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The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25, NATO Reporting Name "Foxbat", The Superfast Soviet Supersonic Interceptor And Reconnaissance Jet That Terrified The United States Into Thinking It Was Far More Capable Than It Was, Fears That Ultimately Resulted In The Production Of The Remarkable Similar-Looking McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Fears Nevertheless Justified By Its Being And Remaining One Of The Fastest Military Aircraft Ever To Enter Service, Narrated By Peter Ustinov And Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD! (Color, 1993, 47 Minutes.)
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that is among the fastest military aircraft to enter service. Designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau, it is an aircraft built primarily using stainless steel. It was to be the last plane designed by Mikhail Gurevich, before his retirement. The first prototype flew in 1964 and the aircraft entered service in 1970. Although its thrust was sufficient to reach Mach 3.2+, its speed was limited to prevent engines from overheating at higher air speeds and possibly damaging them beyond repair, therefore the operational top speed was effectively Mach 2.83. The MiG-25 features a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles and was theoretically capable of a ceiling of 27 km (89,000 ft). When first seen in reconnaissance photography, the large wings suggested an enormous and highly manoeuvrable fighter, at a time when U.S. design theories were also evolving towards higher manoeuvrability due to combat performance in the Vietnam War. The appearance of the MiG-25 sparked serious concern in the West and prompted dramatic increases in performance for the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, then under development in the late 1960s. The capabilities of the MiG-25 were better understood by the West in 1976 when Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko defected in a MiG-25 to the United States via Japan. It turned out that the aircraft's weight necessitated its large wings. Production of the MiG-25 series ended in 1984 after completion of 1,186 aircraft. A symbol of the Cold War, the MiG-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics, remaining in limited service in several export customers. It is one of the highest-flying military aircraft, one of the fastest serially produced interceptor aircraft, and the second-fastest serially produced aircraft after the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, which was built in very small series compared to the MiG-25. As of 2018, the MiG-25 remains the fastest manned serially produced aircraft in operational use and the fastest plane that was offered for supersonic flights and edge-of-space flights to civilian customers.