In the late 50-ies of XX century, just formed a "new world order" — the two superpowers met in a deadly struggle for the right to be the only winner. The Pentagon seriously discusses the plan «Dropshot» — destruction from the air 300 big cities Russian Union. The Soviet Union is preparing in the Arctic airfields for their own bombers — a real chance to get to America. On the days of the characters!
May 8, 1954 a regiment of MiG-15 raced poorly over the Kola Peninsula for the RB-47E — intelligence modification bomber B-47 «Stratojet». To intercept the plane, without the dignity of speed and without the introduction of missiles "air-to-air" — a lost cause. Golden Bomber time! The very logic of similar "incidents" gave a hint that it was necessary to climb up and / or to fly faster — then pilots in general will not be any problems with overcoming air defense "potential enemy." While South American designers have made a whole line of combat aircraft, designed to use at supersonic speeds and altitudes above the clouds.
Navy aircraft carriers ordered for their own party attack aircraft A-5 "Vidzhilenti" — heavy "awl with nuclear stuffing" was able to go on a supersonic cruise and climb into a dynamic jump to a height of 28 km, with all this while remaining specific carrier-based machine.
Air Force aircraft ordered from the company "Convair" supersonic bomber distant B-58 "Hustler" ("squirt"), which became one of the most expensive aircraft in aviation history (1 kg construction of "Hustler" excelled at rates of 1 kg untainted gold).
The second mega-project of the Air Force became a high-altitude supersonic strategic bomber XB-70 "Valkyrie". Metal monster take-off weight 240 tons was due on 3 speeds of sound pierce the air defense system of the USSR and a height of 20 km afflict 30 tons of its own deadly cargo. "Valkyrie" turned into horror for its developers built two cars so got all that they have written off to the devil's mother, never put into service.
Remained on the sidelines, and the CIA, which was commissioned by the odious created high-altitude spy U-2 "Dragon Lady". The car did not shine speed — only 800 km / h, but what altitude! It is something — glider climbed to 25-30 km, and could hang there for 7 hours.
The success of the U-2 was the basis for the creation of more frostbitten aircraft A-12 project "Archangel". And after a couple of years to replace the high-altitude supersonic spies the A-12 came a new reconnaissance aircraft — SR-71 "Blackbird" flown generally beyond the probable.
To counter this armada ghouls OKB AI Mikoyan in 1961 launched the idea of stratospheric interception. Acquired by the time the scientific and technological advance allowed the designers to make a unique Russian aviation complex, filled the massive radar and missiles "air-air" long range. Future interceptor had to develop triple the speed of sound and hit targets at altitudes of up to 25 thousand meters. One of the important requirements of the project was to ensure the reliability and ease of use of the machine in the criteria of the Air Force combat units, for most ordinary military airfields scattered in large numbers on the majestic expanse of the Soviet Union.
The problem was to overcome the severe thermal barrier — at a speed of 2.8 M body aircraft simultaneously heated up to 200 ° C, and the protrusions and edges of the wings even harder — 300 ° C. At such temperatures the aluminum loses its strength characteristics. The main construction material MiG-25 was selected steel (80% design). The share of aluminum accounted for only 11%, other 8% — titanium. For this indicator, the MiG-25 was second only to the layout bomber "Valkyrie", the construction of which 90% was made of steel.
Work on the creation of the MiG-25 was in full swing — the first two models took to the air as early as 1964. Then followed a series of misfortunes: in 1967, died at his record-breaking lead investigator Igor Foresters, a year in the cockpit of a promising aircraft fired air defense commander, General Kadomtsev. The pilots did not give their lives in vain homeland — test flights of super-interceptor lasted, in 1969, the MiG-25 for the first time made the interception of air targets using the R-40R (index "40R" means a radar seeker, there was another R-40T with thermal GOS). In April 1972, the fighter-interceptor MiG-25P was adopted. Serial production of aircraft launched a little earlier — in 1971 at the Gorky aircraft plant (now Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft Plant municipal "Falcon").
January 16, 1970 has made its own final flight bomber B-58 "Hustler". In February 1969, turned down the project XB-70 "Valkyrie". In 1963, in connection with the occurrence of ballistic missiles, submarine-based "Polaris" U.S. Navy refused to deploy nuclear weapons on the decks of aircraft carriers, refitting their drums A-5 "Vidzhilenti" in the distant scouts.
