But how does the the MIG 25 compare to a modern interceptor role??? can it still be usefull in this role???
A comptetent pilot, inside an upgraded Mig-25, or Mig-23 could be redoutable. It seems to me a fair choice. After all, do not forget, that France has still 136 Mirage 2000, 19 Mirage F1, vs 87 Rafale. UK air force still has 112 Tornado vs 115 Typhoons. The only country in the world that could afford to get 4++ aircraft is US because of their economy. I said could afford, now, with the budget cuts, in the near future, the US air force, as the Navy must be downgrade.
During the fight in Lebanon's Bekaa 1982-83, if we switch of the israeli propaganda -that claimed more than 80 syrian aircrafts vs 0 for Israel, it was a simple hoax, as Israel is an experts in this area-, as Vladimir Illyin, the behaviour of the Mig 23 seems to be excellent. I mean the Mig 23 ML of course.
I think as far as drones go, they have there uses, but i think the MIG-25 has more advantages than the normal drones out there, faster speed being one. But are drones cheaper to operate/maintain and of course u still have to buy them.
I think the drone promess was an illusion. The drone could be an excellent complement of the satelite, gathering observations, informations, and sometimes why not, attacking target against poor defended and low skills insurgents. The drone could be an excellent help for Ground infantery.
However the RQ 170 Sentinell incident -when it was captured by the iranians in december 2001- set a definitive end of the drone' false dream. It prove that the human factor is still vital, and it could not be replaced by any robotics nowadays. If US sent an SR71 instead of the RQ 170, it would be a more success than this humiliation.
Back to our subject a Mig-23, or Mig 25 could be more effective in order to do strategic reconnaissance, than any drones.