Home History Inside the MiG-25, a Supersonic Fighter Second to All

Inside the MiG-25, a Supersonic Fighter Second to All

by Enochadmin

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 was a product—and sufferer—of the temporary vogue of supersonic nuclear bombers, particularly the Mach 3 North American XB-70 Valkyrie. Work started on the MiG-25 in mid-1959 and it made its debut flight, with a reconnaissance variant, the Ye-155-R1, on March 6, 1964. The interceptor prototype, Ye-155-P1, first flew on September 9, 1964. By then the intercontinental ballistic missile had redefined the Chilly Battle “steadiness of terror” and the XB-70 had been scrapped, however the emergence of the Lockheed A-12 (and later SR-71 Blackbird) Mach 3 reconnaissance planes gave the MiG one thing to intercept. Upon its first public look in July 1967, the MiG-25 set 29 velocity, altitude and time-to-climb data, a few of which nonetheless stand. In 1976, nevertheless, when Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko defected to Japan, his MiG-25 “Foxbat” (because the North Atlantic Treaty Group codenamed it) revealed an obese mass of stainless-steel, because the Russians lacked the chopping instruments and expertise to work with the titanium that made the SR-71 a lot extra profitable.

The MiG design bureau remained dedicated to provide a complete of 1,190 Foxbats, and the airplane’s velocity made them fairly helpful high-speed reconnaissance planes, even when they remained second in efficiency to their Blackbird rivals. They had been additionally utilized in digital intelligence, coaching and bombing. Though the examine of Belenko’s airplane devalued the MiG-25s, it did earn them worldwide gross sales among the many air arms of Libya, Syria, Algeria, Iraq and India. They noticed fight over the Center East, particularly within the Eighties, when Iraqi plane dueled these of Iran. Most uncharacteristically, on January 17, 1991, it was a MiG-25 flown by Lieutenant Zuhair Dawood of No.84 Squadron, Iraqi air pressure, that shot down an F/A-18 Hornet of fighter-attack squadron VFA-81 “Sunliners” off the plane provider USS Saratoga. Its pilot, Lieutenant Commander Michael Scott Speicher, was the primary American killed in motion throughout Operation Desert Storm.  


An illustration of a MiG-25 fighter jet.
(Adam Tooby)

MIG-25P SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Crew: 1
  • Wingspan: 46 ft
  • Wing space: 661 sq. ft
  • Size: 78 ft 2 inches
  • Top: 20 ft
  • Empty weight: 44,092 lb.
  • Totally loaded weight: 80,954 lb.
  • Engines: 2 Tumansky R-15B-300 afterburning turbo jets, 16,500 lbf. thrust every dry, 22,500 lbf. on afterburner
  • Operational most velocity: Mach 2.83
  • Climb price: 40,900 ft. per min.
  • Service ceiling: 67,900 ft. with 4 missiles
  • Vary: 1,160 miles at Mach 0.9; 1,013 miles at Mach 2.35
  • Armament: 4 R-40R/T air to air missiles (NATO code designation AA-6 Acrid)

this text first appeared in AVIATION HISTORY journal

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