The MiG Super Fighter Terrified NATO. Then a Soviet Pilot Stole it.

MiG Super Fighter: One jet was moving at 2,400 miles per hour and the United States did not have a single plane to catch it. In the early 1970s, the Soviet MiG-25 had nightmares for the US military and intelligence communities.

If the Cold War was ever to heat up, they feared, this seemingly unstoppable fighter, code-named Focus Beat, seemed ready to sweep the skies of Western planes.

The first signs of the existence of this Soviet superplane began to appear about a decade ago, when a Russian prototype jet, named the Ye-155, initially reached 2,319 kilometers per hour (1,441 miles per hour). Set a world record with great speed. 1965. In the years that followed, the West panicked as the latest version of the McQueen and Norwich Design Bureau’s fast-climbing, high-flying, ultra-fast jets continued to break records. Observers knew that the Ye-155 would soon be more than an experimental test bed.

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Finally, in the summer of 1967, the US military obtained clear images of the mysterious plane. At a flight show near Moscow, an American delegation walked away with their cameras as three Ye-155s passed through a restless crowd. The delegation immediately sent the film rolls across the Atlantic on that day. Hours later, he landed at Wright Peterson Air Force Base in Ohio, waiting for Foreign Technology Division personnel.

It was up to James W. Doyle, an aircraft performance analyst with the US Air Force, to assign a new NATO code name. “Foxbat was used for the plane I thought had the most mystical abilities,” he noted.

The smooth Foxbat fighter fed a pair of massive afterburner-equipped turbojets. The Foxbat’s twin exhausts were about 60 inches in diameter. Above them was a pair of angular vertical tails.

In addition to the coffee engines, the wings were also of interest to Air Force reviewers. They were big – 661 square feet, as it turned out. The more winged area helps the aircraft distribute the weight, usually making it a drifter in the skies. This observation led to a sharp rise in speculation that the Fox Beat was faster. It was also a remarkable trick.

A MiG-25 was flying in 1987.

The fact that Foxbat had a striking resemblance to the proposals of American fighter jets made him uneasy. One of the basic needs of the new fighter, called the F-15, was the extraordinary maneuvering to dominate dogfights. Because Foxbat’s layout looks similar to modern F-15 hopefuls, many designers and analysts believe that the Soviet Union’s new MiG was designed to perform comparatively.

The Fox Bat spectacle forced the Air Force to make the F-15 faster and more efficient. The US government was also alarmed by the Soviet Union’s threat to land an unprecedented jet fighter. When McDonnell Douglas won the F-15 race in 1969, Congress had no choice but to spend ڈالر 1.1 billion to build the aircraft to stay in the race, including the first 20 F-15 fighter jets. ۔ (The fact that no F-15 has ever lost air scrap from an enemy aircraft is partly due to the US panic over the Fox bat.)

As the US Air Force opted for the F-15 in 1969, the MiG-25 Foxbat went into full production and began flying in the Soviet Air Force. About two years later, the Soviet Union deployed four MiG-25 spy planes to Egypt, where they conducted high-speed dashes on Israeli soil. The Israeli Air Force’s McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs stopped several times, but the Fox Bates flew at such an amazing altitude and impossible speed that they easily overtook the Israeli guards. On one occasion, Israeli radar flew a MiG-25 over the Sinai Peninsula at an altitude of 80,000 feet at an astonishing Mach 3.2 (2,436 miles per hour). For years, the MiG-25 Foxbat was the most feared fighter in the Soviet arsenal. Then a Russian pilot stole it.

On September 6, 1976, a flight of Soviet Air Force MiG-25s departed from Chuguyevka Air Base in southeastern Russia, about 300 miles west of Japan, on a training mission. The planes were unarmed, each with a full load of fuel and nothing more. The pilots who flew that day included 29-year-old Flight Lieutenant Viktor Ivanovich Belenko.

Frustrated with Soviet society, facing disagreements and divorces with his superiors, Belenko decided to blame his seven-month-old MiG-25P interceptor.

At the beginning of the training exercise, Balenko violently threw his fox bat toward the ground, which was only 100 feet high. During the sinking, he sent an emergency signal to convince those around him that he was in serious trouble. Then he turned off his radio to give the impression that he had crashed. Flying under the radar, Balenko advanced his throttle and ran east of the Sea of ​​Japan.

The MiG Super Fighter Terrified NATO. Then a Soviet Pilot Stole it.

Belenko’s iPad notebook with flight data

Earlier in the day, he recalled a rough road leading to a large military airport on Hokkaido, north of Japan’s main islands. As Balenko’s fighter jet approached, it climbed 20,000 feet and lit up local warning radar. A pair of Japanese self-defense force F-4EJs intervened to stop the intruder, but it was too late to provide them with escorts. Due to his extremely low fuel level, Balenko spotted a civil airport near the town of Hakodate and, standing in line for landing, disappeared shortly after taking off from a Boeing 727 passenger plane that was taking off. Done.

