“In terms of speed, MiG-25 can fly at mach 3.2 but after that flight – and it will be short one, I don’t know how long but it will be short one – but after that flight you must change its engines.”
– Lt. (Sg.) V. Belenko, Russian pilot who defected to the West with his MiG 25 interceptor
When it was first unveiled to the world in the late 1960s, the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 25 “Foxbat” caused a great deal of consternation in the West, appearing as if the Soviets had gained the upper hand in fighter aircraft design. However, at a time when Western military planners were still unsure as to the exact purpose of the MiG 25, fate and a good bit of luck would turn things around and give the Soviets a headache of their own.
Inaccurate intelligence analysis caused the West initially to believe the MiG-25 was an agile air-combat fighter rather than an interceptor. In response, the United States started a new program which resulted in the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. NATO obtained a better understanding of the MiG-25’s capabilities on September 6th, 1976, when a Soviet Air Defence Forces pilot, Lt. Viktor Belenko, defected, landing his MiG-25P at Hakodate Airport in Japan. The pilot overshot the runway on landing and damaged the front landing gear. Despite Soviet protests, the Japanese invited U.S. Air Force personnel to investigate the aircraft. On September 25th, it was moved by a C-5A transport to a base in central Japan, where it was carefully dismantled and analyzed. After 67 days, the aircraft was returned by ship to the Soviets, in pieces. The aircraft was reassembled and is now on display at the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod.
To pay tribute to this amazing warbird, Hobby Master has announced their intent to build a 1:72 scale replica of the MiG 25P “Foxbat-A” interceptor (HA5601). More importantly, Hobby Master has chosen to recreate the aircraft flown by defecting Soviet pilot, Viktor Belenko, as its first foray into the land of the MiG, the same aircraft he flew from Russia to Japan in 1976, and returned to the Soviet Union some two months later.
We anticipate extremely strong sales for this aircraft when it gets released some time this coming March, so we advise placing your pre-orders as soon as possible since it is entirely possible we may not have enough for general sale once it does arrive.