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    Fate of Russia's old birds.

    Gomig-21
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    Post  Gomig-21 Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:55 pm

    Mir wrote:The last one is a great pic showing all the Egyptian fighters including a Mirage III together with the US F14 and F16.
    I think I may have a pic of this lot flying over the pyramids somewhere?

    Yep, there's several great pics of that lot flying in a diamond formation over the pyramids and the best one was of them flying over the greenery of the Nile Delta and the colors of the aircraft makes the photo really stand out. I'll try to find it also.

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    Post  GarryB Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:25 am

    I am ashamed to admit that in the early 1980s I found most Soviet fighters a bit boring... they never had decent photos of them, and most looked like tubes like the MiG-15 to 21 and the Su-7/9/11/17/20/22 family.... the 25 and 23/27 were interesting, as was the Su-15 and 24/25, but at the time I saw them all as being more practical than being attractive.

    These days I like a good look at the older planes because we always only ever see the newer ones and the older ones look interesting again.

    Think I got this from here somewhere...

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 7 40466310

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:55 am

    I've always been fascinated by Soviet weapons - esp since the published photos in Western media were crappy and grainy most of the time. It sort of gave it a bit of a mysterious aura I guess.

    Most of the early Soviet era fighters and combat aircraft came as a bit of a shock to the West. The Mig-15 is a prime example and proved to be a very formidable adversary in the Korean War. The West never expected that the Soviets were capable of creating such a fighter at the time. Even the brand new top of the line Sabre had a hard time in dog fights with the Mig-15's.

    The same story repeated itself with the Mig-21 vs the Phantom during the Vietnam War. The Phantom was seen as somewhat of a aerodynamic wonder at the time and to a certain extend it was, but it was in serious trouble in any dogfight with the Mig-21. The Mig-21 also caused very heavy losses amongst the F-105 Thunderchiefs during strike missions. The US think tank thought that the aerial battle would be fought with BVR missiles and the early Phantoms were not fitted with an internal gun. The air war in Vietnam brought this believe to a screeching halt. Mind you even Mikoyan thought the gun was history back then. It seems that the US is now reverting back to that flawed thinking!

    When the Mig-25 appeared the West was convinced that it was some kind of super fighter, but it was only with Victor Belenko's defection that they realized the Mig-25 was nothing more than a fast interceptor. On the other hand they had every reason to fear the strike capabilities of the Su-24 and the Tu-22M's!

    But probably the biggest surprise of them all was the breath taking performances of the Soviet Mig-29 and Su-27's at the Farnborough and Paris air shows during the late 80's. That was a real jaw dropping moment for the West!

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    Gomig-21
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    Post  Gomig-21 Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:11 am

    Mir wrote:The last one is a great pic showing all the Egyptian fighters including a Mirage III together with the US F14 and F16.
    I think I may have a pic of this lot flying over the pyramids somewhere?

    Here it is, Mr. Mir.  That spinach and sand zebra camo on the MiG-21 is just great.  No other way to describe it.

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    What's interesting too is you look at that photo from 1985/86 I believe in the first Bright Star exercise in Egypt and you see the ones that have retired and replaced with newer models while some like the venerable F-16 is still plugging away and doing just fine with upgrades.  A classic just like the MIG-29.

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    The one constant, common denominator that has been around for 5,000+ years and will outlive all these jets for another 100 million years is the Pyramids! lol1

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    Last edited by Gomig-21 on Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:30 pm; edited 2 times in total

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:00 am

    When the Mig-25 appeared the West was convinced that it was some kind of super fighter, but it was only with Victor Belenko's defection that they realized the Mig-25 was nothing more than a fast interceptor. On the other hand they had every reason to fear the strike capabilities of the Su-24 and the Tu-22M's!

    The core problem was ignorance... and agendas... nothing gets you big money contracts like the bad guys have a new super plane.

    The MiG-25 being a very fast interceptor should not have been a surprise the Soviets never pretended it was anything but a smaller lighter faster Tu-128 interceptor... or a bigger heavier Su-15... fly as fast as it can to get as close to its targets as needed to launch missiles and then return home.

    Often interested parties in the west will talk up Soviet and Russian equipment to get their product promoted, but somehow it is the Soviet or Russian fault for not making what the west hyped it up to be.

