Well, a MiG-25 was a pure interceptor, designed to catch and shootdown U-2s and SR-71s. It’s turn radius was a hundred miles, and it could only sustain 3 G’s before the wings would fall off. It was no dogfighter like the F-15, but was designed to fly mostly in a straight line like a bat out of hell.
Actually, the MIG 19 and MIG 21 were pretty decent planes. They were just pretty decent planes in the late 50’s/early 60’s and it was the 1970’s.
Great designs, bad implementation.
>>>I got a chance to crawl around in a Mig-25 at Nellis AFB in 1984. At the time I was an avionics tech on the F-15. I was struck by how crude and primitive the Mig was compared to the F-15. The cockpit looked like something from the 40s. All the technology and engineering looked about 40 years behind the F-15 and F-16. I was told what made them a threat was the shear number of Migs the USSR could throw at us. We found out in subsequent skirmishes in the Mideast (just like in Vietnam) that the Migs were no match for our jets even with the advantage in numbers.<<<
But it still holds a record as a fastest mass-produced aircraft. Highest ceiling as well.
Mig-25 has scored the first kill in Gulf War (against F-18). It has killed Hornet with a long range missile beyond visual range undetected.
>>>IIRC there were a lot of guffaws concerning the radio because it was vacuum tube. Then they realized the radio was relatively immune to EMP.<<<
This radar was also a jam-proof. It has simply burned through countermeasures. During the first Gulf War Iraqis has easily fond allied jammers with Foxbats. If not for a numerous escorts they could ‘ve been toasted.
All a criticism of Mig-25 comes out misunderstanding of it’s role.
The reality is in late 1961 a Soviet aircraft industry was ordered to make some thousand high-performance interceptors suitable to counter a massive strategic nuclear bombing by USAF XB-70s.
Mig company hasn’t thought long. They took a couple of king-size turbojets and built everything around as cheaply as possible. It made them the lowest bidder and they got this order. Powerful vacuum tube radar was essential because immunity to an EMP was crucial in terms of nuclear exchange. Another innovation was a twin vertical stabilizer.
This thing is not a dogfighter. An idea was to take-off, reach Mach 3 and 15 miles altitude and intercept as many XB-70s as possible before they’ve reached objectives. And Mig-25 seems like agile right enough to do exactly this job. Screw complicity and overengineering.
The problem is they built thousand+ and XB-70 hasn’t ever entered service.
You see this doctrine at work in the small arms each country fielded, as well: We, with our relatively finicky M16's, and them, with their utterly rugged AK-47s.