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The pride and shine of the Indian Air Force, MiG-25v Foxbat, is the perfect example of power and excellence. The MiG or Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft of the IAF. It is considered the fastest military aircraft in the army due to its lightweight body.
Let’s talk about things you are unfamiliar with when it comes to MiG Foxbat.
The Untold Story Of IAF MiG-25 Foxbat
Let’s get back to May 1997; there was a typical day in Islamabad when people heard an unusual sound that seemed like a cloud burst. The Pakistan forces came to know about this unusual sound and tried tracking when they came to understand that an aircraft was rushing from Pakistan to India.
The Pakistan Army knew it was not their aircraft and started guessing its origin. The artifact was no one else but the MiG-25 Combat. It was the most secretive and powerful aircraft of the Indian Air Force, famous by the name GARUD.
And the booming sound that people heard was the sonic boom generated by MiG.
At that time, the aircraft that IAF had was the most powerful aircraft in the Asian region that no plane could compare to. In addition, the specification and features that Foxbat consist of are still rare in most aircraft to date.
Untold Facts About MiG-25 Foxbat
1. Foxbat is the most secretive aircraft of the Indian Air Force; the IAF revealed MiG’s existence just a few days before its decommission to the media. MiG belongs to the 102 Triconics Squadron of the Bareilly Air Force.
2. Shiv Aroor- the founder of Livfist, was the first to talk and report about MiG when he visited Bareilly Airways.
3. MiG 25 Foxbat is an airship that has served the Indian Air Force for more than 25 years and has played the role of “Superspy” to suspect air activities. Further, it also has contributed to bringing sensitive information about India’s hostile advisories.
4. Due to its confidential positioning in the Air Force, only 25 pilots or officials have operated this airship for 25 years. The rest of the people in the IAF didn’t even know about the existence and contribution of Foxbat.
5. MiG Combat has also held many magnificent titles and awards like “The Fastest Aircraft of the Indian IAF”, “The Highest Service Ceiling”, and many others.
6. In September 1976, there was a tragic incident with MiG-25 in which America got a hold of it. When the Americans examined the aircraft, they were shocked by seeing such extraordinary specifications and features. The material used and its vacuum tube radar and held-welding technique amazed everyone.
7. According to a few sources, it was also said that the aircraft was sent to the Soviet Union in 40 different boxes. Later on, the Union complained that a few parts of the airship were missing and asked Japan to send them a bill of $100 million. But, Japan sent another bill of 4000 Dollars for damaging the airport and the shipping cost to send the aircraft.
8. One of the most exciting features of Foxbat was its ultrasonic speed, which can even defeat the speed of MAC 3. But to prevent any complication, it was never run at the speed of a MAC.
9. Unlike many fast-speeding aircraft like SR 71, this airship was used for many combats. And it was not recognized by Viktor Blenko in 1976; there are chances that no one would get to know about this magnificent artwork. And further, the USA started exporting these aircraft to friendly nations with the exact specifications.
10. IAF inducted the MiG 25 in 1981, in which the R-variant of this aircraft was used. It was a reconnaissance and non-bomber version that was unarmed and not eligible for combat. The best thing about MiG was its unbeatable speed and power to operate at a higher level.
11. The only objective of using MiG R-variance was for surveillance, as India needed a strong medium for reconnaissance with accuracy, which was not possible by any air platforms. There were 10 MiG opted by Indians to collect information on foreign intelligence.
12. One of the pilots who operated MiG-25 said, “From the height at which we fly MiG, you can see the entire Himalayan range in one go. No aircraft has ever been able to achieve for us what Foxbat has.“
13. The cruising speed of Foxbat is 2.8 to 3.2 Mach, the one that can beat the speed of a missile. And its service ceiling (maximum height) is 9,000 ft/ around 21 km.
14. MiG-25 has two engines, and the fuel it used to consume during a single extended mission was around 23,000 litres. The 1200 mm cameras installed in this aircraft were used to capture Pakistan while going from Punjab and Kashmir. And due to its speed and service ceiling, it was untraceable and indomitable.
Due to its capabilities, MiG-25 managed to succeed in many missions involving Pakistan and Tibet from 1981 to 2006. It also helped to capture photographs of communication networks’ radar images and military establishments.
This MiG-25 Foxbat has proven to be an asset for the Indian Air Force. MiG was retired in 2006 and is now displayed in Palam Museum Delhi for people to explore.