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Old 03-05-2017, 12:38 PM   #151
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Awesome aircraft, but you have to admit, it's the kind of fighter jet you might have doodled in homeroom class, including the cartoony landing gear.
actually no, i usually doodled aircrafts with sleeker silhouettes back in art class... something along the lines of the b2 spirit
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:43 PM   #152
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Well, the Foxbat was a victory of thrust over aerodynamics. It is not sleek in any way, yet it is fast. In the likes of Jeremy Clarkson: POWEEEEEER
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:50 PM   #153
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Well, the Foxbat was a victory of thrust over aerodynamics. It is not sleek in any way, yet it is fast. In the likes of Jeremy Clarkson: POWEEEEEER
you've got the power part right... but it wasn't as if the designer skipped physics when drawing up its design dynamics. it isn't the most elegant of migs, but it sure served its purpose. looking to add this hero/traitor aircraft into my russian collection... or us... or jasdf...
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:41 PM   #154
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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no I didn't.
Oh ok, though iron is a material not a process
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Old 03-05-2017, 05:19 PM   #155
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
Well, the Foxbat was a victory of thrust over aerodynamics. It is not sleek in any way, yet it is fast. In the likes of Jeremy Clarkson: POWEEEEEER
Aerodynamically, the Russians got a great deal right with the MiG-25 design. Twin vertical fins gave it good directional stability at high Mach numbers. Prior to the MiG-25, all U.S. supersonic fighters had one vertical fin and a number of them (F-100 and F-4, in particular) had serious lateral/directional stability and control problems (Dutch Roll, inertia coupling, etc.).

After the MiG-25, all U.S. 4th and 5th generation fighters (except the F-16) have had two vertical fins.

The MiG-25's intake design (variable geometry intakes that were separated from the fuselage to avoid ingesting low-energy boundary layer air from the aircraft's forward fuselage) was excellent and very advanced for its time. (Some people believe the intake design on the MiG-25 was inspired by that of the North American A-3J/RA-5C (Vigilante). That may be true to some extent. But the MiG-25 was designed to reach M2.8-M3.0, not the M2.0 top speed of the A-3J/RA-5C.)

Note that the U.S. F-111 series (an early 1960s design that was virtually contemporaneous with the MiG-25) struggled with intake design problems for many years. The F-111's intakes underwent numerous redesigns and modifications ("Super Plough I, II and III") to obtain decent ram recoveries for the airflow entering the aircraft's TF-30 engines. (The TF30 itself was also a big problem in terms of poor reliability, uncontained failures and stall/stagnation issues on the F-111 and F-14A.)

If anything, the MiG-25 suffered mostly from excessive weight (much of the airframe was made of stainless steel) and heavy, inefficient engines (which also contained a lot of stainless steel). Its avionics also were much less advanced than most Western observers believed prior to Belenko's defection.

But give the Russians credit: from an aerodynamic and propulsion point of view, they made the most with what they had in terms of technology. The MiG-25's speed and altitude performance had many Western experts running scared for many years before 1976.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:39 PM   #156
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

the soviets sure deserve the admiration of their peers... and the cold war did keep the competition running high with innovation on both sides of the divide, both trying to outdo the other even if it meant smoke and mirrors. i'm not a fan of clunky boxy designs, but yes, the soviets made it work regardless. the foxbat ain't particularly my idea of a graceful design the likes of the flankers are... but it sure proved its worth regardless. yes, this airframe will have a representative in my collection, even if it's gonna be a traitor/hero model.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:55 PM   #157
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Not having much interest in banner waving or patriotism myself, I've got no problem picking up a copy of this beast. Of all the Soviet fighter designs, the big foxbat was always my favourite, just a monster, like the airplane equivalent of a Group B rally car...not as sleek as an F1 car, but rugged as hell and packing the punch to leave anything else for dead.
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:26 PM   #158
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

One man's traitor is another man's Benedict Arnold!
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:41 PM   #159
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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One man's traitor is another man's Benedict Arnold!

which movie was he in?
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Old 03-08-2017, 08:10 PM   #160
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Originally Posted by OnlyWayToFly View Post
Aerodynamically, the Russians got a great deal right with the MiG-25 design. Twin vertical fins gave it good directional stability at high Mach numbers. Prior to the MiG-25, all U.S. supersonic fighters had one vertical fin and a number of them (F-100 and F-4, in particular) had serious lateral/directional stability and control problems (Dutch Roll, inertia coupling, etc.).

After the MiG-25, all U.S. 4th and 5th generation fighters (except the F-16) have had two vertical fins.

The MiG-25's intake design (variable geometry intakes that were separated from the fuselage to avoid ingesting low-energy boundary layer air from the aircraft's forward fuselage) was excellent and very advanced for its time. (Some people believe the intake design on the MiG-25 was inspired by that of the North American A-3J/RA-5C (Vigilante). That may be true to some extent. But the MiG-25 was designed to reach M2.8-M3.0, not the M2.0 top speed of the A-3J/RA-5C.)

Note that the U.S. F-111 series (an early 1960s design that was virtually contemporaneous with the MiG-25) struggled with intake design problems for many years. The F-111's intakes underwent numerous redesigns and modifications ("Super Plough I, II and III") to obtain decent ram recoveries for the airflow entering the aircraft's TF-30 engines. (The TF30 itself was also a big problem in terms of poor reliability, uncontained failures and stall/stagnation issues on the F-111 and F-14A.)

If anything, the MiG-25 suffered mostly from excessive weight (much of the airframe was made of stainless steel) and heavy, inefficient engines (which also contained a lot of stainless steel). Its avionics also were much less advanced than most Western observers believed prior to Belenko's defection.

But give the Russians credit: from an aerodynamic and propulsion point of view, they made the most with what they had in terms of technology. The MiG-25's speed and altitude performance had many Western experts running scared for many years before 1976.
That was really interesting, TY
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:04 AM   #161
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Originally Posted by OnlyWayToFly View Post
If anything, the MiG-25 suffered mostly from excessive weight (much of the airframe was made of stainless steel) and heavy, inefficient engines (which also contained a lot of stainless steel). Its avionics also were much less advanced than most Western observers believed prior to Belenko's defection.
Yes and no. The steel structure, despite its greater weight, allowed for greater toughness and easier repair in case of damage. And MiG-25's radar had features which, as officials admitted, forced US to improve their weapon systems and change their strategy. Which in turn forced the Soviets, following Belenko's defection, to improve the MiG-25P to the PD version.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:09 AM   #162
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Really looking forward to picking this one up. Foxbat is one of my favourites, and this one has a story (not going to argue whether it is a good or a bad story).

