MiG-25: a unique interceptor fighter whose fate was decided by chance

51
MiG-25: a unique interceptor fighter whose fate was decided by chance

In May 1972, the MiG-25 high-altitude supersonic fighter-interceptor entered service with the Soviet army. The winged vehicle had unique characteristics and was significantly ahead of its time.

The prototype of the future “Flying Fox” (MiG-25 according to NATO classification) had the code name E-155P-1 and first took to the skies in September 1964.



Initially, the engineers of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau were faced with a difficult task - to build a fighter that could withstand the American B-58 supersonic bombers and SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. Based on this, the future aircraft was supposed to have outstanding altitude and speed characteristics.

It is worth noting that Soviet designers coped with the task “excellently.” The MiG-25 significantly exceeded military expectations.

The 3rd generation fighter could reach speeds of up to 3000 km/h, which was incredible at that time. Moreover, it achieved this figure with full armament - 4 R-40 missiles.

However, this is not the only characteristic that the Soviet aircraft distinguished itself with. In total, the MiG-25 holds 38 world records.

One of them is flight altitude. In 1977, pilot Alexander Vasilyevich Fedotov managed to lift the car to a record 37 meters. Even modern fifth-generation fighters, such as the American F-650 Raptor, are not capable of this.

Not surprisingly, the Soviet combat aircraft was in great demand. A total of 1966 units were produced in various modifications from 1982 to 1190. At the same time, the “fox” was in service not only in the troops of the USSR, but also in the armies of Libya, Iraq, Iran, Bulgaria and Algeria.

By the way, during the US Army's Operation Desert Storm, the MiG-25, which is in service with the Iraqi Air Force, destroyed an American carrier-based fighter-bomber F/A-18 Hornet in an air battle. The Flying Fox also distinguished itself in the war between Egypt and Israel in 1967-1970. During the conflict, the Soviet interceptor fighter was used extremely successfully by the Egyptian Air Force.

As a matter of fact, the potential inherent in the MiG-25 could allow the modernization and production of the aircraft to continue up to the present time. However, the fate of the unique fighter was decided by chance.

In 1978, one Soviet MiG-25 was hijacked by Senior Lieutenant Viktor Belenko to Japan during a training exercise. Then the car was handed over to the Americans for detailed study.

The US returned the plane back to the USSR two months later. However, during this time the car had already been studied far and wide by American engineers.

  • Wikipedia/Alex Beltyukov
Our news channels

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.

51 comment
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +2
    21 March 2024 11: 16
    Didn't understand. And what did you study? In my opinion, they bought helicopters for themselves for Afghanistan, and they are being produced. Not to mention tanks and other guns
    1. +6
      21 March 2024 11: 40
      The main highlights that interested the Americans were:
      - radio-electronic equipment, especially friend-or-foe identification equipment;
      - airframe materials - composition of stainless steel and titanium.
      Well, everything else that is interesting to any competitor.
      According to leaked reviews, the Americans were literally struck by the primitivism of some of the solutions, which nevertheless made it possible to solve the assigned problems. And they called this primitivism genius.
      1. +2
        21 March 2024 19: 36
        I knew a pilot who saw the condition in which the Americans returned the plane to us. They returned it in containers, disassembled, and the entire surface of the plane was covered in holes (apparently they took metal samples + measured the thickness of the metal in different areas). There were different opinions on the aircraft locator: although the equipment was outdated, in those temperature conditions the lamp equipment worked much more reliably than the semiconductor equipment of those times.
        1. The comment was deleted.
          1. 0
            22 March 2024 13: 28
            Secret bombs on a secret plane - that's cool!
          2. Eug
            0
            22 March 2024 15: 16
            Wow, I didn’t know that bombs have become cheaper for the interceptor...
    2. 0
      22 March 2024 15: 31
      You seem to be still a teenager and haven’t lived in the USSR for 70 years. in those days, planes and helicopters didn’t get to the amers so easily, unless it was due to betrayal.
  2. +5
    21 March 2024 11: 17
    The MiG-25 was hijacked by Senior Lieutenant Viktor Belenko to Japan
    And then this creature gave interviews in the USA and gave advice to American pilots on how to more easily destroy our planes
    1. +3
      21 March 2024 11: 32
      And the most important thing is that he died peacefully by his own death.
  3. +3
    21 March 2024 11: 25
    As a matter of fact, the potential inherent in the MiG-25 could allow the modernization and production of the aircraft to continue up to the present time. However, the fate of the unique fighter was decided by chance....


