Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25R/U “Garuda”

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Foxbat06 Small







Type: Supersonic Reconnaissance Figher.

Country of Origin: Russia

Accommodation: One Pilot (R)
………………………Two Pilots (U)

Design Features:

…..wingspan – 13.418m
…..length – 23.82 m
…..height – 6.10m

Weights: Empty – 19,600 kg (43,120 lbs.)
…………Maximum – 39,600 kg (87,120 lbs.)

Avionics and Equipment:
……1 x A70 main camera
……1 x AE-10 camera

Engine(s): Two Tumansky R-15-B-300 single spool turbojets providing 11,200 kgf thrust with reheat.

Fuel Capacity: 23,000 liters of K-60 aviation fuel

Maximum – 3,390 km/h (Mach 3.2 Clean)
……….Max. cruising speed

Service Ceiling:  80,000 feet

Range: Maximum – 900km

Service Life: 15 Years – extended to 25 Years

Variants: MiG-25R, MiG-25U

Number Procured: 8 R, 2 U

Units Equipped:
………………….. 102 Squadron “Trisonics” (1981-2003)
………………….. 35 Squadron “Rapiers”(2003-2006)

Brief History:

The MiG-25 was inducted into IAF service on 17 Aug 81 at Bareilly to fullfil the need of a strategic reconnaissance aircraft. On that day No.102 Squadron under the command of Wg Cdr Apram Jeet Singh VrC  was formed with five MiG-25Rs and two MiG-25Us. The first sortie took place on 25 Aug 81, when a two seater was flown by the CO A J Singh with the then Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Idris Latif as his second pilot.

During the initial days, one aircraft was wrecked while being air tested by a Russian Pilot. the aircraft was replaced with a new one in due course at no additional cost. Another aircraft was lost in 1985 at Jodhpur when an aircraft crashed on approach. The pilot perished in the accident.

The Squadron operated under the functional control of Air HQ directly. Only later in its career did the control shift to Central Air Command. Bareilly had been the parent base of the aircraft throughout its career. The aircraft did undertake sorties from other airbases as well in course of its missions.

The first operational mission was flown in October 87.  It was displayed publicly at Tilpat Air Power Demo in March 89. In October 1990, Peter Steinmann took several air to air photographs of the aircraft that attained world exposure. On 24 Oct 95, the then CO Gp Capt Sumit Mukerji and Wg Cdr Y S Babu flew a two-seater to photograph the eclipse over India.

The aircraft was used during the Kargil conflict, Wg Cdr P J Thakur of the Squadron was mentioned in dispatches.

No.102 Squadron was numberplated in 2003 and the aircraft were used to form  “A” flight of No.35 Squadron “The Rapiers” which had given up its ELINT Canberras by that time.

Over the years atleast three MiG-25s were lost on routine sorties. During its entire tenure with the IAF, only 42 IAF pilots were ever qualified to fly this fighter.

The aircraft’s original calendar life was 15 years. In 1995, a life extension programme pushed the MiG-25s for another ten years. In 2001, another programme propelled the jets until 2005. The final extension was made in 2005. Finally, the IAF decided the machines wouldn’t be pushed any more.

The aircraft was finally phased out on 1st May 2006. At that time three single seaters (KP351, KP354 and KP355) and the two trainers (DS361, DS362) were still operational. An addtional fourth single seater aircraft (KP3106) was also extant but had been withdrawn from use for years.

All the six airframes that were remaining were sent out to be preserved. One each in Barielly, Kalaikunda, Dundigal, Palam, Khadakvasla and Jodhpur.

Pilot Roster:

Only 42 pilots were ever qualified to fly the MiG-25. The following is a partial list of the MiG-25 qualified pilots


No Rank Name Period Unit
1 Gp Capt Apram Jeet Singh 1981 102
2 Gp Capt Donald Lazarus 1981 102
3 Gp Capt S L Sud 1981 102
4 AVM J S Grewal 1981 102
5 Sqn Ldr R E Ketkar 1981 102
6 Sqn Ldr B S Khalsa 1981 102
7 AVM S P Rajguru 1981 102
8 Wg Cdr Yogesh Suri 102
9 Sqn Ldr Bhullar 2002 102
10 Gp Capt Joseph Chacko 102
11 AVM S Mukerji 1995 102
12 Wg Cdr Y S Babu 1995 102
13 AM Trevor Osman 1986 102
14 AM Brij Mohan Bali 1985 102
15 Flt Lt K B Bandhopadhyay 1999 102
16 Gp Capt V S Kapani 1999 102
17 Gp Capt S P Ojha 102
18 Gp Capt J L Narayanan 102
19 Wg Cdr Alok Chauhan 2006 35
20 Wg Cdr Sanjeev Kumar Taliyan 2006 35
21 Sqn Ldr M Thakurdesai 2006 35
22 Sqn Ldr K Sharma 2006 35



» Shiv Aroor’s The MIGnificient Flying Machines http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/aircraft/past/963-mig25.html
» MiG-25R/U Image Gallery http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Galleries/Aircraft/Vintage/Fighters/MiG25R/
» MiG-25U DS362 Walkaround at Dundigal by Sanjay Simha http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Galleries/Aircraft/Walkarounds/MiG25U/
» MiG-25 Attrition   http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/Accidents/listing.php?cur=0&qacid=63&qt=TY
» The man who chased an eclipse in a Foxbat http://livefist.blogspot.com/2009/07/avm-mukerji-man-who-chased-eclipse-in.html
» Phasing out reports Telegraph India , Week




KP 312 R 102 Unconfirmed
KP 351 R  1981-08-17 2006-05-01 102, 35 Pvd NDA Khadakvasla
KP 352 R  1981-08-17 102
KP 353 R  1981-08-17 102
KP 354 R  1981-08-17 2006-05-01 102, 35 Pvd Bareilly AFS ? 
KP 355 R  1981-08-17 2006-05-01 102, 35 Pvd IAFM Palam
KP 356 R  1981-08-17 1994-08-03 102 W/o Cr  3 Aug 94 at Barielly
KP 3106 R 102 Pvd Bareilly AFS ?
DS 361 U  1981-08-17 2006-05-01 102, 35 Pvd Kalaikunda AFS
DS 362 U  1981-08-17 2006-05-01 102, 35 Pvd AFA Dundigal






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