But as much as I love the Foxbat, I am still hoping for a Foxhound. That one sadly has only very limited scheme choice, so I cant really see it coming (however, seeing the Vigi with very limited scheme options keeps me a bit optimistic).
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:36 AM   #163
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Really looking forward to picking this one up. Foxbat is one of my favourites, and this one has a story (not going to argue whether it is a good or a bad story).

But as much as I love the Foxbat, I am still hoping for a Foxhound. That one sadly has only very limited scheme choice, so I cant really see it coming (however, seeing the Vigi with very limited scheme options keeps me a bit optimistic).
being an ardent fan of the blackbird, its formidable adversary, the foxhound would be an insta-purchase, for sure. and yes, if they can do the vigi, i don't see why they shouldn't do the foxhound, starting with capt. myagkiy's mig.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:46 PM   #164
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Put me down for a Foxhound, too!
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:03 PM   #165
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

You're welcome, TK.
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:43 PM   #166
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Really looking forward to picking this one up. Foxbat is one of my favourites, and this one has a story (not going to argue whether it is a good or a bad story).

But as much as I love the Foxbat, I am still hoping for a Foxhound. That one sadly has only very limited scheme choice, so I cant really see it coming (however, seeing the Vigi with very limited scheme options keeps me a bit optimistic).

From what has been said on this forum, my understanding is that Vigi was a "special case" - some sort of private action of certain diecast collector who persuaded HM to make it. But question is if Vigi is/will be profitable model for the factory.

But even if, you are completely right with the limited MIG-31 schemes. MIG-31 had only 2 operators - Russia and Kazachstan - with all machines in grey only (except grey-blue scheme used on airshows), and no tail artworks. IMHO I´m therefore afraid that for most collectors would be Mig-31 welcomed addition ... in one piece only - one model to stand next to "25" ... and thats all. Maybe better to save our optimism for Mig-19, 17 or even 35 mebbe some day...

Anyway MIG-31 from Altaya is quite good option for sure. Actually its surprisingly good-looking and very accurate model, one of the better models from Altaya.
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:50 PM   #167
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Yes and no. The steel structure, despite its greater weight, allowed for greater toughness and easier repair in case of damage. And MiG-25's radar had features which, as officials admitted, forced US to improve their weapon systems and change their strategy. Which in turn forced the Soviets, following Belenko's defection, to improve the MiG-25P to the PD version.
From mid-1967 (when the existence of the Foxbat was first publicly revealed by the Soviets at the Domodedovo air show) until Belenko's defection in September 1976, most Western experts believed that the MiG-25's radar, fire control system and missiles probably had "look-down, shoot-down" capability against low-flying aircraft. (That claim was made by the Soviets at Domodedovo).

The Soviet claim wasn't true. After Belenko defected, the Soviets modified and upgraded the aircraft's radar and IFF systems, but the actual capability of the Foxbat's weapons system against low altitude targets remained limited at best. The MiG-31 finally provided a true look-down, shoot-down capability with a pulse-Doppler radar and a new generation air-to-air missile (the R33).

From 1977 until his arrest in 1985, a Russian radar engineer named Tolkachev provided the CIA with an enormous amount of design data on Russian airborne fire control and early warning radars. (It is believed that Tolkachev compromised the designs of the radars on the MiG-25PD, MiG-29, MiG-31 and Su-27, among others.)

Prior to Belenko, most Western experts also believed that the MiG-25's airframe contained a significant amount of titanium. (One of those experts was Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, who designed the Lockheed SR-71/YF-12A "Blackbirds.") Few in the West believed that the Soviets were willing to accept the performance penalties inherent in the use of an airframe built mostly of steel (i.e., severely reduced range, payload, speed, ceiling and endurance).

Based on the assumption that the Foxbat actually had a titanium airframe, some Western experts in the early 1970s thought that it's top speed might be as high as M3.5 (the point beyond which the aircraft's directional stability was likely to become problematic).

Again, I give the Soviets credit. They built an airplane that incorporated many ingenious design features. The MiG-25 certainly did cause the U.S. to give high priority to development of the F-14 and F-15 in response, even though it later became clear that the Foxbat was not actually the super fighter so many had feared.
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Old 03-09-2017, 04:36 PM   #168
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Foxbat is definitely a milestone aircraft worth of every collector´s display cabinet. Anyway after reading Belenko´s book some time ago I remember there were many fundamental problems of Mig-25 mentioned. My understanding was that in fact Mig-25 wasn´t such a successful construction and until Belenko´s defection it was heavily overestimated by western "War Mongers" . Of course there were many clever and revolutionary solutions applied as OWTF mentioned, on the other hand it seems that overall Mig-25 abilities aroused negative comments.

Here is interesting article where are some of the Mig-25s deficiencies mentioned:
MiG-25 FOXBAT

For those who find the article too long, here are several excerpts:

- the MiG-25 was the same complicated machine as during development and her operations were more-or-less curtailed to protect her touchy engine qualities.
- Maneuverability, range, and close combat potential were extremely limited.
- Even its tremendous speed was problematic: although the available thrust was sufficient to reach Mach 3.2, a limit of Mach 2.8 had to be imposed to prevent total destruction of the engines. Even Mach 2.8 was difficult to reach without overspeeding the turbines.


Another article:
Mig25 VS SR-71

Interesting information from http://www.fighter-planes.com/info/mig25_foxbat.htm:
"The canopy glass is said to be so hot at maximum speed that the pilot cannot touch it with his bare hand...."


For me the Mig-25 went from "Probably the best interceptor in production in the world today"(1973) to: "It maneuvered poorly at high speeds, handled poorly at low altitudes. Its radar was of limited effectiveness in conventional combat situations and the handling problems at low altitudes meant that the plane never performed particularly well in the mission." (1976). Source

Anyway I´m really looking forward to Belenko´s machine standing next to my MIG-31 from Altaya.

Btw. here is interesting Belenko´s story "in short":
https://warisboring.com/one-soviet-d...44f#.m9cptac00

...which ends:
On Oct. 22, 1976, Tokyo returned the jet to Russia by ship. It was still in pieces and once more packed neatly into shipping crates. Cheekily, the Japanese included a bill for $4o,000 to cover the shipping costs and damage caused by Belenko’s landing.

