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Thread: Mig25PDS as escort fighter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Mig25PDS as escort fighter

    Was the mig25pds ever considered an escort fighter for Soviet high altitude bombers like tu16 tu95 and tu22?
    Reason I asked was these bombers atleast in the 80s has standoff missiles they can launch at high altitude and return to base and do not have to go for low level runs like fencers and fitters.The mig25 at high altitude would be better suited to deny the interceptors like f16 and f4 ( maybe even f15) from coming close enough to the bombers to affect an interception.
    Obviously against f14 with it's AIM54 this will likely not work

    What are your thoughts?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    The MiG-25 had a very good endurance and range at slower speeds, it's flying fuel tank after all, but it still wouldn't have had the range to accompany a Tu-95 on a long-range strategic strike mission.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
    The range of the MiG-25P 600 - 800 km. Refueling in the air is not provided, there is no external tank. This range does not allow bombers to accompany
    There was an experimental scout MiG-25RB with refueling in the air, but this is another story

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Even if strike is against Japan or UK ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    No, unusable.. it's made to fly fast. If it has to remain with the bombers, it means flying subsonically, where it gives away its best advantage.. and if it has to accelerate to its "combat speed", the pilot would have to swim back to Russia

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    MiG-25 was an interceptor and not an escort fighter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    "Where the fruit is"
    It's BoB and the Bf109* all over again. I am surprised that no more imagination is surfacing on that debate (well chosen topic for a December discussion).

    Let's put it that way: how did the USSR see it during large scale exercises?

    *No you don't need small "agile" bi-plan that can curl themselves around each bomber to escort a bomber formation effectively above enemy territory. The first jet long range escort fighter would have been the MDD F-88 that ended-up being the magic Voodoo (F-101). Not quite a turn-on a-dime small fighter.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 6th December 2017 at 11:58.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    NI, UK
    Whilst the XF-88 ( and -90 ) was under development SAC actually flew escort missions with the F-84E and H, they took over 400 into inventory.

    They were inteded to escort the B-29 / 36 / 50 bomber stream but Korea showed that whilst they had the endurance they didn't have the performance to keep the MiGs out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Thanks TomcatViP

    I was suggesting this

    target airbases and navalbases in Japan and lets say turkey in the mid-80s

    plan to attack them with ASM and ARM ( AS-6/AS-4 and AS-16) carried by Tu-16/Tu-22 and Tu-95

    they need to be escorted to the launching point which is approx 200nm from their targets , that is where they will launch their missiles and then immediately turn back and head home as their missiles have inertial and active radar guidance

    that means they need to be protected not for long distances over hostile territory but just to 200nm or so from enemy's bases

    The primary threat to these bombers is the interceptors F-15/f-16 AND f-4 which will be scrambled as soon as the soviet bombers are detected likely several hundred miles away from the jap/turkish bases ( due to AWACS).

    The bombers are at high altitude accompanied by mig-25s

    Now the mig-25s accompanying them will race ahead to meet these fighters head on and this will accomplish 4 things
    1-Distract the interceptors from the bombers
    2-Draw in fire from their SARH missiles which otherwise could be used against the bombers, since enemy interceptors can only guide one SARH missile at one time ( and foxbats have shown they can be notoriously hard to kill with AIM-7s) this can be quite time consuming giving the bombers time to reach their launch point
    3-The foxbats can fire their own missiles which even if they mostly miss will still make the fighters take evasive actions
    4-Since bombers are at high altitude this will force the enemy interceptors to fight at higher altitude where foxbats perform better than at low altitude

    In the meantime the bombers can reach their launch time, release their missiles and head home

    In this way i though foxbats might be quite successful in their goal as escorts, not by destroying large number of enemy interceptors but by keeping them occupied long enough for the bombers to launch their missiles and foxbats may even get a few kills by their slash and dash tactics

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