    This is a controversial statement: the modernization of the MiG-25 and R-40 after the hijacking provided new capabilities to the interception complex.
    It’s a pity that modernization options for a new radar and 6 R-27 missiles were not implemented. The main drawback of the aircraft is its voracious engines.
    1. -4
      21 March 2024 11: 32
      The main drawback of the aircraft is its voracious engines.


      this problem has not been solved today: there is not enough engineering potential to create or modernize aircraft engines
      Another thing is that our decisions are made mainly political, hence the engineering “deficiencies” in everything: nothing is done at the “snap of a finger”
      1. +2
        21 March 2024 19: 48
        Quote: Pavel57
        The main drawback of the aircraft is its voracious engines.
        The engines were created for high flight speeds, so it’s not worth demanding excellent performance from them even at subsonic speeds. The MiG-25 was the only aircraft where the speed was limited from above. That is, the pilot was not recommended to accelerate above a certain speed, although this was not a problem for the engine. Exceeding the maximum speed could lead to the corrugation of the aircraft's skin, after which it would only be written off.
        1. -3
          21 March 2024 20: 30
          The engines were created for high flight speeds, so it’s not worth demanding excellent performance from them even at subsonic speeds. The MiG-25 was the only aircraft where the speed was limited from above.

          I was talking about “engines” (and not just one) which are still missing neither on the IL-76, nor on the AN-124, nor on the Tu-204/214, not on the MS, etc. by the list
      2. +3
        21 March 2024 19: 53
        Quote: Dedok
        there is not enough engineering potential to create or modernize aircraft engines

        Our new AL-51F1 engine (product 30) surpassed the American Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 in its performance characteristics. Therefore, there is no need to live for yesterday: beat the trick, Grandpa! laughing
        1. -1
          21 March 2024 20: 26
          Our new AL-51F1 engine (product 30)

          and I’m slapping and playing slashing: where is the AL-51F1 placed?
          1. +2
            21 March 2024 21: 07
            Quote: Dedok
            AL-51F1 is placed where?

            It is installed on the Su-57M... And about the engine, I mean that ours have not been slurping cabbage soup with bast shoes for a long time.
            And what’s interesting: what our “nuclear scientists” won’t take on is that they end up with an atomic bomb! (I decided not to remember about Kalash, because this is already a hackneyed phrase from an old joke!) laughing
            AHA.
            1. -2
              21 March 2024 21: 11
              It is installed on the Su-57M..

              so it's not there yet??!
              1. +2
                21 March 2024 21: 26
                Quote: Dedok
                so it's not there yet??!

                ASZ K-n-A produces 12 units per year. The squadron is already in formation. By 2026, they promised to complete as many as 76 units. A new workshop was built, new equipment and equipment were installed...
                This is probably why MS-21 was moved to the right.
                So, all is not lost - hope is still alive.
                (she is known to be the last to die!) fellow
                1. -1
                  22 March 2024 07: 22
                  ASZ K-n-A produces 12 units per year.


