MIG-25RB aircraft reconnaissance bomber equipped with CPC-4A system
After the Government of the UAR appealed to the Government of our country to assist in the war with Israel, in the summer of 1970, a group of specialists, pilots of the leading units of the Air Force who mastered the MiG-21 with the new equipment and MiG-25, were formed for practical work in Egypt. These aircraft have already been equipped with serial complexes. Our navigation equipment was manufactured in Kazan, and ground navigation and landing systems in Chelyabinsk. An interesting and instructive was the approach of the Government of the country to the serial development of new aviation systems. So, for the release of only the first four sets of airborne radionavigation equipment of the MiG-21 and MiG-25 aircraft, the main designers who ensured its configuration, commissioning to the Customer, received a cash premium of half the value of the Zhiguli car. At NII-33 there were only three such chief designers. True, in order to fulfill the Government’s assignment, the chief designers had to spend days in the shops of the factories, and to sleep in the offices of the foremen. Simultaneously with the equipment of mass-produced aircraft, work continued on landfills to improve the tactics of bombing and reconnaissance flights of these unique machines. The Romb-33K and Iskra-K radionavigation complexes created by the chief designers of the Scientific Research Institute-1 together with the on-board inertial system made it possible for the first time to ensure automatic flight along the selected route along pre-installed intermediate points of the route and approach. Our country then led the world in this scientific direction. The onboard complex of the MiG-25 aircraft independently solved the task of reaching the next PPM taking into account the speed and altitude of the flight, the wind speed, the angle of demolition, and this at altitudes of more than 22 km and speeds of more than 2,4M. The aiming task, as the tests showed, was solved with an error not exceeding 40-60 meters. MiG-25RB could carry up to 8 heat-resistant high-explosive bombs FAB-500T and TM. These bombs were equipped with a thermal insulation coating, as during the flight the body of the aircraft and the bombs were heated due to aerodynamic resistance up to 300 degrees Celsius. Bombing at the site in Belarus showed results that were recorded for the first time. The warheads dropped from a height of more than 22 km and speed 2,5М, by inertia independently reached the target at a distance of 40 km, the plane in this case did not need to enter the enemy's air defense zone, it could make a U-turn and go to the home airfield. The bombs, when they reached the surface of the earth, went down into the ground because of their high speed, and during the time of the explosion they managed to cover a distance of several tens of meters underground. In the area of the bomb explosion two craters formed. In March, the 1971 of the year received an order, and a trained group of specialists, flight personnel arrived in Egypt.
Radio beacons of a radio engineering system of short-range radio navigation were preliminarily installed in the area of the airfield, and radio beacons of an instrumental landing system were installed at the airfield of Cairo-West. The aerodromes of the MiG-21 aircraft were also equipped. Domestic radionavigation systems and instrumental landing worked in the range of the American TAKAN system, so the Israelis did not interfere with the decrease in the efficiency of our systems. After unloading four MiG-25 aircraft, they were immediately rolled into the hangar for assembly. By luck, Israeli aircraft did not bomb them. Over time, the aircraft began to be placed in shelters that remained from the TU-16 bombers, and only in October, the MiG-25 was placed in special caponiers. The commander of the squad A.S. Bezhevets reported to the Chief Military Advisor, Colonel-General V.V. Okunev about the readiness of the group to perform the tasks.
Photo taken in 197] from MiG-25P
The first flights of the MiG-25P took place over Egyptian territory, and from the second half of May, the pilots began combat flights over the Suez Canal. Before the flight, when the pilot was already in the seat, the chief designer of the product “Rhomb-1K”, using the encryption received from Moscow, installed the flight route with all the airplanes. In this case, the entrance to the enemy zone was carried out in one place, and the output was completely different. Therefore, Israeli pilots practically needed to control the entire flight space above the Sinai Peninsula. After three flights, the route of our scout’s movement has already been established by an officer from the Begevets squad. The takeoff of the MiG-25Р and MiG-25РБ always covered the link of the MiG-21 fighters, which were in front and behind. After the MiG-25Р and MiG-25РБ were dispersed to the speed equal to 2,5М, the need for cover disappeared, and the fighters returned to the bases. Flights of a pair of scouts were conducted at altitudes of 22-23 km.
