor variant) commenced in 1971 and it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1972. Its reporting name in the West was Foxbat-A. Though this aircraft was simultaneously produced in numerous variants. A total of 1 186 MiG-25s of all variants were built until production ceased in 1985. This aircraft was exported to some countries. Since its introduction the MiG-25 was an important type in service with the Soviet air force and air defense forces. After the collapse of the Soviet Union a number of MiG-25s were passed on to successor states. In the 1990s the MiG-25 remained an important type in Russia and formed the backbone of the Russia's air defenses. Though the numbers were gradually reducing. These aircraft flew missions during the 1999 military campaign in Chechnya. In 2001 Russian Air Force still operated limited numbers of MiG-25PD/PDS (Foxbat-E) interceptors. In 2010 a total of 42 MiG-25RBs (reconnaissance-bomber variant) remained in service. These were found with units that predominantly used the newer MiG-31. The MiG-25 has been retired from the Russian service, however small numbers may remain operational with some of the export operators, including Algeria and Syria.

   This interceptor was designed to engage high-flying and high-speed aircraft, such as Lockheed SR-71 reconnaissance planes. The MiG-25 has tremendous performance and achieves high speed, altitude and rate of climb. 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 were important aircraft with Libya and Syria. Algeria had ten MiG-25 interceptors, that were responsible for the air defense of the capital Algiers and the strategic nuclear site near the air base. Turkmenistan had two regiments equipped with the earlier MiG-25P model. All MiG-25P/PD/PDS operators also had a small number of MiG-25PU (Foxbat-C) two-seat conversion trainers with stepped cockpits.

   The MiG-25RB (Foxbat-B) was a dual-role reconnaissance/bomber. This aircraft could carry eight 500 kg bombs and was capable of releasing them 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 MiG-25 had its own dedicated two-seat trainer, the MiG-25RU.

   Export MiG-25RB/RUs were in limited service with Algeria and Syria while India's No.102 Sqn operated dedicated photo-recce MiG-25R/RUs (as well as MiG-25RBKs electronic intelligence aircraft with bombing capability). After collapse of the Soviet Union some MiG-25RBs were passed on to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

   The MiG-25BM (Foxbat-F) was a single-seat defense suppression variant. It carried Kh-31 and Kh-58 anti-radiation missiles.

   Successor of the MiG-25 became the MiG-31 (Western reporting name Foxhound). It was adopted in 1982 and currently forms the backbone of the Russia's air defenses. Though the MiG-31 was produced in much smaller numbers.



Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat

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Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat

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MiG-25PU Foxbat-C

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