The Russian MiG-25 Foxbat was the Russian response to the SR-71 Blackbird, unveiled by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968.
The SR-71 flew faster and higher than anything else, making it apparently uncatchable. However, the Soviets thought they had the perfect solution.
A New and Terrifying Aircraft
The MiG-25 Foxbat was created to go head to head with the B-70 Valkyrie, which never came. However, the MiG-25 made the perfect opponent for the SR-71.
The United States only made the SR-71 in small batches. The Soviets, on the other hand, made 1,200 MiG-25s. The Soviet Union sent some to Iraq, Syria, and Libya, but many of the planes stayed there.
The Foxbat topped out at 2,156 miles per hour and fired an AA-6 Acrid. The weapon had a 150-pound warhead with a max range of 30 miles at speeds up to Mach 4.5.
The Soviets originally created the plane to take out bombers, but there was a lot that the U.S. did not know about the plane. First was in the Yom Kippur War, the MiG-25s outflew the Israeli F-4s, a concerning feat.
The Air Force decided it needed another plane that could take on the MiG-25, and the F-15 Eagle was born. The two planes battled it out in the Middle East.
The F-15 Eagle was victorious, and the MiG-25 shrank into second. However, some believe that Scott Speicher, a F/A-18 Hornet pilot, was shot down by a MiG-25 on the first day of Desert Storm.
But no one knows for sure. Others are positive it wasn't an Iraqi MiG-25 but an SA-2 Guideline. But, of course, we will never know for sure.
Frequently Asked Questions About the MiG-25 Foxbat
What is the MiG-25 Foxbat?
The MiG-25, also known as Foxbat, is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service.
Who produced the Foxbat?
The MiG-25 Foxbat was produced by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan design bureau.
When was the MiG-25 first introduced?
The Foxbat was first introduced in 1970 by the Soviet Air Defence Forces.
How fast can it fly?
The MiG-25 Foxbat can reach a top speed of up to Mach 2.83. However, the aircraft can reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.2, but with the risk of significant damage to the engines.
What is the purpose of the MiG-25 Foxbat?
The primary purpose of the MiG-25 is for intercepting enemy aircraft and for reconnaissance missions. Its high speed and altitude capabilities make it perfect for these roles.
How many crew members can the MiG-25 accommodate?
The MiG-25 Foxbat can accommodate only one crew member (pilot).
Are there still any MiG-25 Foxbats in service today?
Though the MiG-25 was phased out of Russian service in 1994, a few are still believed to be operational in countries like Algeria and Syria.
What replaced the MiG-25 Foxbat in Russian service?
The MiG-31 Foxhound is the aircraft that replaced the MiG-25 in Russian service. It was a further development of the MiG-25 design.
What types of weapons can the MiG-25 Foxbat carry?
The MiG-25 can be equipped with four R-40 (AA-6 'Acrid') air-to-air missiles for its interceptor role.
Does the MiG-25 Foxbat have any reconnaissance capabilities?
Yes, there are versions of the MiG-25 that were designed specifically for reconnaissance. The MiG-25R, for example, is equipped with advanced cameras and sensors for reconnaissance missions.