    Soviet and Russian weapons are made for very specific situations and very specific uses and those conditions and requirements might not make sense in the west... for instance the Soviets and Russians have been under threat of naval and air attack from the west so they have developed a very capable interlinked air defence network... and not just an air force air defence but also navy and army air defence as well as coastal naval defence... HATO hasn't got that because there is no air threat to HATO... so their armies have token or weak air defence and they rely on their attack air power to also defend.

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    Speaking of the Backfire... notice the single twin barrel 23mm cannon in the tail... it has a muzzle velocity of only a 700m/s but its projectile is rather heavy for its calibre and it is the heavy 23 x 152mm projectile that it uses at about 3,500rpm... but it also clearly is carrying three heavy anti ship missiles of the Kh-22M family... but not only that if you look just in front of the main wheels on the right hand side you can see the multiple ejector racks loaded with dumb iron bombs too... so this is a very well armed aircraft.

    The specs for the export version state it can carry up to ten missiles which for me means one on each wing pylon and one on a pylon under each engine nacelle (which in this photo has the bombs on it) and the centreline missile is missing with 6 more missiles inside the internal weapon bay.

    AFAIK the only missile the Backfire could carry like that was the Kh-15 short range attack missile... but that was nuke armed and therefore not likely for export.

    We see in a recent article that they are making a new hypersonic version of the Kh-31 for use internally on the Su-57 and presumably on other platforms, and there is an enormous array of new missiles and bombs they are developing that upgraded Backfires will be able to carry in the future... including a mach 6 missile with 1,500km flight range... which would be rather useful.

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:55 am

    Playing the fear monger card is a long standing tradition in the West and the trend will continue indefinitely. How else are they going to justify the enormous amounts spend on "defense"?

    The interesting thing about the Backfire is that Western intelligence never knew that the Tu-22M's carried 6 of those KH-15's internally. Only years later the Soviets revealed that fact at the Farnborough airshow. The Kh-15 was only associated with the Blackjack at the time.

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    Post  Gomig-21 Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:36 pm

    Soviet MiG-25R (even though it says B on the map pic below) back in 1970-72 made several (appears to be 5 ) recon flights to see what the illegal Israeli occupying force was up to, specifically Sinai concentrations.  

    Looks like they flew straight down the entire coast of the occupied Palestinian territory and made several flights over Sinai.  According to EAF reports that came out later, all recon intel and information was NOT passed on to Egyptian authorities and was just used for Soviet intel.  Pretty sure I know the reason why but won't get into that on this thread out of respect for the rules since it's off-topic.  

    I believe there were either 2 or 4 MiG-25Rs (still not sure why it says Foxbat B maybe someone can chime in on that (@Mir or @Gary or @LMFS maybe?) operated by 4 Soviet pilots and despite the jets being stationed and operating out of Cairo West airport and Marsa Matrouh (which is located on the northern coast of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea just west of the famous city of El Alamein), no Egyptian personnel were allowed to get near any of the jets or assist in maintaining them or fueling them or anything LooOooOl!  All this while attempts to intercept them by the enemy were to no avail.  

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    It says "Foxbat B" but like I mentioned above, I believe the 2 aircraft involved were R models for recon. Cameras are quite visible on the side and bottom on the first pic which looks so awesome with those mammoth intakes!  There is another photo where the Egyptian roundel that was painted on the side of the fuselage directly under the cockpit was cooked and turned from the red, white & black center dot to all-black from the friction of 3 times the speed of sound!  If I can locate that photo I'll certainly post it.  Some amazing and fun stuff.  There are 6 pilots in that one photograph with them dawning the G-forces suits and helmets, but I believe only 4 made the flights and the other two were reserves.

    The same, but a single flight took place during the October War after the US flew an SR-71 directly over Sinai right in the middle of the battle which instigated the Soviet Union to also fly another MiG-25R over Sinai to take photos of the army positions. Those WERE shared with Sadat since the army positions was a bit precarious at the time, and he needed to be shown what was going on.  That MiG-25R or B had an enemy fighter attempt to intercept it, but the pilot simply pushed the throttle near Mach 3, simply dusted the enemy in his trail!

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    Post  GarryB Sun Oct 10, 2021 7:42 am

    Foxbat B would be the HATO codename for it, or the ASCC code.

    Shame they didn't get to use the RB model... Twisted Evil

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    Post  Mir Sun Oct 10, 2021 5:07 pm

    There were 2 Mig-25R's and 2 RB's sent to Egypt. I believe the top picture you posted is actually one of those that participated - they were devoid of any Soviet markings.

