Foxbat Tales


Mike Guardia


Magnum Books


$14.95 SRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 124 pages, photos, softbound
ISBN: 9780999644355

The MiG-25 was developed as a response to the B-70. It is an aircraft that is a true interceptor. It is able to fly at high altitude at a very high speed. With the cancellation of the B-70, there was not a cancellation of the MiG-25 program. Indeed, it was expanded as it was realized that the aircraft made for an excellent reconnaissance platform. Its high speed and high altitude of operations made it impossible to intercept during its mission.

Despite the usual issues with development, the MiG-25 not only went into production, but it was later offered to Soviet-friendly nations as both the interceptor and reconnaissance version.

This book is about the combat operations of the aircraft. Its first usage was as a reconnaissance platform during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Operating out of Egyptian bases, it was able to perform missions without any concerns about interception. The Israeli SAMs couldn't reach high enough and neither could their F-4 or Mirage fighters. Missions were flown in pair in case one plane developed trouble and had to return to base. With the war over, the planes redeployed to the Soviet Union.

Later, they were used by Syria during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. By this time the Israelis had obtained F-15s and these were able to reach the Foxbats, but couldn't keep up with their speed. It was discovered that the MiG-25 was not a dog fighter and was never built to be one. Several were lost during that time.

Another major use of the plane was during the early-mid 1980s by the Libyans during Ghadaffi's 'Line of Death' times in the Gulf of Sidra. No combat was ever engaged but the MiG-25 pilots were frustrated in their attempts by the constant jamming of their systems but US EW aircraft. They were often engaged, but their high speed allowed them to break off at will without worries of interception.

Finally, there is use by Iraq. In both the Iran/Iraq war and Gulf War I and II, the type was used. Much more successfully during the Iran/Iraq war, but it was there that the Iranian F-14s were able to gain some success. So was the case with the MiG-25. Its last combat victory was during Gulf War I when it shot down a USN F-18.

So basically what you have is a nicely researched book that provides some introductory information on the aircraft, but spends most of the pages telling the combat use. We get inputs from both sides of the various conflicts, with those of the men who flew the plane being quite interesting. It makes for a book that is fun to read and well worth picking up. I highly recommend it.

November 2020

Copyright All rights reserved.

Thanks to Mike Guardia for the review copy. You can get yours from many sources. Here is one.

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