MiG was going very fast for Hakodate’s short runway. Even with the deployment of his drug parachute, Balenko used a full 6,500-plus feet and continued to travel another 800 feet in the grass, breaking a MiG tire and almost crashing into an airport device’s landing system. Plowed

Hours after landing, Western intelligence agencies were surprised by their luck. An ancient example of the Soviet Union’s most feared plane crashed into his lap. The shelter will protect Belenko, but Foxbat was still owned by the USSR. Japanese and American experts had to work hard to find out everything about the plane before political pressure forced Japan to return the mug. The fighter was quickly detached, and various systems were placed on his work stand for examination, testing, and photography.

Blenko was questioned and the plane was closely monitored for weeks. Little by little, the true story of Fox Bat began to emerge: as it turned out, the MiG-25 was not the capable and all-encompassing fighter that had bothered NATO for more than a decade.

Foxbat was an interceptor and through it, but it was built for just one task: to climb, capture and kill an American bomber that never materialized. In the mid-1950s, U.S. Air Force personnel called for deep-penetration aircraft that could carry nuclear bombs at speeds and altitudes that made them virtually untouchable for any contemporary fighter in the Soviet Air Force. will give. North American Aviation’s XB-70 Valkyrie, a six-engine high-altitude speed machine, was destined for full-scale production as Mikoyan and the Gurevich Design Bureau began working on a new American threat.

Officers inspect Belenko’s MiG at the Hakodate Airport in Japan on September 7, 1976.

Congress cut funding for the XB-70 by the early 1960s and only two experimental test beds were built. However, work continued on the aircraft, which would become a fox bat for fear that the United States might change its mind or make similar plans.

The Soviet Air Force needed a state-of-the-art aircraft to counter its high-tech enemy, but it did not have the luxury of modern US resources and funding. So the cash-strapped Soviet Union decided to reuse large engines designed for an abandoned high-altitude cruise missile project. And although the plans for the Tumansky R-15 turbojets mainly demanded the construction of titanium, the Soviets encountered technical difficulties in machining and shaping extremely hard metal. They settled on steel components with silver-plated steel in high-temperature areas. When Balenko was asked about the Foxbat, which was on Mach 3.2 in Egypt, he told his CIA investigators that the MiG-25’s engines had warmed up at the site of almost complete destruction during the race. Ground crews later removed the damaged R-15 engines from the plane and replaced them.

Tomasky engines waste fuel, especially at low altitudes. When asked about the combat radius of his plane, Balenko shocked the intelligence community by saying, “At best, 300 kilometers [186 miles].” When the Americans did not fully believe him, he offered his flight as a typical example. It flew less than 500 miles to Japan, mostly at low altitudes, and had only 52.5 gallons left in MiG tanks – about 30 seconds of flight time.

Similar metallurgy problems have plagued Mikoyan and Goryovich

Belenko’s iPad notebook with flight data

Earlier in the day, he recalled a rough road leading to a large military airport on Hokkaido, north of Japan’s main islands. As Balenko’s fighter jet approached, it climbed 20,000 feet and lit up local warning radar. A pair of Japanese self-defense force F-4EJs intervened to stop the intruder, but it was too late to provide them with escorts. Due to his extremely low fuel level, Balenko spotted a civil airport near the town of Hakodate and, standing in line for landing, disappeared shortly after taking off from a Boeing 727 passenger plane that was taking off. Done.

MiG was going very fast for Hakodate’s short runway. Even with the deployment of his drug parachute, Balenko used a full 6,500-plus feet and continued to travel another 800 feet in the grass, breaking a MiG tire and almost crashing into an airport device’s landing system. Plowed

Hours after landing, Western intelligence agencies were surprised by their luck. An ancient example of the Soviet Union’s most feared plane crashed into his lap. The shelter will protect Belenko, but Foxbat was still owned by the USSR. Japanese and American experts had to work hard to find out everything about the plane before political pressure forced Japan to return the mug. The fighter was quickly detached, and various systems were placed on his work stand for examination, testing, and photography.

Blenko was questioned and the plane was closely monitored for weeks. Little by little, the true story of Fox Bat began to emerge: as it turned out, the MiG-25 was not the capable and all-encompassing fighter that had bothered NATO for more than a decade.

Foxbat was an interceptor and through it, but it was built for just one task: to climb, capture and kill an American bomber that never materialized. In the mid-1950s, U.S. Air Force personnel called for deep-penetration aircraft that could carry nuclear bombs at speeds and altitudes that made them virtually untouchable for any contemporary fighter in the Soviet Air Force. will give. North American Aviation’s XB-70 Valkyrie, a six-engine high-altitude speed machine, was destined for full-scale production as Mikoyan and the Gurevich Design Bureau began working on a new American threat.

