Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft, which is, regarded as one of the fastest military aircraft to ever enter in military service. The aircraft was developed initially by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich Bureau. This is one of the earliest aircraft to be developed by using stainless steel material and was the last plane to be ever designed by Mikhail Gurevich before he left due to his retirement.
The first prototype of this aircraft flew back in 1964 and entered in the regular service back in 1970. This state of the art aircraft has a top speed of Mach 2.83. Its other main features include it to have been equipped with a powerful radar system along with four air-to-air missiles.
When this aircraft flew for the very first time, it caused huge waves in the West and prompted the dramatic increase in the research and development of the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle Aircraft of USA.
This aircraft is regarded as the symbol of the Cold War. It has flown in service for the Soviet allies and former Soviet republics.
For our readers today, we have guttered a few of the amazing facts about MiG-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics which are as follows.
Designed to take on XB-70 Valkyrie:-
MiG-25; NATO codename Foxbat was developed in response to the threat of the American Supersonic B-58 Bomber which was able to break through any anti-aircraft defense of that era along with the capability to inflict the nuclear strike.
Flight interceptors of the Soviet Union at that time were not able to counter against the B-58 Bombers, as they were excelled marvels of speed and altitude performance. In addition to the B-58 Bombers, Russian inceptors were also helpless in front of the Lockheed SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, which were able to have a top speed of Mach 2.8.
The Soviet Union, at that time, had MiG-21 and Su-15 fighter jets in their military service and they were completely helpless against the XB-70 Valkyrie strategic bomber.
While the MiG-25 was developed in response to the Valkyrie, these two aircraft were never fated to meet each other because of the Valkyrie not going into series production.
This aircraft is to be guided semi-automatically towards its target:-
The one peculiar thing about this aircraft was that its airframe was something that had never before been seen in the fighter aviation designs.
The aircraft’s airframe comes with the following specifications.
- lateral intakes with horizontal intake ramp
- twin tailfin
- wings were thin with low aspect ratio and in a trapezoid shape
The aircraft comes with two engines that were located near the rear fuselage section of the aircraft. Due to this peculiar design geometry, the aircraft, in that era was able to achieve many speed records along with its innovative maneuverability.
The electronic equipment of this aircraft was presented onboard which meant that this aircraft could be guided to a target for the very first time in fighter jet history in a semi-automatic mode. This feature was also essential to be incorporated in this aircraft due to its closing speeds to which normal human reflexes were not able to respond.
The aircraft would get really hot:-
The top speed of this aircraft is averagely Mach 2.83 but it could break the threshold of Mach 3.2 at the risk of causing major damage to its engines.
Due to the aircraft being capable of reaching such high speeds, its temperature would rise somewhere in between 570 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to this major problem, normal materials could not be used in the development of this aircraft.
The only possible answer to its development was the material, “Titanium” which at that time Americans had also selected for their aircraft developments. Due to this dilemma, Russian engineers placed their faith into Stainless Steel, which accounted for nearly 80% of the total weight design of the final product. Titanium and other materials like heatproof aluminum alloys were used for other parts.
MiG-25’s development caused emergency hearings in the US Congress:-
The developmental project and later the test programs of this aircraft were being carried out under strict secrecy throughout the whole process.
The aircraft was first unveiled to the world back on July 6th, 1967 for fly past at the Air Force Day at Domodedovo airport outside Moscow.
Four of these fighter jets flew over the stands at the low level and the commentator announced to the world that a new fighter, capable of reaching 1800mph speeds has entered in the world of aviation.
This was not good news for the West and soon after it was announced to the world, an emergency meeting was conducted in the US Congress.
The result of these hearings was to start the work ASAP on a new class of fighter-interceptors like F-14 and F-15. Due to them being prompted into development after MiG-25’s announcement, both of these aircraft also features a twin tail design but unlike MiG-25, they lacked substantially in speed and altitude.
One MiG-25 defected from the Soviet Union:-
Back in September of 1976 a second lieutenant named Viktor Belenko from the Soviet Union flew a MiG-25 from an airbase and landed it on the island of Hokkaido located in the Far East to Japan. After arriving there, the pilot requested for political asylum.
The aircraft on that island was dismantled and examined by the American engineers and specialists. This aircraft was later returned to the Soviet Union after one and half month in dismantled form due to requests of Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After this, the aircraft was then again sent into further developments. The entirety of its electronic systems was replaced and the final product of these advancements was a fighter jet with state of the art never seen before target location and tracking systems. The aircraft’s name was also changed from MiG-25 to MiG-25PD.
This aircraft holds 29 records to its name and one particular record has not been beaten even to this day. This record is for the “Altitude”.
This aircraft holds the record of climbing an altitude of 123,523 feet above the earth. The record was set by the Soviet test pilot named Alexander Fedotov.