Aircraft I hurried out of the stratosphere at low altitude. First alarm signal for aviators did in 1960, when over Sverdlovsk fire the S-75 was shot down by Mr. Powers. The Vietnam War gave quite understand — at a great height there is no escape from the anti-aircraft missiles. Plane and is just straying, or supersonic speed, or the maximum altitude does not help — anti-aircraft missile still flies faster.
When the Soviet Union designed high-altitude interceptor MiG-25, the United States worked on a fundamentally different plane — a tactical bomber F-111 «Aardvark»; Both machines have made their own first flight in 1964. The main "chip» F-111 was a breakthrough on defense as low altitudes. Initially, the F-111 was created as a promising fighter for the Air Force and Navy, but the bomb load of 14 tons, with a variable geometry wing, the crew of two people and a perfect sighting and navigation system "prompt" for the correct application of this equipment. Yet, in its title entrenched Fighter index «F» («fighter»).
On 3 speeds of sound impossible to find and point target to score a hit. Attack aircraft and aircraft gunships preferred to operate at low speeds and small elevations. As a result, there was a whole class of subsonic shock machines to deliver maximum efficiency when working against point targets — Deck Forward A-6 "Intruder", an anti-attack aircraft A-10, the invulnerable Russian Su-25 "Grach" … All the wars of the past nedavneshnego confirmed this theory — during "Operation Desert Storm" combat aircraft did not fly higher than 10 km, and in most cases the altitude measured by several hundred square meters meters.
According to the views of many professionals, high-altitude interceptor MiG-25 really had no rivals because of its ability to remain unclaimed. Planes, against which it was created, flying off in the years 1950-1960. Batch creation of the MiG-25 began in 1971 and lasted until 1985, built 1186 units. About this time in 1974, was adopted by the deck interceptor fourth-generation F-14 &
quot;Tomcat". In 1976, he entered into service F-15 "Eagle", more modern fighter fourth generation.
In the United States did not have 3 generations of fighters, similar Russian MiG-23 and MiG-25. Followed after "Phantom", which refers to the generation 2 +, went into a series of F-14, F-15 and F-16. 4th generation fighters differed from its predecessors over the equilibrium of TTX. There was a crisis in the sight of military aviators: the pursuit of speed (the F-15 is limited to 2.5 speed of sound) has been replaced by zeal to achieve superior maneuverability (experience has affected close air combat in Vietnam) and an increase in property-board avionics.
Naturally, the MiG-25 was hard to have dogfights in the changed criteria. Speaking about the events of the early 1980s in Lebanon, it should be noted that the Israeli F-15 MiGs to sneak up on the low-altitude (radar MiG-25 had no function to select targets on the background of the earth, so do not distinguish targets in the lower hemisphere) and used with impunity its technical advantage. There is a theory that during the 1 st of the fights, July 29, 1981 MiG-25 shot down "Eagle" off the coast of Lebanon. According to the Syrian military, their boat even picked up a life jacket and a set of signal means. But, then, no real evidence of this story was provided. Syrian Air Force has recognized the loss of 3 MiG-25 fighter jets and hastened to bring this type of fighting outside (due to the lack of suitable targets). And speaking of "technical superiority" of the Israeli Air Force, do the slip of the tongue, which is the hunt for the MiG-25 single out entire battle groups of a pair of F-15 aircraft radar equipment distant E-2 "Hawkeye" and a few scouts "Phantoms" served as bait.
MiGs were used extensively during the Iran-Iraq war. Until now, no clear results of those fights, it is clear only that the MiG-25 in the main used as bombers and scouts. In July 1986, in the cockpit of the MiG-25 died on the Iraqi Al — Rayyan Mohammed. Upon returning from his mission, his plane waylaid a couple F-5 "Freedom Fighter" and was hit by cannon fire.
Another fundamental milestone in the career of fighting MiG was Operation "Desert Storm". Americans are proud of their F-15s shot down two MiG-25. But Americans do not love to remember how "outdated" Iraqi MiG conducted a successful missile attack and knocked the modern carrier-based fighter-bomber F/A-18 "Hornet". And how many more victories MiG-25 hiding behind vague explanations of the press service of the Pentagon, "allegedly shot down by anti-aircraft fire", "fell on the consumption of the fuel," "early detonation of bombs dropped"? In 2002, the MiG-25 won another victory, shooting down a South American drone in the sky over Baghdad.
MiG-25 vs SR-71 «Blackbird»
When the conversation is about the MiG-25, someone surely will remember about "Blackbird." Let's try to arrange some short accents in this endless debate "beaver with a donkey." The only thing that connects voedinyzhdy these machines — the highest speed.
