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MiG 25, FOXBAT set to retire - End of an Era

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posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 08:35 AM
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Early next month the Indian Air Force will be retiring from service its squadron of one of the world’s best high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, the super secret MiG 25, code named FOXBAT by NATO.
It was the only High Altitude Strategic Reconnaissance aircraft in the world, other than the American SR-71, to fly routinely to the edge of space to take quality photographs over varied terrain.

Introduced into service in 1981, the planes, equipped with powerful cameras and sensors, were part of the 106 Trisonics squadron at Bareilly in Northern India.

I remember, in the early 90s, whilst stationed at Bareilly, it used to be a glorious site to see the FOXBATs taking off with a thunderous roar, their after-burners lighting up the midnight sky, streaking up to the edge of space to fly sorties over Pakistan and China. At a cruising speed of over mach 2 and altitude of almost 80,000 feet, they were well above radar cover and SAM range.

Now with these tasks being performed by her own remote sensing satellites with resolutions of two meters and less, the FOXBAT’s time has finally come to say adieu.
Undoubtedly, the end of an unforgettable era.

A super aircraft, that has carved a niche for itself in the annals of aviation history.

Mod Edit: Added in Link for EX source. Thanks

[edit on 4/9/06 by FredT]

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 11:03 AM
The western military has feared that plane since its first fligh... It sure is an end of an era...

Some pics...


What is it that makes the MiG-25 so fast...??

[edit on 7-4-2006 by Figher Master FIN]

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 12:50 PM

Originally posted by Figher Master FIN


What is it that makes the MiG-25 so fast...??

Huh? Aside from the speed-optimized aerodynamics the engines of course... On paper they have less thrust than for example the F-15 engines, but they were optimized to work at great heights, where the lower dense air made acceleration easier. The plane would not have been very effective in regular air defense role - massive fuel consumption, bad turn rate, low initial acceleration. The massive Radar could have helped though.

[edit on 7/4/2006 by Lonestar24]

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 09:36 PM
I remember and incident once which I think would be highly relevant and interesting.

I think this was around 10-12 years back. A MiG 25 carrying out recon missions no the Indo-Pak was scheduled to make a small recon incursion into Pak airspace for a photo Ops mission at mach 2.5+

What happend was the pilot navigated the turn just a lil' oh so late! (maybe 15 to 30 secs late)
Pakistan is only about 500km across(east-west). The damn MiG 25(bless that a/c) flew straight over Islamabad and shook the whole city in a sonic BOOM!!

PAF/PAk air defenses were too slow to respond and a planned photo Ops just across the border became a sighting seeing trip over Islamabad!
Of course it was a MAJOR PR disaster. Pak newspapers had the following sorts of headlines the next day:


Oh those were the days!...

Maybe I can find some articles relating to the link a little later..

Got to go now!
Truely a great a/c.. Wonder what will its replacement be in IAF??! Or the IAF doesn't see the need for High alt recon a/c now since ISRO satellites are providing color 1 metre res images.
Also we all have Google Earth!!

EDIT: Here's a bit: It was in May 1997

Pak Airspace violation

Google Hits on the incident

[edit on 7-4-2006 by Daedalus3]

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 11:20 PM
The only thing I can add is the write up description as 'Super Secret" For 15,000 US you can hitch a ride in one of the things, so how secret can it be?

[edit on 4/9/06 by FredT]

posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 10:28 PM
I think there is a chronological misinterpretation of when exactly it was super secret..

And for 15000 USD you can ride it at Mach 2.5+ at 70000+ ft?

posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 11:08 AM
Could the Russians have done it to save cost? For the last few years Russia has had huge financial problems. While the prefomence of the Foxbat was amazing in terms of speed and altitude, it is technically a very specialized interceptor. It was design in the 1960's to intercept the A-12 and SR-71 Blackbird Spy Planes. The Blackbird has not flown operationally since 1991. It was offically withdrawn from the US Air Force in 1998, when the last of the support equipment was either despersed or mothballed! At that point, the Mig 25 offically became obsolete! The threat it was design to counter no longer existed.

It's logical to think that maybe the Russian Government decided that there was no longer a point in maintaing a defense against something that no longer exists!


posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 12:46 AM

Its indian Mig-25s. The title is a little mis-leading

posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 07:08 PM

Originally posted by Daedalus3
And for 15000 USD you can ride it at Mach 2.5+ at 70000+ ft?

check it out

Mig-25 to 80,000

all A/C

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 12:52 AM
Indeed!! wow.. THey have test pilots as instructors for these trips..
Definitely on my 'to do' list

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 04:07 AM
Hehe,why not a test pilot?

Becouse they will kill you before end of the trip

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 07:30 AM
Yeah But...

Can a satellite Peleng bomb from over 70 miles out with a 200m accuracy (probably less if they have IAMs now)

i.e. With thermally insulated M82-500T the MiG-25 coud do in 1970 or so (at least kinematically) what the F-22 is only NOW becoming capable of.

That's the real shame of failing to exploit the high fast envelope for so long in that you end up forgetting what a very basic airframe (420 knot KIAS limit as I recall), with enough power, can do to leverage your 'total force' exposure and sortie evolution windows, on the cheap.

Similarly the MiG-25BM and PD are vastly superior SEAD/AAW airframes because they combine the ability to snap up rapidly from dispersal fields with (if properly equipped) weapons which can range out to even the high tier of standoff loitering (ISR, BMC2 and tanker) assets.

Before running backwards to bastion defended (S-300 or similar) air space zones with absolutely no worries as to sort-by-profile entrance.

Stealth doesn't have to be present for supercruise to work IF you have:

1. The defensive advantage in control of the IADS/ADGE.
2. Your weapons systems reflect a deliberate intent to concentrate value with capability as a small force of key force on force disablement options.

Even ignoring the coming vulnerability of overhead assets to DEWS (a 30 watt tracking laser once 'dazzled' the optics of a commercial resources bird for 3 days after a 30 second illumination), you just cannot forget the need to put iron on target from a variety of profiles and systems that maxxes out your enemies countermeasure loop.


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