Last edited by Ladia; 03-09-2017 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:08 PM   #169
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Thank you, Ladia. I ordered my Atlaya MiG-31 today.
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Old 03-10-2017, 12:16 AM   #170
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that sounds more like a leaf out of the lightning2 program
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:14 AM   #171
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Thank you, Ladia. I ordered my Atlaya MiG-31 today.

Ok. I wish you your piece will be complete and without any manufacturing defects, Robert . This is often weak point of Altaya models.

Last edited by Ladia; 03-10-2017 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:09 AM   #172
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Never said the MiG-25 capabilities hadn't been overestimated by politicians and militaries of both the Soviet and Western sides (for different and obvious reasons). It doesn't mean it wasn't a very capable weapon. Comparing maneuverability and close combat doesn't make much sense for an interceptor designed to fight heavy bombers or SR-71s (on which you couldn't touch the windscreen at high speed too, BTW).

Lack of look-down/shoot-down could be an issue in case of enemy low-flying penetration, but not for high flying targets such as those envisioned for the MiG-25. Furthermore, thanks to Belenko's defection, it was discovered that its radar could operate on wavebands which made it virtually jam-proof !

The MiG-25 wasn't the extreme threat feared by many in the West, but remember propaganda existed on both sides. And comparing each aircraft effectiveness can only be done relative to the whole combat system it belongs to, and its doctrine of use.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:53 PM   #173
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Never said the MiG-25 capabilities hadn't been overestimated by politicians and militaries of both the Soviet and Western sides (for different and obvious reasons). It doesn't mean it wasn't a very capable weapon. Comparing maneuverability and close combat doesn't make much sense for an interceptor designed to fight heavy bombers or SR-71s (on which you couldn't touch the windscreen at high speed too, BTW).

Lack of look-down/shoot-down could be an issue in case of enemy low-flying penetration, but not for high flying targets such as those envisioned for the MiG-25. Furthermore, thanks to Belenko's defection, it was discovered that its radar could operate on wavebands which made it virtually jam-proof !

The MiG-25 wasn't the extreme threat feared by many in the West, but remember propaganda existed on both sides. And comparing each aircraft effectiveness can only be done relative to the whole combat system it belongs to, and its doctrine of use.
couldn't help myself to giggle at this bit. just goes to show the hypocrisy of criticisms (no, monsieur ladia, i don't mean your criticism, but the one by the propaganda machinery). well i don't think the mig25s suffered from fuel leaks, did they?
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:11 AM   #174
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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couldn't help myself to giggle at this bit. just goes to show the hypocrisy of criticisms (no, monsieur ladia, i don't mean your criticism, but the one by the propaganda machinery). well i don't think the mig25s suffered from fuel leaks, did they?

Agree. All in all it wasn´t my criticism - who am I to criticise Mig-25? I just found some interesting comments on the internet .
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:36 AM   #175
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Agree. All in all it wasn´t my criticism - who am I to criticise Mig-25? I just found some interesting comments on the internet .
cool

sure looking forward to this model to beef up my russian collection
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:49 AM   #176
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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cool

sure looking forward to this model to beef up my russian collection
Me too, sort of. I have a Mig-3, -15, -17, -19, -21, -23, -35.

The -25 and -31 have been ordered.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:39 AM   #177
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

I´m especially looking forward how these two giants will look like side by side - Altaya Mig-31 and Belenko´s 25. Hope I still be liking Altaya model then . Of course I expect more quality feel from HM model, anyway if the quality difference will be too big, I can easily improve Altaya model by stencils, aftermarket pitot tube, by minimizing gaps, adding weight or improving intakes and exhaust nozzles.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:09 AM   #178
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i do envy your extensive collection of russian birds. i can only hope that more manufacturers jump unto the bandwagon and come out with more russian birds... although i do suspect the likes of the foxhound will only be done by altaya. still, there is no harm hoping
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:16 AM   #179
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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i do envy your extensive collection of russian birds. i can only hope that more manufacturers jump unto the bandwagon and come out with more russian birds... although i do suspect the likes of the foxhound will only be done by altaya. still, there is no harm hoping
I should have waited for another scheme for the MiG-25; my display cases are completely filled. But this one was iconic, so that's ok. I also have the SU-30MK, -34, -35 and PAK FA T-50.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:21 AM   #180
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I should have waited for another scheme for the MiG-25; my display cases are completely filled. But this one was iconic, so that's ok. I also have the SU-30MK, -34, -35 and PAK FA T-50.
we all have space issues

i may want that foxhound but god knows where i'm gonna display that beast! i've got the 34, 35 and 50 myself... and they're by no means minnows
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:24 AM   #181
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

OL!!! So true! And of course I had to have two 1:72 Blackbirds that are REALLY large. After I watched this video, I realized the Foxhound was much more suited to counteract the Blackbird, which led me to purchase the Atlaya from Spain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gLw7ZOVr38

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Old 03-11-2017, 11:54 AM   #182
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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i do envy your extensive collection of russian birds. i can only hope that more manufacturers jump unto the bandwagon and come out with more russian birds... although i do suspect the likes of the foxhound will only be done by altaya. still, there is no harm hoping
I'd say you are correct. Too few operators to warrant the investment of a new mould imo. For some reason I think the MiG-27 will be the same. I'll have to buy a custom of this type from plastic.
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:07 PM   #183
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Never said the MiG-25 capabilities hadn't been overestimated by politicians and militaries of both the Soviet and Western sides (for different and obvious reasons). It doesn't mean it wasn't a very capable weapon. Comparing maneuverability and close combat doesn't make much sense for an interceptor designed to fight heavy bombers or SR-71s (on which you couldn't touch the windscreen at high speed too, BTW).

Lack of look-down/shoot-down could be an issue in case of enemy low-flying penetration, but not for high flying targets such as those envisioned for the MiG-25. Furthermore, thanks to Belenko's defection, it was discovered that its radar could operate on wavebands which made it virtually jam-proof !

The MiG-25 wasn't the extreme threat feared by many in the West, but remember propaganda existed on both sides. And comparing each aircraft effectiveness can only be done relative to the whole combat system it belongs to, and its doctrine of use.
By the time the Foxbat prototype (Ye-155P) first flew (9/64), the United States had cancelled the B-70 production program (1961) and U.S. tactics for its B-47, B-52 and B-58 strategic bomber forces had shifted to low-altitude penetration (due mostly to the threat radar-guided SAMs posed to high altitude aircraft).