                  so this is SU-57
                  and you were talking about the SU-57M, but they are not being produced...
                  What are we talking about?
        2. +1
          23 March 2024 23: 52
          It’s lucky that there are still engine factories in Russia, otherwise there would have been a problem like with engines for turntables
    2. 0
      30 March 2024 10: 06
      That's exactly what it is. The fate of the Mig-25 was decided by its extreme inefficiency and the small radius of combat use as a result. Well, Belenko was certainly a factor, but far from decisive.
  4. +6
    21 March 2024 11: 30
    A small author's inaccuracy, the plane was hijacked in 1976, not 1978
  5. +4
    21 March 2024 11: 38
    Well, he didn't disappear completely. It gave birth to the offspring, the high-altitude interceptor MiG-31, which has now received a new profession of dispersing the Kinzhal, and the light fighters MiG-29, which the Ukrainians are still fighting with, and the MiG-35, which for a number of reasons did not go into production. The main reason is Sukhoi's dominance in the domestic market and loss in the Indian market.
    1. +3
      21 March 2024 12: 30
      Just for posterity. None of the aircraft you listed are no longer in production; some left the assembly shops half a century ago. And don’t blame the Sukhoi Design Bureau - they had their own niche where they successfully solved the assigned tasks. Until the liberal reformers came. But in general, of course, they only knew how to make galoshes before... But now - wow!
  6. +2
    21 March 2024 11: 40
    Well, you looked overseas at this car, so what? Were you able to do something similar? - no, they didn’t pull. But in the USSR, the MiG-31 was created, which, although it was not so fast and high-altitude (they held their horses a little), but its functionality still gives a head start to many, if not all, Western aircraft.
    1. +2
      21 March 2024 17: 18
      Well, you looked overseas at this car, so what? Were you able to do something similar? - no, they didn’t pull.

      For what tasks would it be needed in the West?
      1. 0
        22 March 2024 13: 32
        Apparently the Americans have not yet created hypersound because there are no tasks in the West for it.
  7. +1
    21 March 2024 11: 43
    entered service in 72, and took part in the conflict in 1967-70... how so?...
    1. +7
      21 March 2024 12: 34
      Of course, we are talking about the 73 war. But everything is simple here - the author took a note from Wikipedia and placed it here under his name. By the way, there was no MiG-25 in the Egyptian Air Force at all. That famous flight across all of Israel was carried out by our pilot on our plane. The Egyptians were not allowed anywhere near the MiG-25 at that time.
  8. +2
    21 March 2024 12: 18
    Quote: faterdom
    Well, he didn't disappear completely. It gave birth to the offspring, the high-altitude interceptor MiG-31, which has now received a new profession of dispersing the Kinzhal, and the light fighters MiG-29, which the Ukrainians are still fighting with, and the MiG-35, which for a number of reasons did not go into production. The main reason is Sukhoi's dominance in the domestic market and loss in the Indian market.


    Yes, initially the MiG-29 resembled a smaller MiG-25. But it is incorrect to consider it a direct descendant of the MiG-25.

    The dominance of Sukhoi's aircraft was due to the energy of Simonov and the passivity of Belyakov.
    1. -2
      21 March 2024 13: 00
      Direct does not mean similar or interfering. Simply proven technology has received specialization as a light fighter (29, 35), and a high-altitude, high-speed interceptor fighter. With different weights, weapons and fuel consumption. And this is reasonable, just as now working on the SU-57 we came up with the idea of ​​the SU-75.
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. -6
    21 March 2024 13: 07
    The carelessness of the management. I will never believe that no one knew Belenko’s mood. What were the special officers doing then?
    And returning the plane was simple: either we take it away, or at the place where it landed there will be a crater from tactical nuclear weapons. They got involved in cohabitation... They screwed up...
    1. +2
      21 March 2024 14: 04
      Quote: ROSS 42
      The carelessness of the management. I will never believe that no one knew Belenko’s moods