    The second picture is actually fake, but used widely as an example of the one's used during the campaign. The RB version was capable of carrying bombs but weren't allowed to use it.

    Once one of the Migs engines went in "overdrive" and recorded a speed of Mac 3.2 resulting in the West believing that it was capable of doing Mach 3+. You mention the scorched Egyptian roundel. The Soviets had that same problem with the red stars and they developed a special red paint to withstand the heat!

    The Israelis made several attempts to intercept the Migs in their Mirages and Phantoms but never came anywhere near them.

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    Post  Gomig-21 Sun Oct 10, 2021 7:56 pm

    GarryB wrote:Foxbat B would be the HATO codename for it, or the ASCC code.

    Shame they didn't get to use the RB model...  Twisted Evil

    Well, they might've it seems.

    Mir wrote:There were 2 Mig-25R's and 2 RB's sent to Egypt. I believe the top picture you posted is actually one of those that participated - they were devoid of any Soviet markings.

    The second picture is actually fake, but used widely as an example of the one's used during the campaign. The RB version was capable of carrying bombs but weren't allowed to use it.

    Once one of the Migs engines went in "overdrive" and recorded a speed of Mac 3.2  resulting in the West believing that it was capable of doing Mach 3+. You mention the scorched Egyptian roundel. The Soviets had that same problem with the red stars and they developed a special red paint to withstand the heat!

    The Israelis made several attempts to intercept the Migs in their Mirages and Phantoms but never came anywhere near them.

    Yeah that second pic didn't look very strong, but still nice to see.

    Can I ask what source you used for your info?  Just curious to add to my info records. Most of the info you mentioned is exactly what I quoted, just would be nice to know about additional details like the mach 3.2 etc.
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    Post  Mir Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:23 pm

    Most of it is straight from Wikipedia but there is a brilliant series called Wings of Russia. The Mig-25/31 is a two part episode called "Wings of Russia. MiG-25 and MiG-31. Best In Class." You can probably still find it on Youtube?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-25

    A larger picture clearly shows the mig-25 cut and pasted. The white lines on the right intake is very apparent.
    Also they made a hash on the pyramids below and even added an extra one to the right!

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    The original pic - cropped

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    Post  Gomig-21 Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:43 pm

    I did actually watch the MiG-25 Wings of Russia a long time ago, but don't remember much of it. Will have to watch it again. I remember the MiG-21 episode which was ok, but too much outside stuff that I wish it was more concentrated on the aircraft details than the history part.

    I see the pyramids loool. Funny, when we see pics of those things, we usually don't pay any attention to the details like that and even the third one placed in the wrong place went unnoticed loool. Crazy, but good looking out on your part.

    I think there's also a "Walkaround" book on the MiG-25. That might be a good source also.

    This could be the original photo that got bastardized in the other one lol.

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    Post  GarryB Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:19 am

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8jdt-bCf8JpiEMS57ILEjnG-IpW8fhJ6

    This is the wings of Russia play list... they are not in order... there are 18 programmes...

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    Post  mnztr Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:33 pm

    How does this series compare to Wings of the Red Star? (which I really enjoyed) I intend to watch it all, thanks for posting the play list.
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    Post  Mir Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:51 pm

    Wings of the Red Star is from Discovery and is quite good but the Russian Wings series is from a Soviet/Russian perspective with some very interesting and authentic commentary. Quite an in depth series and they interview all the major role players in Soviet/Russian aviation.

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    Post  mnztr Sun Nov 07, 2021 10:14 pm

    Mir wrote:Wings of the Red Star is from Discovery and is quite good but the Russian Wings series is from a Soviet/Russian perspective with some very interesting and authentic commentary. Quite an in depth series and they interview all the major role players in Soviet/Russian aviation.

    Thx I guess I have something to binge watch.
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    Post  Gomig-21 Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:38 am

    Talk about the fate of Russia's old birds, here's one that when I saw this pic and noticed the shape and curvature of the wings and the winglets even have their own flaps and the absolutely gorgeous blend of the fuselage to the wings, I remembered "Concordski".  Now granted it's not a fighter, but it's definitely one of Russia's old birds.  What a beauty.  