The only high-altitude U.S. penetrating aircraft threats remaining by 1964 were the U-2 and SR-71. (And after the May 1, 1960 incident in which a U-2 was downed by an SA-2 over the USSR, no U.S. president was ever again willing to authorize overflights of the Soviet Union by manned aircraft.)

In 1964, the only U.S. fighter development program in existence was the F-111, which was intended from the beginning to employ low-altitude penetration tactics based on use of the aircraft's terrain following radar (TFR). There were no new U.S. bomber development programs in 1964, although an F-111 derivative (FB-111) was later designed as a low-altitude penetrator to replace the B-58 force, which lacked range at low altitudes. (The remaining B-47s were about to be retired because of age and airframe fatigue problems resulting from flight at low altitudes.)

As an interceptor, the MiG-25's lack of a look-down/shoot-down radar made it almost useless against low-altitude penetrators. And as a fighter, it's poor maneuverability was a severe disadvantage, as two MiG-25 pilots found to their sorrow when they attacked two U.S. Air Force F-15s in a low-altitude engagement over Iraq in January 1991. (Both MiGs were shot down.)

An Iraqi MiG-25 did manage to down a U.S. Navy F/A-18 on the opening night of Operation Desert Storm. (The U.S. AWACS aircraft controlling the F/A-18 force was unable to positively identify the MiG before the MiG fired its missiles at the F/A-18s, which were flying at medium altitude.)

The MiG-25's radar (NATO: "Foxfire") was indeed difficult to jam, but that was not due to its operating frequencies. The radar's emitted power (600 kW) was very high, which enabled it to "burn through" noise/barrage jamming signals. However, the frequently asserted claims that the Foxfire radar was "unjammable" are false. It was vulnerable to other ECM techniques, including chaff, spoofing, range gate stealing and other (more sophisticated) deception and decoy methods.

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Old 03-12-2017, 02:34 PM   #184
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

dunno about you guys but these write-ups make me look forward to this airframe even more! thanks for sharing, monsieur onlywaytofly!
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:41 PM   #185
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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dunno about you guys but these write-ups make me look forward to this airframe even more! thanks for sharing, monsieur onlywaytofly!
Any time, my friend!
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:46 PM   #186
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

"(And after the May 1, 1960 incident in which a U-2 was downed by an SA-2 over the USSR, no U.S. president was ever again willing to authorize overflights of the Soviet Union by manned aircraft.)"

In some ways I wish this were true do to the loss of life the USAF had over Russia. The Smithsonian Air & Space magazine had an article on black ops programs over Russia and the looses they faced. In particular pacific arctic flights. There were many lost missions never opened to the public eye until the last decade.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:50 PM   #187
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

This looks like another interesting source of information:

Foxbat and Foxhound / Russia's Cold War Warriors
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:38 PM   #188
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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"(And after the May 1, 1960 incident in which a U-2 was downed by an SA-2 over the USSR, no U.S. president was ever again willing to authorize overflights of the Soviet Union by manned aircraft.)"

In some ways I wish this were true do to the loss of life the USAF had over Russia. The Smithsonian Air & Space magazine had an article on black ops programs over Russia and the looses they faced. In particular pacific arctic flights. There were many lost missions never opened to the public eye until the last decade.
Hi, Jeff. It is true.

You're entirely correct about the large number of U.S. aircraft and crews that were shot down by the Soviets while flying PARPRO ("Peacetime Aerial Reconnaissance Program") missions from the late 1940s up through the date of Gary Powers' ill-fated U-2 flight on May 1, 1960. (Some of those aircraft were shot down over the USSR and some were attacked while still in international airspace.)

When Powers was downed, the U.S. government issued a false cover story that claimed his U-2 mission was a weather research flight. (It was believed that Powers was almost certainly dead.) The Soviets then announced that Powers was alive and had been captured. They also demanded an apology for his overflight, which President Eisenhower declined to provide. (Eisenhower also stated that the U-2 overflight missions had provided vital intelligence on Soviet nuclear and ballistic missile development programs.) The infuriated Soviets then walked out of a Paris summit meeting, which collapsed. (Powers was later exchanged for Colonel Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy who had been arrested and imprisoned in the United States.)

By 1960, the U.S. had begun launching its first photoreconnaissance satellites ("Corona") and the era in which manned intelligence overflights of the USSR were necessary was rapidly coming to an end. The U-2 affair ended that era with a thunderclap.

The U.S. did attempt some unmanned overflights of the Soviet Union during the late 1960s using D21s (ramjet-powered drones that were launched by Lockheed A-12 and Boeing B-52 aircraft). A handful of D21 missions were flown, but the intelligence gleaned from that program was minor compared to the "take" received from satellites. The D21 program was cancelled.

I'm aware of at least one U.S. aircraft (an RB-66) that was shot down by a Soviet fighter over East Germany in 1964. (That aircraft was off course due to a compass problem when it strayed over the inter-German border and was downed by a MiG-21. The crew ejected and were briefly detained in East Germany before being released.)

The U.S. Navy also lost an EC-121 to North Korean fighters in April 1969. (That aircraft was downed over international waters and the entire crew was killed.)

Hundreds of A-12/SR-71 flights took place around the Soviet periphery, beginning in the mid-1960s and continuing until the Blackbirds were finally retired in 1990. Although the A-12 and SR-71 were used to overfly other nations (North Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Libya and various other countries in the Middle East are publicly known to have been the targets of SR-71 overflights), there is no evidence that those aircraft were ever used to overfly the Soviet Union.

Best regards.

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Old 03-16-2017, 03:24 PM   #189
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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By the time the Foxbat prototype (Ye-155P) first flew (9/64), the United States had cancelled the B-70 production program (1961) and U.S. tactics for its B-47, B-52 and B-58 strategic bomber forces had shifted to low-altitude penetration (due mostly to the threat radar-guided SAMs posed to high altitude aircraft).

The only high-altitude U.S. penetrating aircraft threats remaining by 1964 were the U-2 and SR-71. (And after the May 1, 1960 incident in which a U-2 was downed by an SA-2 over the USSR, no U.S. president was ever again willing to authorize overflights of the Soviet Union by manned aircraft.)

In 1964, the only U.S. fighter development program in existence was the F-111, which was intended from the beginning to employ low-altitude penetration tactics based on use of the aircraft's terrain following radar (TFR). There were no new U.S. bomber development programs in 1964, although an F-111 derivative (FB-111) was later designed as a low-altitude penetrator to replace the B-58 force, which lacked range at low altitudes. (The remaining B-47s were about to be retired because of age and airframe fatigue problems resulting from flight at low altitudes.)

