Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Note: This aircraft is currently in the restoration hangar. The Soviet MiG-25 (NATO code-name "Foxbat") was a high-speed interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft entered service in 1970 and has a top speed of Mach 2.83, powerful radar, and could carry up to four air-to-air missiles. The MiG-25's capabilities were not discovered until 1976 when Viktor Belenko, a Soviet MiG-25 pilot, defected to Japan. Subsequent analysis revealed a simple-yet-functional design with vacuum-tube electronics, two massive turbojet engines, and sparing use of advanced materials such as titanium. A capable interceptor, the MiG-25 was widely exported by the Soviet Union. The first MiG-25s entered service with the Iraqi Air Force in 1980 during the Iran-Iraq War. The aircraft on exhibit, a MiG-25RB, was found in 2003 by American forces buried in the sand near Al Taqaddum Airbase 250km west of Baghdad during the opening months of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The MiG-25 was buried to prevent its destruction on the ground by coalition aircraft. The aircraft was recovered incomplete--the wings could not be located and the vertical stabilizers were removed for transport. The aircraft arrived at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in 2006. TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Four air-to-air missiles (two radar-guided AA-6 "Acrid" missiles, and two infrared-guided R-40T missiles). Engines: Two Tumansky R-15B-300 turbojets of approx. 22,500 lbs. thrust each with afterburner Maximum speed: Mach 2.83 Click here to return to the Featured Accessions index.