NATO Designation "Foxbat"
|Entered service in||1972 (MiG-25P/R)|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Length||22.3 - 23.82 m|
|Wing span||14.02 m|
|Maximum take off weight||36 - 41 t|
|Engines||2 x R-15BD-300 turbojet engines (MiG-25PDS)|
|Traction (dry/with afterburning)||2
x 86.30 kN/ (MiG-25PDS)
2 x 109.83 kN (MiG-25PDS)
|Maximum speed||3 000 - 3 200 km/h|
|Service ceiling||20 700 - 24 000 m|
|Flying range||1 250 - 1730 km|
|Aviation gun||30-mm GSh-301 aviation gun|
|Missiles||up to 6 air-to-air missiles including R-40, R-46, R-23, R-24, R-60|
|Bombs||up to 5 t (MiG-25RB)|
The project works to design a Mach 3-capable fighter-interceptor and dedicated reconnaissance aircraft began in Soviet Union in 1959. The main reason developing such aircraft was counteraction against the perspective United States aircraft (such as North American XB-70 "Valkyrie" strategic bomber and Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" reconnaissance aircraft). The first MiG-25 test prototype made it's maiden flight in March 1964. In 1969 the governmental act for testing the first reconnaissance variant of the MiG-25R was signed and in 1970 - for testing the first MiG-25P interceptor. In 1972 both variants entered service with the Soviet air forces.
Aircraft received NATO designation as "Foxbat". The MiG-25 is powered with a high-pressure R-15B-300 engine, designed by S.K.Tumansky. "Foxbat" uses a T-6 high-temperature kerosene as a fuel. Furthermore the T-6 is also used in aircraft cooling system. Due to extremely high speed, lots of aircraft's parts were built from steel and titanium alloys.
Aircraft is completed with KM-1M 0-0 class ejection seat. "Foxbat" is fitted with a powerful radar and automatic fire control system, that is capable of directing aircraft into target without pilot's participation.
In 1970 some Soviet MiG-25 and specialists were directed for aircraft combat tests in Egypt, that was at war with Israel. On the 6th of September 1976 pilot from one of the Far Eastern region of the Soviet Union anti-aircraft regiments made high treason and landed with the MiG-25P in Japan.
Introduced in 1978, the MiG-25PD was the ultimate "Foxbat" variant and featured an RP-25 look-down/shoot-down radar, undernose infrared search and track system, R-15BD-300 engines and provision for a huge ventral fuel tank. Since 1980 to 1982 all Soviet operational MiG-25s were improved. Improved aircraft received absolutely new electronic equipment.
There were developed later mentioned variants of the MiG-25 aircraft:
The MiG-25RB, known as "Foxbat-B" with NATO countries, is a dual role reconnaissance-bomber aircraft. Aircraft is completed with a variety of systems for electronic intelligence and specialized reconnaissance roles. It's other function is to attack stationary ground targets with up to 500 kg weight free fall bombs including nuclear. The MiG-25RB is capable of releasing bombs from altitudes of more than 20 000 meters at supersonic speeds. It is completed with "Peleng" bombardment system that provides automatic drop of up to 10 bombs with overall weight in 5 tones over initially inserted location. Aircraft is completed with means of electronic countermeasures;
The MiG-25RU is a two-seat dedicated trainer of the reconnaissance "Foxbat";
The MiG-25PU "Foxbat-C" is a two-seat conversional trainer of the MiG-25P interceptor with stepped cockpit;
The MiG-25BM "Foxbat-F" is a defense suppression aircraft.
Overall MiG-25 "Foxbat" was in series production since 1972 to 1984. These aircraft participated in Israel-Egypt conflict and Iran-Iraq war. In 2001 the Russian air force operates limited numbers of MiG-25PD/PDS "Foxbat-E" interceptors. These are found with units that predominantly use the MiG-31. Although use of the fighter variants of the fighter variant is diminishing in Russia, reconnaissance variants of the MiG-25 remain important types. Russia operates around 70 MiG-25RBs of various marks; these flew missions during the 1999 campaign in Chechnya.
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. 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" trainers.
Export MiG-25RB/RUs remain in limited service with Algeria (3) and Syria (8) while India's No. 102 Squadron operates dedicated photo reconnaissance 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.
Recently MiG-25 aircraft are replaced with the new generation MiG-31 similar purpose aircraft.