As an interceptor, the MiG-25's lack of a look-down/shoot-down radar made it almost useless against low-altitude penetrators. And as a fighter, it's poor maneuverability was a severe disadvantage, as two MiG-25 pilots found to their sorrow when they attacked two U.S. Air Force F-15s in a low-altitude engagement over Iraq in January 1991. (Both MiGs were shot down.)

An Iraqi MiG-25 did manage to down a U.S. Navy F/A-18 on the opening night of Operation Desert Storm. (The U.S. AWACS aircraft controlling the F/A-18 force was unable to positively identify the MiG before the MiG fired its missiles at the F/A-18s, which were flying at medium altitude.)

The MiG-25's radar (NATO: "Foxfire") was indeed difficult to jam, but that was not due to its operating frequencies. The radar's emitted power (600 kW) was very high, which enabled it to "burn through" noise/barrage jamming signals. However, the frequently asserted claims that the Foxfire radar was "unjammable" are false. It was vulnerable to other ECM techniques, including chaff, spoofing, range gate stealing and other (more sophisticated) deception and decoy methods.

Yes, you're right, by 1964 bombing tactics had been changed, but some threats were still here (as you stated B-58 was still in service, SR-71 was coming), and Soviets couldn't afford to bet on an US presidential decision to stop the MiG-25 program, their only way to counter these potential opponents (especially the SR-71, for which SAMs would be ineffective). As a matter of fact the Far East regions air commanders were desperatly asking for a way to intercept high speed/high flying aircraft, the MiG-25 being the obvious answer.
And furthermore, the fighter version was not the only studied by MiG, the reconnaissance version was the other one. As a matter of fact, the first prototype flew in the reconnaissance configuration, which was studied from the start (and not as a latter "downgraded" version).

As for MiG-25 effectiveness against other aircraft, don't compare oranges and apples. It was not designed to fight other fighters, and judging its abilities upon an engagement against a superior dogfighter, manned by highly trained pilots, flying in a controlled combat environment, seems a bit biased, don't you think ?

The RP-25 (MiG-25P's radar) way of passing "through" jamming, as you describe it, is interesting. Although its components were less advanced than its Western counterparts, the RP-25 designers obviously found a way to make it effective. Which of course doesn't mean other counter-measures couldn't be effective, as you said.

As a side note, I've always wondered how US citizens and officials would have felt if, from time to time, a "lost" or "weather researching" red starred aircraft had been caught flying over US territory...
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Old 03-16-2017, 05:23 PM   #190
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Yes, you're right, by 1964 bombing tactics had been changed, but some threats were still here (as you stated B-58 was still in service, SR-71 was coming), and Soviets couldn't afford to bet on an US presidential decision to stop the MiG-25 program, their only way to counter these potential opponents (especially the SR-71, for which SAMs would be ineffective). As a matter of fact the Far East regions air commanders were desperatly asking for a way to intercept high speed/high flying aircraft, the MiG-25 being the obvious answer.
And furthermore, the fighter version was not the only studied by MiG, the reconnaissance version was the other one. As a matter of fact, the first prototype flew in the reconnaissance configuration, which was studied from the start (and not as a latter "downgraded" version).

As for MiG-25 effectiveness against other aircraft, don't compare oranges and apples. It was not designed to fight other fighters, and judging its abilities upon an engagement against a superior dogfighter, manned by highly trained pilots, flying in a controlled combat environment, seems a bit biased, don't you think ?

The RP-25 (MiG-25P's radar) way of passing "through" jamming, as you describe it, is interesting. Although its components were less advanced than its Western counterparts, the RP-25 designers obviously found a way to make it effective. Which of course doesn't mean other counter-measures couldn't be effective, as you said.

As a side note, I've always wondered how US citizens and officials would have felt if, from time to time, a "lost" or "weather researching" red starred aircraft had been caught flying over US territory...
Interesting exchange...

1. By 1964, the Soviets knew perfectly well that the future of overhead reconnaissance lay in satellites, not aircraft. (They were well along in the process of developing their own birds.)

That's actually one of the main reasons why the SR-71 community was never able to generate or maintain much support within the U.S. Air Force in general (and the Strategic Air Command in particular, even though SAC was the SR-71 operator). The SR-71 was an elegant and very advanced airplane. It provided some unique capabilities, but it was also very expensive to operate and maintain in relation to the types and quantity of intelligence it produced. (That resulted in its eventual retirement in 1990.)

In the event, the MiG-25 proved completely ineffective against the SR-71, due to it's poor range, limited endurance and the inability of its fire control system to acquire, lock on and guide missiles during a head-on (or near head-on) intercept with closing speeds on the order of M5.5-6+. (No other MiG-25 intercept geometries were remotely feasible against an SR-71 flying at high speed and high altitude.) The kinematics of that type of intercept are extremely tricky at best. Even slight errors in track, speed, altitude or timing quickly produce a hopeless situation for the interceptor. (Blackbirds flying out of Kadena often "played" with U.S. F-14s and F-15s over the Pacific. Between speed, altitude, stealth and ECM, SR-71 crews found that they had very little to fear, even when pitted against F-14s with AWG9/AWG10 radars, a dedicated radar intercept officer in the back seat and advanced AIM-54 missiles.)

2. The Soviets might very well have been better off to invest in high altitude SAMs to defend against the possibility of SR-71 overflights. It's actually a myth that the Blackbirds were invulnerable to SAMs and that none of them ever took a hit. An early airplane (an A-12) did in fact receive shrapnel damage (from an SA-2!) over North Vietnam in the 1960s. The SA-5 (a much larger missile with far greater range and altitude capability than the SA-2) posed a credible SAM threat to the SR-71, as did a number of the more advanced Soviet SAMs that entered service while the SR-71 was still operational.

3. By the time the MiG-25P entered operational service with the IA-PVO (1969-1972, depending on how one defines "operational" and depending on which source one believes), the B-58s were either in the process of being parked in the desert in Arizona (1969) or had been reduced to faded, sun-bleached shells (by 1972).

4. MiG-25 recce version: Probably the most useful variant of the airplane, at least until Soviet satellite technology was itself operational and proven. (Soviet-piloted Foxbats successfully overflew the Sinai and parts of Israel on a few occasions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Intercept attempts by Israeli F-4Es and HAWK SAMs were ineffective.)