Over the Sinai Peninsula, the MiG-25R and MiG-25RB constantly tried to intercept the Israeli Mirage and Phantom fighters, but the speeds and altitudes were different. Therefore, Soviet pilots observed these intercepts from above, although each time it was alarming that someone was warning the enemy about the time of departure. The tactics of Israeli aviation to intercept the MiG-25R and MiG-25RB were constantly changing. This tactic, apparently, was developed by the command of the Israeli Air Force and the United States. “Phantoms” and “Mirages” appeared strictly on the opposite course, for an attack they had to aim and launch their Sparrow and Sidewind missiles in a short moment. Israeli aircraft could gain altitude of only 18,4 km, while it was necessary to raise the nose of the machine for launching rockets. The probability of falling into a tailspin during such a maneuver was very high. When attacking from the back hemisphere and at the passing courses, Israeli pilots had to fly for some time under our scout or bomber, then also raise the nose of the car, capture the MiG in sight and launch missiles. According to the explanations received from the Design Bureau, such maneuvers were unlikely, but still possible for very experienced pilots. When taking the handle on itself for aiming, the enemy’s aircraft at extreme height and maximum speed underwent great vibrations, which interfered with the operation of capturing the target. Yes, there was a chance of falling into a tailspin. The flights of the first four MiG-25 continued until the middle of summer 1972. The films decrypted at the headquarters of the Chief Military Advisor made it possible to open the entire structure of the Israel defense lines, air defense networks, and fix all airfields, masked warehouses, shelters, and armored vehicles. The quality of the pictures taken from a height of more than 20 km by domestic AFA A-70M aerial cameras was excellent. The situation on the front line was recorded about 200 km. In the pictures, distinct groups of people and even cars were distinguished. In one picture, the official car of the Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir was recorded, he was recognized by the numbers. Information on the structure of the Bar-Leva defense line along the Suez Canal was interesting. Antitank weapons were clearly visible, the density of which reached 12 tanks and 5 guns per kilometer of front. The space between the strongholds was filled with wire and mine barriers. Surprise among the military experts caused the presence of large storage facilities on the banks of the canal, they resembled fire reservoirs. Accuracy brought one of the officers who fought with the Nazis during the Second World War.
These are oil storages, the contents of which were to be transported to the Suez Canal through branch ducts and set on fire at the time of the outbreak of hostilities by the Egyptian army. Yes, so the Germans still poured the steep left bank of the Neva on the Nevsky Heel, only with water, so that the assault groups of the Red Army of the Leningrad Front could not climb it to develop an attack. One of the officers looked at these buildings for a long time and then said quietly: “Well, at least in the pool there is oil, not shit.” There was a silence, then the officers standing nearby just smiled. The second line of defense was at a distance of 50-kilo-meters from the channel through the passes of Giddi and Mitla. Here, an extensive network of roads and pipelines was prepared for the transfer of reserves. MiG-25Р, equipped with electronic reconnaissance equipment, also recorded radio interference jamming centers at Goebbel-Umm Mahas, all air defense radar stations and anti-aircraft batteries. As a result, in Moscow, they created digital maps of all the proposed combat areas. Israeli air defense weapons with Hawk missiles could not pose a threat to the MiG-25Р and MiG-25РБ, since they hit air targets at altitudes up to 13 km. Flights for MiG (s) have already been laid before distances greater than 2000 km from the home airfield using a spare under-body tank with a volume of 5300 liters. The danger for the MiG-25Р and MiG-25РБ could be represented by the American Nike-Hercules air defense system, but information about their supplies to Israel in the squad has not yet arrived. The only thing that the Israelis could have opposed to the MiG-25Р and MiG-25РБ unhindered flights was the UN protests. And not in vain, in Moscow they began to work out the possibility of using heat-resistant bombs, including for the bombing of the capital of Israel. In July, 1972, all specialists of the squad returned to their homeland. The "business trip" is over.
At the beginning of autumn 1973, the 47 personnel of the Separate Guards reconnaissance aviation regiment was alerted. A detachment was formed from the most experienced pilots and engineers of the engineering and technical staff to relocate to Egypt. In the order were the words: "... to ensure readiness for the application of bombing strikes ...". The new squad included pilots who took part in the fighting back in 1972.
In October 1973, the Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal and attacked Israeli forces. Another Arab-Israeli war began, which lasted 18 days. It ended where it began - on the banks of the Suez Canal. The Soviet military experts could not teach the local military units to fight. In these countries they want others to fight for their interests. Responding mentally to the question “what did the specialists of the MiG-25Р and MiG-25РБ teams prepare,” the answer is that the war.
During the period of all hostilities, both in this country and in other countries, there was no disruption of military operations due to the refusal of the radionavigation complexes created at the Scientific Research Institute-33. In 1979, by the decision of the Government, I was transferred from NII-33 to work in Moscow to head one of the General Administrations of the USSR Ministry of Radio Industry. I gave my duties to the chief designer to the deputies. Ensuring the release of new systems, creating new enterprises and expanding existing ones, I never forgot about the need to take care of the chief designers subordinate to the Main Directorate of the Research Institute and Design Bureau. After all, these specialists create competitive systems and products. They invent and propose new solutions, which, as the experience of many military conflicts has shown, give indisputable advantages to our country over potential adversaries. At the end of each year, I received information about the wages of chief designers under the jurisdiction of research institutes and design bureaus. And, if their salary was lower than the head of the enterprise, then we found an opportunity to convince the Minister to correct this injustice. Therefore, our leading research institutes and design offices prepared dozens of inventions that were implemented in specific systems. Many chief designers were awarded the title of State Prize Laureates.
At present, managers - managers of our research institutes and design bureaus are not at all interested in developing the competitiveness of the systems and complexes being created, in their opinion, the introduction of inventions into development is something secondary. The cost of intangible assets of high-tech enterprises in the country compared to the book value of the business entity is a fraction of a percent. Which is completely wrong. Abroad, the value of intangible assets of enterprises is commensurate with the book value. The main designers for the inventive activity, the introduction of innovations in the development of their systems practically do not receive any monetary incentives. Before the restructuring, when competitive systems and products were produced, the picture was different.