The Mach 3-capable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat was developed in the early 1960s to fulfil the interception and dedicated reconnaissance roles. In 2001 Russian air force still operated limited numbers of MiG-25PD/PDS Foxbat-E interceptors. These are found with units that predominantly use the MiG-31.
Introduced in 1978, the MiG-25PD was the ultimate Foxbat variant and featured an RP-25 look-down/shoot-down radar, undernose infra-red search and track system, R-15BD-300 engines and provision for a huge ventral fuel tank.
Elsewhere, MiG-25 interceptors remain in significant use with Libya and Syria, each equipped with three to four units. Algeria has ten MiG-25 interceptors, that are responsible for the air defense of the capital Algiers and the strategic nuclear site near the air base, while Turkmenistan has two regiments equipped with the earlier MiG-25P model. All MiG-25P/PD/PDS operators also have small numbers of MiG-25PU Foxbat-C two-seat conversion trainers with stepped cockpits.
Although use of the fighter variant is diminishing in Russia, reconnaissance variants of the MiG-25 remain important types. Two ORAPs have around 70 MiG-25RBs of various marks; these flew missions during the 1999 campaign in Chechnya.
The MiG-25RB Foxbat-B is a dual-role reconnaissance/bomber capable of releasing bombs from altitudes of more than 20 000 m at supersonic speeds. Subvariants of the MiG-25RB were developed with a variety of systems for Electronic intelligence and specialized reconnaissance roles. The reconnaissance Foxbat has its own dedicated two-seat trainer, the MiG-25RU.
Export MiG-25RB/RUs remain in limited service with Algeria (3) and Syria (8) while India's No.102 Sqn operates dedicated photo-recce MiG-25R/RUs. MiG-25RBs based in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are not thought to be operational. Small numbers of the MiG-25BM Foxbat-F defense suppression variant may remain operational with the Russian air force's research-instructor regiment based at Lipetsk for the development of operational tactics and various research projects.