5. Foxbat as an air-to-air fighter: Of course the airplane WAS originally intended for use as an interceptor. But let's not quibble about semantics. At some point, almost all modern interceptors have ended up being used as fighters, whether intentionally or otherwise. (And many purpose-built interceptors have later been adapted for use as fighters.) Whether they were originally designed/built purely as interceptors or not, they are combat aircraft and have an excellent chance of encountering hostile fighters at some point during their service lives. (A good example of the foregoing is the F-4, which was originally conceived as a missiles-only, carrier-based, all-weather interceptor.)

Iraqi MiG-25s were indeed employed as fighters in 1991 and two of them were shot down in a rock 'em, sock 'em turn-and-burn hassle (low over the desert floor). A third was destroyed by a U.S. Air Force F-16 in 1992. (Israel downed two Syrian Foxbats over Lebanon in the early 1980s. There were also a number of close encounters between U.S. Navy fighters (F-14s and F/A-18s) and Libyan MiG-25s later in the 1980s, but with no documented instances of combat ensuing.)

6. Russian overflights of U.S. airspace: While I was in the U.S. Air Force, at least one such event occurred in Alaska (involving a stray AN-26, if memory serves). No shooting took place, unlike what later happened to KE007 (in 1983).

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Old 03-21-2017, 11:48 AM   #191
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Interesting exchange...

1. By 1964, the Soviets knew perfectly well that the future of overhead reconnaissance lay in satellites, not aircraft. (They were well along in the process of developing their own birds.)

That's actually one of the main reasons why the SR-71 community was never able to generate or maintain much support within the U.S. Air Force in general (and the Strategic Air Command in particular, even though SAC was the SR-71 operator). The SR-71 was an elegant and very advanced airplane. It provided some unique capabilities, but it was also very expensive to operate and maintain in relation to the types and quantity of intelligence it produced. (That resulted in its eventual retirement in 1990.)

In the event, the MiG-25 proved completely ineffective against the SR-71, due to it's poor range, limited endurance and the inability of its fire control system to acquire, lock on and guide missiles during a head-on (or near head-on) intercept with closing speeds on the order of M5.5-6+. (No other MiG-25 intercept geometries were remotely feasible against an SR-71 flying at high speed and high altitude.) The kinematics of that type of intercept are extremely tricky at best. Even slight errors in track, speed, altitude or timing quickly produce a hopeless situation for the interceptor. (Blackbirds flying out of Kadena often "played" with U.S. F-14s and F-15s over the Pacific. Between speed, altitude, stealth and ECM, SR-71 crews found that they had very little to fear, even when pitted against F-14s with AWG9/AWG10 radars, a dedicated radar intercept officer in the back seat and advanced AIM-54 missiles.)

2. The Soviets might very well have been better off to invest in high altitude SAMs to defend against the possibility of SR-71 overflights. It's actually a myth that the Blackbirds were invulnerable to SAMs and that none of them ever took a hit. An early airplane (an A-12) did in fact receive shrapnel damage (from an SA-2!) over North Vietnam in the 1960s. The SA-5 (a much larger missile with far greater range and altitude capability than the SA-2) posed a credible SAM threat to the SR-71, as did a number of the more advanced Soviet SAMs that entered service while the SR-71 was still operational.

3. By the time the MiG-25P entered operational service with the IA-PVO (1969-1972, depending on how one defines "operational" and depending on which source one believes), the B-58s were either in the process of being parked in the desert in Arizona (1969) or had been reduced to faded, sun-bleached shells (by 1972).

4. MiG-25 recce version: Probably the most useful variant of the airplane, at least until Soviet satellite technology was itself operational and proven. (Soviet-piloted Foxbats successfully overflew the Sinai and parts of Israel on a few occasions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Intercept attempts by Israeli F-4Es and HAWK SAMs were ineffective.)

5. Foxbat as an air-to-air fighter: Of course the airplane WAS originally intended for use as an interceptor. But let's not quibble about semantics. At some point, almost all modern interceptors have ended up being used as fighters, whether intentionally or otherwise. (And many purpose-built interceptors have later been adapted for use as fighters.) Whether they were originally designed/built purely as interceptors or not, they are combat aircraft and have an excellent chance of encountering hostile fighters at some point during their service lives. (A good example of the foregoing is the F-4, which was originally conceived as a missiles-only, carrier-based, all-weather interceptor.)

Iraqi MiG-25s were indeed employed as fighters in 1991 and two of them were shot down in a rock 'em, sock 'em turn-and-burn hassle (low over the desert floor). A third was destroyed by a U.S. Air Force F-16 in 1992. (Israel downed two Syrian Foxbats over Lebanon in the early 1980s. There were also a number of close encounters between U.S. Navy fighters (F-14s and F/A-18s) and Libyan MiG-25s later in the 1980s, but with no documented instances of combat ensuing.)

6. Russian overflights of U.S. airspace: While I was in the U.S. Air Force, at least one such event occurred in Alaska (involving a stray AN-26, if memory serves). No shooting took place, unlike what later happened to KE007 (in 1983).
Not much to add, you summed it up quite well.

About MiG-25P's effectiveness against SR-71, I'm not sure it was nil. With its huge R-40 missiles (it carried both the IR and SARH versions), having a top speed of Mach 4.5 and 50 miles range, there was probably a chance to get a kill if intercepting conditions were good enough. The fact it never happened doesn't say much, as it seems that areas where MiG-25s were stationned saw almost no incursions from the SR-71 : at least it deterred the Blackbirds from going everywhere as they wished.

As an interceptor, it was integrated in a complex defence system, and interception was almost entirely automated. Basically, the pilot had almost only to press the fire trigger when ordered by ground controller ! AFAIK it was pretty different from the Western interception philosophy (excepted maybe in Sweden). And of course exported MiG-25s have not benefited from this system, not to the same extent as in USSR at least.

Regarding the recce operations over Sinaï and Israel, they were more than a few, with 20 missions performed almost each time by a pair of MiG-25Rs or RBs in 1971 and 1972, and one sortie at the very end of Yom Kippur war. They were flown at Mach 2.8 cruising speed and full afterburner for almost 40 minutes ! I don't know where the legend of the "self-destroying" RB-15 engines comes from, maybe from the very first ones, which were indeed limited to a few minutes of full a/b running time. Tumansky OKB soon extended this running time though.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:46 PM   #192
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

"By 1964, the Soviets knew perfectly well that the future of overhead reconnaissance lay in satellites, not aircraft. (They were well along in the process of developing their own birds.)

