Ministry of Defense will upgrade MiG-25 reconnaissance aircraft, Izvestiya reports.
As reported by a source from the Ministry of Defense (MoD), the vehicles will be equipped with new navigation system and a digital system intended for electronic reconnaissance, photo and video- shooting. MoD intends to operate the aircraft until 2020.
However, the development of new systems has not been started yet. «Russian air forces do not have enough reconnaissance aircraft. Only three types of such aircraft are operated: Su-24МR, Il-20RТ and МiG-25. Their reconnaissance systems are outdated and the quantity of these vehicles is limited. Upgrading of MiG-25 jets will help partly resolve the problem. The air forces will acquire the advanced reconnaissance aircraft», - an officer of major air command said.
The air forces have a total of 20 МiG-25s, which are distributed between two air bases - №7000 (Baltimor airfield, Voronezh) and №6964 (Monchegorsk), but in fact only 5-7 jets are performing flights. The rest are either non-serviceable or dismantled.
«The major problem of these jets is engine. The airframe is very durable, but the engines are breaking down fast due to high thermal load. According to the specification their service life limit is 1000 hours, but in fact they are working for only 200-300 hours, - the air forces’ representative continued. At that the production of R-15B engines intended for MiG-25 aircraft has been ceased. Thus only the jets with operational engines will be upgraded».
At present the air forces and MoD are elaborating the performance specifications for MiG-25 upgrade. It is planned to equip the upgraded aircraft with a new navigation system based on GLONASS. All the jets will be equipped with side looking radar intended for reconnaissance of ground targets and radio facilities for detection of enemy radars, communication systems, etc.