Comparison Between Two Fastest Aircraft in The World

In comparison between SR-71 Blackbird vs Mig-25 Foxbat Aircraft, was the Mig-25 Foxbat and the upgraded Mig-31 Foxhound capable of intercepting SR-71? This question came up regularly throughout the world back then. So, to put to rest, this question is the purpose of this article. During the cold war, the Russians were highly concerned about the United States XB-70 supersonic bomber project.

In response, they built the Mig-25, which is design to be an interceptor for encountering air targets in all weather and conditions by day and night and in dense hostile electronic warfare environments. Now let’s look into the general specifications,

SR-71 Blackbird vs Mig-25 Foxbat Aircraft

General Specifications

The SR-71 was first developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by the Lockheed skunkworks division. American aerospace engineer Clarence Kelly Johnson was responsible for many of the aircraft’s innovative concepts.

SR-71 Blackbird vs Mig-25 Foxbat Aircraft
An AMERICAN Aircraft, SR-71 BLACKBIRB
SR-71 Blackbird vs Mig-25 Foxbat Aircraft
A RUSSIAN Aircraft MIG-25 FOXBAT

Shape

The shape of the SR-71 is base on the Lockheed A-12. which was one of the first aircraft designed with a reduced radar cross-section. Production of the Mig-25 series ends in 1984 after the completion of 1186 aircraft. A sign of the cold war, the Mig-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics, and the remaining in limited service in several export customers.

Length, Width, and Height

SR-71 Blackbird Vs Mig-25 Foxbat Aircraft, the length of SR-71 is about 32.74 meters long wingspan of over 16.94 meters and 5.64 meters. Mikoyan 25 Foxbat, on the other hand, is shorter narrow, and a little taller than a blackbird.

Maximum weight

The maximum take-off weight of the SR-71 blackbird is about 78,000 kilograms, and without fuel, the aircraft weighs 30,000 kilograms. The empty weight of Foxbat is about 20,000 kilograms. Its maximum take-off weight is about 36,720 kilograms, almost half of the blackbirds.

Maximum speed And Range

The maximum estimated speed of SR-71 blackbird aircraft is 3,529 kilometers per hour. It can also go beyond that. The maximum range of blackbirds is up to 5,900 kilometers and Foxbat of 3,470 kilometers.

Maximum flight altitude

The maximum altitude of Mig-25 can fly about 25,900 meters or 85,000 feet, whereas Foxbat can fly only up to 24,400 kilometers or 80,000 feet. The Mig-25 can sustain this altitude for 2 minutes due to engine overheating.

Power

The installed power of SR-71 blackbird is a Pratt and Whitney J58-1 continuous bleed after burning turbo ram jets developing 32,500 lb of thrust. The Mikoyan 25 Foxbat uses the Soyuz or Tumansky R-15B-300 turbojet engines with afterburn expanding 22,494 lb of thrust each.

Armament

Lastly, we have an armament originally. In comparison between SR-71 Blackbird Vs Mig-25 Foxbat Aircraft, the blackbird was build to provides weapons, but it was converted into a reconnaissance plane when it realizes that the plane flew faster than a rifle bullet. In simple terms, it would have shut itself down.

The Foxbat, on the other hand, typically has four supersonic AA6 or R-40 accurate long-range air-to-air missiles, and other alternatives air-to-air missiles include 2 x AA7 (R-23) “Apex” or 2 x AA8 (R-60) “Aphid.” The aircraft also carries 4 x AA-11 (R-73A) “Archer” medium-range missiles and anti-radiation missiles. 

In Conclusion

It will depend on the reader to conclude whether a Mig-25 or a Mig-31 could have intercepted an SR-71. In my biased opinion, it would be: “Highly Unlikely.” The following facts are real:

  • A Mig-25 or Mig-31 has never fired a missile at an SR-71.
  • SR-71 Pilots state that the Mig-25/31 never posed a serious threat to their aircraft.
  • The Mig-25 can only keep up Mach 2.8 for a short duration due to an engine overheat.
  • The Mig-25 can only keep up an altitude of 78,740 feet for two minutes maximum.
  • In 1973, Kelly Johnson, designer of the SR-71 Blackbird, stated that in the comparison between SR-71 Blackbird Vs Mig-25 Foxbat Aircraft, the Mig-25 Foxbat has the inherent capability to outperform the SR only in maneuverability. However,  he said, it would be the missile and not the aircraft that would require the maneuverability to intercept a Blackbird.
  • The SR-71 routinely cruised at Mach 3.2 in continuous afterburner at 80-85,000 feet. The speed and altitude of an SR-71 coupled with superior Defensive electronics have prevented any intended intercept of the Blackbird either by land-based missiles or airborne Interceptor threats.
  • Almost all SR-71 Blackbird Reconnaissance Aircraft are now in Museums throughout the United States, having flown for 32 years with the distinction of being the “Highest flying and fastest air-breathing aircraft in the world.”

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1 COMMENT

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