That's actually one of the main reasons why the SR-71 community was never able to generate or maintain much support within the U.S. Air Force in general (and the Strategic Air Command in particular, even though SAC was the SR-71 operator). The SR-71 was an elegant and very advanced airplane. It provided some unique capabilities, but it was also very expensive to operate and maintain in relation to the types and quantity of intelligence it produced. (That resulted in its eventual retirement in 1990.)"

Actually... While satellites are great tools, the SR-71 could give nearly real time information on flights when needed, while satellites could only do so when the weather co-operated and the satellite was in the right orbit. This limits satellite technology even today although some are designed to change orbits with a limited fuel supply. One huge reason the USAF is now looking at the X-37.
The Foxbat was a limited issue, but one that was a concern. The Soviets could time spied launches of the SR-71 and get a good idea of when they would be over head with an intercept and several times they tried. Only one documented time did them come close with a golden BB.
The largest factor though was budget that killed the SR-71. Cost of the program and support to make them fly was incredible. At 85.000 dollar an hour and almost a budget of 300 million a year, it hit the USAF hard when they were looking to upgrade aircraft, an easy budget cut. Kelly Johnson also noted he did want to see the program closed before an SR-71 did get hit, keeping it's record of no shoot downs intact.
The USAF does keep a few SR-71s in flyable condition and works with NASA to keep them flying on a very limited basis. The last official NASA flight was in Oct of 1999 and training flights continued with USAF officers until 1997.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:25 PM   #193
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"By 1964, the Soviets knew perfectly well that the future of overhead reconnaissance lay in satellites, not aircraft. (They were well along in the process of developing their own birds.)

That's actually one of the main reasons why the SR-71 community was never able to generate or maintain much support within the U.S. Air Force in general (and the Strategic Air Command in particular, even though SAC was the SR-71 operator). The SR-71 was an elegant and very advanced airplane. It provided some unique capabilities, but it was also very expensive to operate and maintain in relation to the types and quantity of intelligence it produced. (That resulted in its eventual retirement in 1990.)"

Actually... While satellites are great tools, the SR-71 could give nearly real time information on flights when needed, while satellites could only do so when the weather co-operated and the satellite was in the right orbit. This limits satellite technology even today although some are designed to change orbits with a limited fuel supply. One huge reason the USAF is now looking at the X-37.
The Foxbat was a limited issue, but one that was a concern. The Soviets could time spied launches of the SR-71 and get a good idea of when they woudl be over head with an intercept and several times they tried. Only one documented time did them come close with a golden BB.
The largest factor though was budget that killed the SR-71. Cost of the program and support to make them fly was incredible. At 85.000 dollar an hour and almost a budget of 300 million a year, it hit the USAF hard when they were looking to upgrade aircraft, an easy budget cut. Kelly Johnson also noted he did want to see the program closed before an SR-71 did get hit, keeping it's record of no shoot downs intact.
The USAF does keep a few SR-71s in flyable condition and works with NASA to keep them flying on a very limited basis. The last official NASA flight was in Oct of 1999 and training flights continued with USAF officers until 1997.
Well, yes and no.

I liked the SR-71 about as much as anybody, but by the time it was retired in 1990 the magnificent bird had been in operational service for almost 24 years and was clearly obsolete. (By 1990, the U.S. had satellites with millimeter wave radar capable of producing images of virtually photographic resolution, day or night and irrespective of cloud cover. And that's only what the spooks were willing to acknowledge publicly, more than 25 years ago. Don't even think about asking about the "real" black stuff.)

I have a great deal of confidence that the U.S. National Command Authority (i.e., the president and other top political/military leaders) and the Air Force's high command weighed the SR-71 retirement question very carefully before reaching a final decision. No single system can do everything and, of course, much information about overhead reconnaissance technology was and remains classified. (As they say in the trade, "Those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know.") But it's hard to imagine the NCA would willingly give up any vital mission capabilities or requirements that couldn't be met using other assets.

The Soviets definitely did try to intimidate SR-71 operations whenever they had the chance, but there was only so much they could do as long as the SR-71s took care to remain outside Soviet airspace. (They did). Shooting at an SR-71 operating in international airspace would have been a serious provocation and downing one of them under those conditions would have created a major international crisis.

Whether a Foxbat might have been able to make a successful intercept of an SR-71 is one of those questions that cannot be resolved with certainty at this point. My money would have been on the Blackbird, but I'm thankful that the matter remains in the realm of the hypothetical.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:38 PM   #194
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

All points I have made are in the book, Skunkworks" by Ben Rich.
As noted by Rich, Satellites can do many thing but never at the capacity the SR-71 could. Yes, we do have other black programs running so that also is a factor to consider.
Is 300 million a big deal? Not really in the overall scheme, look though what is happening to the A-10. The USAF can be penny foolish.
Again, as noted in Skunkworks, The Soviets had CONTINUALLY taken shots at the blackbird all the way to the end of it's career. The Kelly Johnson note is well documented.
Could the Foxhound have ever bagged a SR-71? I think only on a lucky shot under the best of circumstances.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:59 PM   #195
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Not much to add, you summed it up quite well.

About MiG-25P's effectiveness against SR-71, I'm not sure it was nil. With its huge R-40 missiles (it carried both the IR and SARH versions), having a top speed of Mach 4.5 and 50 miles range, there was probably a chance to get a kill if intercepting conditions were good enough. The fact it never happened doesn't say much, as it seems that areas where MiG-25s were stationned saw almost no incursions from the SR-71 : at least it deterred the Blackbirds from going everywhere as they wished.

As an interceptor, it was integrated in a complex defence system, and interception was almost entirely automated. Basically, the pilot had almost only to press the fire trigger when ordered by ground controller ! AFAIK it was pretty different from the Western interception philosophy (excepted maybe in Sweden). And of course exported MiG-25s have not benefited from this system, not to the same extent as in USSR at least.