      You, Yuri Vasilyevich, are reporting some absurdities (I didn’t downvote you), about the carelessness of the leadership, and about the special officers, and about the crater from tactical nuclear weapons and the like.
      Ours, by the way, did not take the plane, they tried to return it in a disassembled state (in boxes), but they refused.
      The text itself for this video is quite ridiculous, with a lot of inaccuracies.
      While serving in the army, I had the opportunity to cross paths with the former commander Belenko, who let the traitor himself go on an independent flight, that is, he was directly involved in his flight training.
      At that time, I mean joint service with this commander - he had been on ground service for a long time and, characteristically, his eyes were constantly frightened.
      In your language, apparently the special officers put a lot of pressure on me for being co-workers.
      1. 0
        21 March 2024 14: 49
        Quote: bober1982
        You, Yuri Vasilyevich, are reporting some absurdities

        Better a bitter truth than a sweet lie... Here, for my father-in-law, who received a prison sentence for stabbing him while drunk, they returned the documents, but here he is 27 years old, with a family: wife, child - urine hit his head for no apparent reason.
        I saw how special officers got things done and received titles. It's disgusting to remember. A downtrodden soldier from an Altai village was turned into a spy, but the traitor was not seen...
        As for the use of tactical nuclear weapons, do you think that we have concluded a peace treaty with Japan? Or are you not aware of how the Americans bombed a military airfield on the Sukhaya River in the 50s?
        So, if they wanted, to hell with it, but they didn’t get the Mig-25.
        * * *
        This is a thing of the past and there is no desire to stir it up, especially since 87% of users have their own cunning plans for answers and victories... How many people did the Nazis kill in Belgorod last time? Soon they will send NATO to Ukraine (they might). And they will drive you away, but Russia does not answer them in kind, why not continue to spread rot on us?
        1. +3
          21 March 2024 15: 11
          Quote: ROSS 42
          Better the bitter truth than a sweet lie...

          And the bitter truth is that Belenko was an exemplary Soviet man and officer, he did not drink, did not debauch, was constantly elected to all kinds of party cells, and so on.
          After the collapse of the Union, the Americans were no longer interested in this scoundrel.
          1. 0
            21 March 2024 15: 13
            Quote: bober1982
            After the collapse of the Union, the Americans were no longer interested in this scoundrel.

            Naturally, this bastard died in the USA at the age of 74...
            And after him there was KGB General Kalugin, exemplary in all respects...
            1. 0
              21 March 2024 20: 13
              Quote: ROSS 42
              And after him there was KGB General Kalugin, exemplary in all respects...

              And then there was Kozyrev, who sincerely believed that Russia had no national interests other than American ones! And Eltsin himself sincerely asked the Lord to “bless Omerika”! Therefore, why should we be surprised that “Tolik the Red One” went beyond the cordon without any hindrance...
              And you say: - Stalin was a bloody dictator! and now we are ruled by the “bloody GEBNYA”...
              (and SMERSH is never created...apparently they are afraid for their relatives...)
              It's a pity.
      2. +2
        21 March 2024 15: 12
        Ours, by the way, didn’t take the plane, they tried to return it disassembled (in boxes), but they refused....

        Not like that, they took it, collected it. But they didn’t fly - it’s located on the territory of the Sokol NGAZ.
    2. 0
      21 March 2024 15: 24
      Start TMB because of an airplane (the Americans would respond with the same nuclear strike)? Funny.
      1. 0
        21 March 2024 15: 29
        Quote: Kmon
        Funny.

        It’s funny that Hokkaido is not US territory, and all these antics and jumps in 1976 would have looked funny if there had been the same SVD block.
        1. 0
          21 March 2024 17: 15
          Since “Hokkaido is not US territory,” then we can safely strike? won’t they dare to be indignant?
          1. 0
            21 March 2024 18: 02
            Quote: george.old
            won’t they dare to be indignant?

            If they learn the infinitive - “to be outraged”...
            1. 0
              21 March 2024 18: 12
              but in essence?
              IMHO Westerners cannot be considered herbivores and count on being able to answer
              1. 0
                21 March 2024 18: 51
                Quote: george.old
                but in essence?