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    CCCP-77115 Tupolev 144 at Ramenskoye

    https://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/315291/cccp-77115-aeroflot-tupolev-tu-144/

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    Post  d_taddei2 Mon Apr 25, 2022 8:38 pm

    I know this would be a pretty hard question to predict but would be nice to see peoples views. At roughly when do we think we will see the following aircraft totally out of service around the world. Note: Chinese versions don't count, but you can still mention if you want. I didn't include su-24, su-25, su-27, mig-29, mig-31, as I believe these will still be service long after what's on the list and see them retiring for a long time. The most at threat are on the list below.

    Mig-15
    Mig-21
    Mig-23
    Mig-25
    Mig-27
    Su-7
    Su-22

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    Post  Isos Mon Apr 25, 2022 8:47 pm

    Only su-22 is good enough for modern conflicts because it van carry modern weapons and is very good at bombing.

    Rest is shit and they are being replaced everywhere if there is enough money.

    Mig-27 isn't in service anymore.

    The rest of them are operated by north korea and Syria. India has also mig-21 but upgraded and will replace them quickly now.

    Mig-23 has a good modernization proposal but it came to an end as a fighter. With Checkmate they will be able to buy a 20 million dollar modern plane that should be cheaper to have than keep those old planes in service.

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    Post  d_taddei2 Tue Apr 26, 2022 12:07 am

    Isos wrote:Only su-22 is good enough for modern conflicts because it van carry modern weapons and is very good at bombing.

    Rest is shit and they are being replaced everywhere if there is enough money.

    Mig-27 isn't in service anymore.

    The rest of them are operated by north korea and Syria. India has also mig-21 but upgraded and will replace them quickly now.

    Mig-23 has a good modernization proposal but it came to an end as a fighter. With Checkmate they will be able to buy a 20 million dollar modern plane that should be cheaper to have than keep those old planes in service.

    Firstly mig-27 is still in service with Kazakhstan. The last country I believe.

    Mig-21 is still a capable aircraft especially when upgraded. India isn't the only user. I believe mig-21 will out live the mig-23

    As for mig-25 it isn't shit. Although only really in service with Algeria I doubt Syrian mig-25 are Operational.

    It seems you have just dismissed everything and guessed the rest. I expected better from u.

    Su-22 isn't in massive numbers, Poland did an upgrade although after recent events I wouldn't be surprised is they purge anything Soviet made. Iran did a good upgrade on theirs can carry cruise missiles and link up with drones.

    Mig-23 was never considered a great aircraft and I think it's why many still chose mog-21 over it. Mig-21 is cheap, reliable, capable dog fighter and has ground attack capacity not bad for a 1950's design.

    I would say mig-15, and su-7 will most likely be in dire condition in North Korea. Although mig-15 was still flying, never scene any pics of the su-7 which was a bad aircraft anyway. Most of what NK operates is Chinese copies.

    So I would say it's highly possible Su-7 is already out of service, mig-15 will be within next 3-5yrs.

    Mig-27 out of service within 1-3yrs

    Mig-25 out of service 2-5yrs

    Mig-23 out of service 6-8yrs

    Su-22 out of service 6-8yrs

    Mig-21 out of service 10-12yrs.

    This is mostly down to the fact many countries can't afford replacement or don't need anything more advanced.

    With the market now having multiple light fighters, armed turboprops, J-17, and in the future checkmate along with current aircraft mig-29m, mig-35, Su-30, could easily force countries to replace what they currently have without going for the high end expensive stuff. Another aspect is second hand aircraft coming from wealthier countries as they upgrade to newer aircraft can then sell aircraft on to poorer nations this also making older aircraft to be replaced, in Russia's case su-27, mig-29, su-24, su-25 could all be up for sale to poorer nations. And the last aspect is drones, with some countries operating old light aircraft may just scrap them all together and opt for armed drones if they don't need aircraft. For some countries having a selection of armed drones and mi-35 Helis will be enough.

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    Post  GarryB Tue Apr 26, 2022 6:33 am

    Well I think a really big factor is going to be Checkmate and any MiG equivalent because they are being designed from the outset to be modern stealthy fighters with internal weapons bays that are 20 to 30 million to buy and probably 4-6K dollars per hour to operate... now if they design them properly so they can for instance effectively deliver dumb bombs with the precision of the gefest & T type navigation bombing system they would make excellent COIN type aircraft too and affordable to many up and coming countries.