MiG-25 was produced in 2-main variants (plus countless lot of modifications) MiG-25P interceptor and reconnaissance bomber MiG-25RB, with small differences among themselves. MiG-25 aircraft serial, designed for mass construction and permanent operation in line units.
SR-71 — Strategic supersonic spy, built 36 units. A rare, in many ways experimental aircraft.
So now let's start from the facts. Associate directly interceptor MiG-25P with the strategic scout unrealistic, in view of the different requirements for their design. MiG-25P was created for the purpose of intercepting a frisky, "Blackbird", by contrast, had to spend hours in the airspace of another country.
Because experts at the Mikoyan design bureau cost ordinary and reliable technical solutions, using as the main structural material heat-resistant steel. Time availability for the speed to 2.8 M MiG-25 was limited to 8 minute, on another thermal heating will destroy the plane. During those eight minutes MiG-25 flew the entire area of Israel.
SR-71 had to maintain flight mode on a 3-speed of sound in a half hour. A similar result could not be likely to reach the ordinary ways. The design of the SR-71 is widely used titanium, used a complex system astronavigation (stalking position 56 stars), and the pilots were sitting in the suits of the highest pressure, similar to gallakticheskie suits. Sortie SR-71 looked like a circus: The Rise half-empty tanks, the yield on the supersonic and warm design to eliminate gaps in compensation tanks, braking, and then followed the first in-flight refueling. Only then the SR-71 went on the combat course.
But, again, these distortions were the result of providing a long flight on a 3-speed of sound. Differently here in any way. I'm not talking about the fact that operating costs MiG-25P and SR-71 were incomparable, due to different tasks, setting machines.
If you find for the MiG-25P closer as intended zabugorny analog, they will certainly be Interceptor F-106 «Delta Dart» (start of operation — 1959 year). Strong and normal piloting aircraft were in service with 13 air defense squadrons of the United States. The highest speed — Mach 2, the ceiling — 17 km. Of the fascinating features — a set of weapons, other than ordinary missiles "air-to-air", included two rockets AIR-2A «Genie» nuclear warhead. Then the car got a six-barrel cannon "Volcano" — again affected the experience of Vietnam. Naturally, F-106, like all members of the series 100, primitive machine was compared with massive MiG made 10 years later. But in the 60 years the Americans have not developed high-altitude interceptor, concentrating efforts on developing 4th generation fighters. *
Best practice at least some theory
If the combat effectiveness of the MiG-25 was low, then why exploration of the West so eager to get their hands on a copy of Russian aircraft? Let's start with the fact that the MiG-25 was a unique machine for the record: it was found on the MiG 29 global high scores in speed, climb and altitude. In contrast to the SR-71, on the Russian interceptor at a rate of 2.5 M allowed to overload 5g. This allowed Miguev set records on small closed routes.
The real glory "nesbivaemyh aircraft" were the MiG-25RB of the 63rd Special Aviation Reconnaissance Troop. In May 1971, the scouts began regular flights over Israel. For the first time, at the entrance to the air space of Israel, according to Russian MiG-25RB opened fire tight Israeli air defense system. Without result. On the interception was raised squadron 'Phantoms', but a heavy fighter-bomber "Phantom" did not gravitate toward the conquest of the stratosphere. Having shot all their missiles, "Phantoms" returned back with nothing. Then rose into the air link "Mirage" — the most lightweight, undercharged, they had to climb to an altitude of 20 km for the successful launching their own rockets. And this
maneuver Israelis failed: vosled issued missiles could not catch up with the MiG.
Nesbivaemy spy — naturally unpleasant, but tolerable. But nesbivaemy bomber — this is really creepy. Especially for the MiG-25RB were made heat-resistant bombs FAB-500, which dropped from a height of 20,000 feet at a speed of 2,300 km / h. The bomb weighing 500 kg, some 10 proparhav of kilometers, is forced into the ground to a depth of multimeter, which exploded, turning out the wrong way round the whole surrounding area. Naturally, the accuracy has remained much to be desired, but the inevitability of retribution acted on the opponent sobering.
Well, in the end tell a cheer legend: in the cooling system of the equipment used in the MiG-25RB 250 liters. "Massandra" — water-alcohol consistency and 50 liters. untainted by alcohol, suitable for use. Every flight "to disperse" (high speed at high altitude) all this in store subject to substitution. At one point, AI Mikoyan received a letter from the wives of servicemen with the request to change the alcohol on anything else. Mikoyan said that if required for flight and technical characteristics of the machine he will need to fill in her Armenian cognac, he will fill it even ARMENIAN KONYAK!