Large numbers of Soviet military aircraft are abandoned throughout the former Soviet empire. Included among the rotting hulks are Mig 25s, helicopters and bombers.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (Russian: ???-25) (NATO reporting name “Foxbat”) is a very high-speed interceptor and reconnaissance/bomber aircraft designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau. First flown as a prototype in 1964, it entered service in 1970. With a top speed of Mach 3.2 (although flying at this speed will cause serious damage to the aircraft), a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles, the MiG-25 was rumored to have initially caused panic among Western observers and military analysts who responded with the F-15 Eagle. The aircraft’s true 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. This allowed for a production run of 1,190 aircraft. The MiG-25 flew with a number of Soviet allies and former Soviet republics and it remains in limited service in Russia and several other nations.