                How many more examples do you need? to understand that the West is good for cows and sheep, and the sheep itself is good for the good guy...
                1. -1
                  21 March 2024 19: 16
                  submariners on nuclear submarines who have been working near Russian bases for weeks, where do the Americans discharge them from?
    3. +2
      21 March 2024 20: 02
      Quote: ROSS 42
      And returning the plane was easy:

      You will not believe! They returned the WHOLE plane, but disassembled in parts and packed in 18 (!) polished boxes!!! And the Yankees were stunned when they saw our BES on LAMPS! They did not break down due to the heating of the MiG body, like the transistors on their electronic hardware. I didn’t come up with this myself, a major, the GSS for Vietnam, told us this when there was a friendly “meeting” in Monino. Yes
  11. +2
    21 March 2024 13: 40
    Airplane hijacking is just one of the reasons. Or rather just an excuse. A smooth modernization with the replacement of components with more modern ones could well change the performance characteristics, making the American knowledge obsolete.
    The main problem of the theft was the leak of information through the Svoy Alien system. The enemy’s awareness is unacceptable and everything had to be changed, which cost a huge fortune.
  12. +1
    21 March 2024 14: 18
    A prototype of the future "Flying Fox" (MiG-25 according to NATO classification)
    Flying fox. Foxbat - this was the name of the MiG-25 in the NATO Air Force - fox bat. Like Batman.
  13. 0
    21 March 2024 15: 14
    Quote: garri-lin
    Airplane hijacking is just one of the reasons. Or rather just an excuse. A smooth modernization with the replacement of components with more modern ones could well change the performance characteristics, making the American knowledge obsolete.
    The main problem of the theft was the leak of information through the Svoy Alien system. The enemy’s awareness is unacceptable and everything had to be changed, which cost a huge fortune.


    Everything is correct, but there is a nuance: ours were already planning to replace the “friend or foe” system, they just had to do it hastily. Forced modernization only improved the interceptor. And she allowed it to be sold for export.
  14. 0
    21 March 2024 15: 19
    Quote: faterdom
    Direct does not mean similar or interfering. Simply proven technology has received specialization as a light fighter (29, 35), and a high-altitude, high-speed interceptor fighter. With different weights, weapons and fuel consumption...

    What technology transferred from the MiG-25 to the MiG-25? Welding a steel body, or what?
  15. Eug
    +1
    21 March 2024 18: 55
    Under the MiG-25 in Penza, a digital (based on 2x SM-2M) simulator was made with three degrees of mobility and visualization of the landing airfield area. It would take a long time to talk about all the advantages, I will only say that with this simulator, SVVAULSH graduates made their first flight on the MiG-25 PDS after about six months of arriving in the regiment and without a year of “advanced” training on the Su-15TM.
  16. +1
    22 March 2024 15: 22
    Stolen in '78. As a result of this, the amers realized that the aircraft was low-maneuverable and was not designed for air combat, but only to fly in a straight line. The USSR changed the system of identifying friend or foe. And the plane was in service until the early 90s at least. I served on these in '91

"Right Sector" (banned in Russia), "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" (UPA) (banned in Russia), ISIS (banned in Russia), "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham" formerly "Jabhat al-Nusra" (banned in Russia) , Taliban (banned in Russia), Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), Anti-Corruption Foundation (banned in Russia), Navalny Headquarters (banned in Russia), Facebook (banned in Russia), Instagram (banned in Russia), Meta (banned in Russia), Misanthropic Division (banned in Russia), Azov (banned in Russia), Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia), Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia), AUE (banned in Russia), UNA-UNSO (banned in Russia), Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people (banned in Russia), Legion “Freedom of Russia” (armed formation, recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation and banned), Kirill Budanov (included to the Rosfinmonitoring list of terrorists and extremists)

“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev Lev; Ponomarev Ilya; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; Mikhail Kasyanov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"