Regarding the recce operations over Sinaï and Israel, they were more than a few, with 20 missions performed almost each time by a pair of MiG-25Rs or RBs in 1971 and 1972, and one sortie at the very end of Yom Kippur war. They were flown at Mach 2.8 cruising speed and full afterburner for almost 40 minutes ! I don't know where the legend of the "self-destroying" RB-15 engines comes from, maybe from the very first ones, which were indeed limited to a few minutes of full a/b running time. Tumansky OKB soon extended this running time though.
Thanks. You're quite right about the GCI philosophy the Soviets (IA-PVO) employed to control their interceptors at the time. It actually did have many similarities to the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) system developed for the U.S. Air Force's Air Defense Command at the height of the Cold War. (Theoretically, SAGE enabled F-106 pilots to take off, immediately turn the aircraft over to SAGE control through the aircraft's autopilot and flight director systems and complete the entire intercept. SAGE worked fairly well against high-altitude, bomber-sized targets, but was much less effective against low-altitude targets that used terrain masking, ECM and evasive maneuvering to confound its ground-based radars.)

With respect to the MiG-25/R-40 v. SR-71, one would need to know a great deal about the fine points of the MiG-25's radar and fire control system (as well as the guidance systems and kinematic capabilities of the R-40s) to be able to make realistic estimates of the Pk (probability of kill) values those systems would have been able to obtain under actual combat conditions. (For example, there's literally no limit to the number of back-and-forth cycles that can go on between ECM and ECCM. The advantage one side might possess today can easily go away tomorrow.)

As I mentioned earlier, intercepts with closing velocities as high as M6+ would be very dicey propositions, even with highly experienced interceptor pilots (and everything else working perfectly on the ground and in the air). For that reason, I'd be very skeptical that a missile with the size and range of the R-40 would have much chance of completing a successful rear-aspect intercept against an SR-71 at M3+ and 80-90,000 feet.

Ignoring ECM-related matters for the sake of discussion, a head-on intercept would probably depend a great deal on the reliability/sensitivity of the R-40's proximity fuze and the effective blast/shrapnel radius of its warhead. Note that a significant blast overpressure from a nearby missile warhead detonation might be enough by itself (i.e., without any help from shrapnel damage) to cause an inlet "unstart" to occur, affecting one or both of the SR-71's engines. An unstart involves disruption of the carefully-controlled shock wave pattern formed on the SR-71's external diffusers (intake spikes) and inside the aircraft's intakes. Unstarts produce a significant loss of ram recovery and thrust plus a large increase in drag. (Unless dealt with immediately and correctly, an unstart can even produce a complete loss of aircraft control, as occurred in at least one instance during the SR-71 flight test program.)

That kind of situation could potentially cause the aircraft to lose enough speed and altitude during the recovery process to become vulnerable to other interceptors or SAMs.

I'd be curious to know the sources of your information concerning Soviet MiG-25 overflights of Israel. (I've only been able to document a handful, but would appreciate the chance to add to my own knowledge if you would be kind enough to provide some references.)

With respect to the MiG-25 engine durability issue, I don't have much to add, other than to note that any jet engine can be damaged or destroyed if pushed beyond its surge, overspeed or temperature limits. Soviet engines were generally designed with shorter TBO intervals than Western engines, but as you pointed out, the MiG-25 indisputably demonstrated the ability to accelerate to and sustain high-Mach dashes in flights that were monitored by Western air defense radars.

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Old 03-22-2017, 07:43 AM   #196
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Yes I thought of the SAGE system too, but not knowing much about the involved procedures I didn't mentionned it.

No problem with sharing my sources, I mainly used Yefim Gordon's excellent work in the Aerofax series, where MiG-25's operations are covered until 1997, the date of the publication.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:10 AM   #197
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Thanks. Gordon has done some good work.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:12 PM   #198
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Wink Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Quote:
Originally Posted by tripoli View Post
All points I have made are in the book, Skunkworks" by Ben Rich.
As noted by Rich, Satellites can do many thing but never at the capacity the SR-71 could. Yes, we do have other black programs running so that also is a factor to consider.
Is 300 million a big deal? Not really in the overall scheme, look though what is happening to the A-10. The USAF can be penny foolish.
Again, as noted in Skunkworks, The Soviets had CONTINUALLY taken shots at the blackbird all the way to the end of it's career. The Kelly Johnson note is well documented.
Could the Foxhound have ever bagged a SR-71? I think only on a lucky shot under the best of circumstances.
Thanks, Jeff.

I've read both of them. IMO, Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich were two of the greatest aircraft designers and project managers in aviation history. Both of them were authentic geniuses. (Wish we had more like them today, especially guys with their project management skills.)

As you pointed out, the Soviets did their best to keep an eye on SR-71 operations. Their famous "fishing trawlers" (AGIs) were omnipresent in the waters off Kadena. (I'm sure they also had some eyes and ears placed near Mildenhall in the UK.) Because of that, I doubt that many SR-71 missions near the periphery of the USSR came as a complete surprise to the Soviets, especially after the airplane had been operational for many years.

While there's no doubt that the SR-71 provided some unique capabilities, operational SR-71 missions were highly-scripted. Most of them were planned (in minute detail) days in advance and every one of them required NCA authorization. (That's a good indication of how sensitive they were considered to be, even decades after the U-2 incident.) Because of that, it's debatable just how valuable the airplane's "real time" intelligence take actually was, especially once the airplane's operational characteristics had become well-known to U.S. adversaries.

It's been well-documented that hundreds of SAMs were fired at SR-71s over the years (mostly SA-2s launched by Soviet client states such as North Korea, North Vietnam, Libya and Cuba). All of those countries (and a few others) were overflown by SR-71s, some of them many times.

To this day, the "official" position of the U.S. government is that the SR-71 was never used to overfly the USSR. Did the Soviets ever take a SAM (or AAM) shot at a Blackbird operating in international airspace? I've never seen any documented evidence of such an event (in the open literature), but that certainly doesn't mean that no such thing ever happened. (Frankly, I'd be surprised if it didn't.)

I'm certainly willing to consider the evidence, if someone can document the facts of such an incident (or incidents).

USAF can be penny-foolish? Nah. When USAF makes a mistake, it tends to be billion-dollar foolish!

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Old 03-30-2017, 04:58 PM   #199
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

Pre-pro pics released. Unfortunately, they look the opposite of good. If you told me that was a gaincorp release i'd say that was about right. I'm sure the mould is more or less fine, but the paint finish makes it look absolutely toylike.
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:05 PM   #200
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Default Re: Hobby Master HA5601 MiG-25P Foxbat, Lt. V. Belenko, Japan 1976

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Pre-pro pics released. Unfortunately, they look the opposite of good. If you told me that was a gaincorp release i'd say that was about right. I'm sure the mould is more or less fine, but the paint finish makes it look absolutely toylike.
Just saw the pics.
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