Officers inspect Belenko’s MiG at the Hakodate Airport in Japan on September 7, 1976.

Congress cut funding for the XB-70 by the early 1960s and only two experimental test beds were built. However, work continued on the aircraft, which would become a fox bat for fear that the United States might change its mind or make similar plans.

The Soviet Air Force needed a state-of-the-art aircraft to counter its high-tech enemy, but it did not have the luxury of modern US resources and funding. So the cash-strapped Soviet Union decided to reuse large engines designed for an abandoned high-altitude cruise missile project. And although the plans for the Tumansky R-15 turbojets mainly demanded the construction of titanium, the Soviets encountered technical difficulties in machining and shaping extremely hard metal. They settled on steel components with silver-plated steel in high-temperature areas. When Balenko was asked about the Foxbat, which was on Mach 3.2 in Egypt, he told his CIA investigators that the MiG-25’s engines had warmed up at the site of almost complete destruction during the race. Ground crews later removed the damaged R-15 engines from the plane and replaced them.

Tomasky engines waste fuel, especially at low altitudes. When asked about the combat radius of his plane, Balenko shocked the intelligence community by saying, “At best, 300 kilometers [186 miles].” When the Americans did not fully believe him, he offered his flight as a typical example. It flew less than 500 miles to Japan, mostly at low altitudes, and had only 52.5 gallons left in MiG tanks – about 30 seconds of flight time.

When it came to building airframes, similar metallurgy problems plagued Mikoyan and Goryovich. Foxbat’s high speed generates air friction temperatures up to 900, and mainly guarantees lightweight, heat-resistant titanium construction. But the Soviet Union was forced to make mostly fox bats out of heavy stainless steel. They saved expensive and annoying titanium only for areas that were exposed to extreme heat. Which was about 9% of the airframe.

On a North American XB70 Valkyrie flight
An XB-70 Valkyrie

Once American engineers had a MiG-25 and a Soviet pilot to carefully examine, it soon became apparent that the large wings of the aircraft were not at all maneuvering. ۔ Instead, Foxbat’s vicious wings were intended to help the aircraft’s larger engines, more than 15 tons of fuel, and its heavy steel airframe climb faster and take to the skies for a brief attack.

The MiG-25 could have gotten its initial job of killing high-flying bombers – but barely. The prototype XB-70 can achieve Valkyrie Mach 3.1. With the title of its engines, a MiG-25 can reach Mach 3.2. Valkyrie’s service range was 77,350 feet. The MiG-25 can climb up to 78,740 feet, while the two heavy R-40s can carry long-range air-to-air missiles to repel fast-moving intruders. The margins of a successful attack were thin.

The truth of the Fox Bat was that in order to reach its speed and height, McQueen and Goriovich sacrificed almost everything else, including range and tact. The MiG-25 has never been a dogfighter.

The Foxbat was surprisingly older than the Western warplanes of the time. It was built without the benefit of large quantities of modern materials and the latest technology. But despite the limitations, the Soviets were clever creators. The construction of the mug was full of surprises. Analysts from the Air Force’s Foreign Technology Division actually mocked the exposed rivet heads with dots on MiG’s skin, despairing the Soviet production methods. But years later they realized that rivets only spread to areas where they do not cause parasites to drag. In this way, MiG designers added power to the airframe with no penalty for slowing down performance. Diagnostics also wondered how MiG’s stainless steel airframe was hand-welded, eliminating the need for expensive and sophisticated machines.

The MiG-25PU Foxbat takes off at the 1999 MAKS Air Show near Moscow.

Perhaps the most surprising discovery was the fact that most of the MiG-25’s ionics were based on vacuum tubes – not on solid-state electronics. It was considered too old for top-of-the-line military jets in the 1970s but had the advantages of a vintage system. Vacuum tubes were more tolerant of modern avionics, allowing the mug to fly in the avionics bay without heavy environmental control. In addition, the tubes were allowed for quick and easy maintenance at ancient Russian airports, and the ancient system would better withstand the frying power of an electromagnetic pulse circuit generated by a nuclear explosion.

And thanks to these vintage vacuum tubes, the mug’s radar system has been able to generate extremely powerful pulses. Blenko called it jam-proof. In short, the extraordinarily powerful radar was capable of “burning” any jamming signal thrown through its ear.

More than two months later, when the Soviets were angry, the analysis ended. Filled in 30 crates, once the West’s worst air enemy, the lifted parts were loaded onto a Russian cargo ship bound for its home in the Japanese port city of Hitachi.

The Japanese later sent a بل 40,000 bill to the Soviet Union to refund damage to their airport and shipping charges for the plane. Russia retaliated with a 10 million receipt for “unfriendly handling”. Both loans are outstanding.

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