Space: MiG-25s Replaced by Satellites

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May 6, 2006: India has retired the last four of its Russian made MiG-25 reconnaissance aircraft, saying that they will be replaced by INSAT 2B photo satellites. The MiG-25 was originally developed in the 1970s, as a high and fast interceptor for use against the U.S. B-70 bomber. When the United States cancelled the B-70 (too expensive, and a decision to go with bombers that come in low and fast), the Russians kept going with the MiG-25, and switched its role to reconnaissance. The MiG-25 turned out to be an excellent recon aircraft, able to fly higher and faster than other fighters used for this job, although not as high as the U.S. U-2 or SR-71. But the United States did not sell those aircraft to anyone, while Russia made a lot of money selling MiG-25s to anyone with enough cash.

 


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