    It is pretty clear with the separation of Russia with the west that resource based wars are going to start happening more often because the west won't be able to keep its comfortable standard of living and also buy everything it needs.... so what to do with that enormous military the US has... use it or lose it I would expect... it will either cut costs but get used to earn its keep or it is going to be fund starved out of existance... I suspect the former... which means most countries are going to want lots of MANPADS and lots of ATGMs and other defence items that are small and mobile and portable and most importantly effective.

    Many of the older aircraft have room for upgrades to keep them affordable but to also make them more effective... I mean four wing pylons added to a MiG-15 that each carry four Igla-S or Verba type MANPADS for use against enemy attack helicopters and light CAS aircraft or incoming cruise missiles or standoff weapons...

    You have to look at the location as well too... Russia is not likely going to want to use MiG-15s for anything except target practise, but some little country in central or south America where the enemy has an F-5 or perhaps Super Tucano then an upgraded MiG-15 isn't a terrible choice and relatively simple and cheap to operate, which was one of the reasons it kept being used so long.

    Aircraft are delivery platforms for weapons so as long as the weapons are good and effective and not too expensive then even an older aircraft can be useful in some roles.

    As mentioned the Su-17/22 has a decent payload and can carry modern weapon types. It isn't amazingly fast and it isn't amazingly manouverable... for CAS the Su-25 is rather better even if only because it has two engines so it can often survive a MANPADS hit and get home...

    The Soviets found the Su-25 to be significantly superior than the Fitter in the 1980s... the Frogfoot could get airborne from an airstrip a quarter of the length the Fitter needed, and while it was slower it was better able to find targets and hit them and its performance manouvering in the mountains was rather better too.

    It is not a super manouverable plane of course in a fighter duel an A-10 would win most of the time but then using Vikhr missiles the Su-25 would probably never engage in a turning dogfight with an A-10 in the first place.

    I honestly think the Su-25 is a much better design... the A-10 is just too big and its weapons capacity wont mean much in combat because very quickly a MANPAD hit will mean it is heading home anyway.

    Interestingly the Ilyusion competition for the Su-25 was actually closer to the A-10 in size and capacity, but actually had a tail gunner with a twin 23mm cannon and wing mounted bomb bays.... but was rejected for the smaller lighter faster Su-25.

    Apart from being free the previous generation of aircraft don't really offer anything the newer aircraft don't give with improvements.

    The MiG-23 is a good interceptor and a reasonable fighter because of acceleration and systems, and the MiG-27 is a good strike aircraft with a very good gun and good air to ground payload capacity, but later members of the MiG-29 family combine reasonable interceptor capacity with good fighter capacity and light strike capacity too... all in one more modern cheaper to operate and maintain aircraft.

    The new air to air weapons for the 29 are vastly superior to the MiG-23s and the air to ground ordinance is improved too, so as they wear out it simply makes sense to scrap the older planes and buy newer ones, with the new ones being fully multirole.

    The only real exception would be MiG-25 and Mi-24 in my opinion but drones are taking over for recon in poor countries as well as rich ones because they are cheaper... and the Mi-24 offers something a bit unique as well, but might be more interesting to paramilitary forces like police units that want troops and weapons carried on missions, or for extraction or delivery missions of small groups in or out to remote locations... like up the side of a hill or the middle of a jungle or desert.

    Although mig-15 was still flying, never scene any pics of the su-7 which was a bad aircraft anyway.

    The Su-7 was an excellent aircraft for what it was.... it was small and light and cheap and handled very well... it just lacked range and payload... problems that were solved with swing wing modifications in the Su-17.

    It is a sort of Jaguar type aircraft that is not really a fighter and more of a light strike aircraft.

    d_taddei2 likes this post

    Mir
    Mir


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    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 7 Empty Re: Fate of Russia's old birds.

    Post  Mir Tue Apr 26, 2022 8:42 am

    I have to agree with d_taddei2 here.

    Just a few side remarks >>

    The Mig-27 was quite a capable strike aircraft especially the Mig-27K variant.
    Same goes for the Mig-23MLD variant that was vast improvement over earlier models. The Mig-23MS (export) was a dog though.
    The Su-7 was initially developed as a interceptor and was competing with the Mig-21. The Mig-21 won hands down as the Su-7 was found to be too heavy and sluggish for the role. Sukhoi then developed it into the Su-7B as a strike aircraft for which it was much better suited. The more advanced Su-17/22 family was developed from the Su-7B.

    d_taddei2 likes this post


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