What if the MiG-25 was made of titanium?

The Foxbat was manufactured with nickel steel to resist the high temperatures of Mach 3 flight. Titanium alloys could have done the job with much less weight but was not considered for cost reasons. When western intelligence saw the Foxbat it was assumed to be made of lightweight alloys and it’s enormous wing and engines suggested it was an air superiority fighter designed for energy maneuverability. This turned out to be wrong when a Soviet pilot defected with his jet in the early 80s.

So what if intelligence was correct. The MiG-25 is substantially lighter. And while not as maneuverable as the F-15, could out turn the latest F-4, and use boom-and-zoom with it’s Mach 3 speed advantage against the Eagle.
 
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Assuming the Soviets can work titanium in an aircraft, apparently it was very difficult to build the SR71, it was likely so expensive that they'd only build a hundred or so and they'd be used for different roles; more recce and less interceptor.
 
Assuming the Soviets can work titanium in an aircraft, apparently it was very difficult to build the SR71, it was likely so expensive that they'd only build a hundred or so and they'd be used for different roles; more recce and less interceptor.
SR-71 also had serious problems with fuel leaks, probably something to do with titanium not being malleable enough to expand unless at very high temperatures to seal the gaps.
 
The Foxbat was manufactured with nickel steel to resist the high temperatures of Mach 3 flight. Titanium alloys could have done the job with much less weight but was not considered for cost reasons. When western intelligence saw the Foxbat it was assumed to be made of lightweight alloys and it’s enormous wing and engines suggested it was an air superiority fighter designed for energy maneuverability. This turned out to be wrong when a Soviet pilot defected with his jet in the early 80s.

So what if intelligence was correct. The MiG-25 is substantially lighter. And while not as maneuverable as the F-15, could out turn the latest F-4, and use boom-and-zoom with it’s Mach 3 speed advantage against the Eagle.
I think even mig25 of OTL would be sufficient to deal with F4E
Soviet doctrine is not same as that of western airforces even if they had su27 by 1980 in sufficient numbers it still would not have been a soviet F15 , just a more maneuverable long legged interceptor
 
SR-71 also had serious problems with fuel leaks, probably something to do with titanium not being malleable enough to expand unless at very high temperatures to seal the gaps.

That's true, but I'm not sure I'd call it a problem. The plane was designed that way; on the ground it leaks fuel. At speed and altitude it's six inches longer than sitting on the ground because of the expansion of the metal from the heat. I recall a piece from a gent who got a back-seat ride in a Blackbird. The pilot told him, "Put you're hands on the glass" at one point. He said he did, for about half a second. The canopy was so hot he couldn't keep his hands on it.

Better maneuverability and overall performance since weight is reduced. Mig-31 did it.

Both are much more strategic interceptors than air-superiority fighter. To @Monk78 's point, Soviet doctrine is different.
Don't get me wrong, it could have been built in, had the Soviets desired it and went through the expense. The F-106 is a good example, very maneuverable in ACM. As I recall, a Delta Dart squadron won a William Tell competition in the '80s, when F-15s were part of the competition.

Regards all,
 
Both are much more strategic interceptors than air-superiority fighter. To @Monk78 's point, Soviet doctrine is different.
Don't get me wrong, it could have been built in, had the Soviets desired it and went through the expense. The F-106 is a good example, very maneuverable in ACM. As I recall, a Delta Dart squadron won a William Tell competition in the '80s, when F-15s were part of the competition.
I mean that Mig-31 did have more titanium, so the Soviets were evidently okay with this. Most liekly not specifically for maneuverability tho, more like thrust-to-weight ratio and fuel economy.
 
Assuming the Soviets can work titanium in an aircraft, apparently it was very difficult to build the SR71, it was likely so expensive that they'd only build a hundred or so and they'd be used for different roles; more recce and less interceptor.
They did it with plenty of other aircraft, the reson the titanium for the sr-71 was so expensive was because the only source was the ussr.
 
The Mig-25's engines were also optimised for supersonic dash speed in the interceptor role, along with a radar that was designed to burn through the onboard defensive ECM of high flying supersonic bombers. It was a pure ground controlled interceptor and by making it more useful in the air superiority role would have degraded its performance in its primary defensive role.

It was so heavily optimised to that role to the point that the Soviets took the sensible choice of building a completely separate design for air superiority.
 
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They did it with plenty of other aircraft, the reson the titanium for the sr-71 was so expensive was because the only source was the ussr.

The OP said that titanium was rejected for the MiG25 because it was too expensive, I don't know the numbers but the Soviet Union was a relatively poor country so that makes sense.
 
The Foxbat was manufactured with nickel steel to resist the high temperatures of Mach 3 flight. Titanium alloys could have done the job with much less weight but was not considered for cost reasons. When western intelligence saw the Foxbat it was assumed to be made of lightweight alloys and it’s enormous wing and engines suggested it was an air superiority fighter designed for energy maneuverability. This turned out to be wrong when a Soviet pilot defected with his jet in the early 80s.

So what if intelligence was correct. The MiG-25 is substantially lighter. And while not as maneuverable as the F-15, could out turn the latest F-4, and use boom-and-zoom with it’s Mach 3 speed advantage against the Eagle.

Ninja'd!!!!!!

I was going to post something similar to this regarding having the MiG 25 being a better aircraft allowing it to be superior to the F-15 and allowing a similar development so having two strike versions (F-15E) after watching 'Mustards' take on the Mig 25!
 
Ninja'd!!!!!!

I was going to post something similar to this regarding having the MiG 25 being a better aircraft allowing it to be superior to the F-15 and allowing a similar development so having two strike versions (F-15E) after watching 'Mustards' take on the Mig 25!
Iirc Mustard's take on the Mig31 is also up, but not on YouTube: it's somewhere like his Patreon space or Nebula/CuriosityStream
 
The Soviets are not capable of building aircraft superior to those of the US, or Western Europe for that matter.

While their aerodynamics are fine their technological base is too backward to develop the advanced metallurgy and electronics that were developed in the US and Western Europe.
 
The Soviets are not capable of building aircraft superior to those of the US, or Western Europe for that matter.

While their aerodynamics are fine their technological base is too backward to develop the advanced metallurgy and electronics that were developed in the US and Western Europe.
Whilst true, it is also true that they didn't overcomplicate matters - the Mig-25 being the classic example. They came up with ekranoplans, two viable VTOL strike aircraft, several Salyuts and the Buran.

Sometimes the mountain beats the viper
 
Whilst true, it is also true that they didn't overcomplicate matters - the Mig-25 being the classic example. They came up with ekranoplans, two viable VTOL strike aircraft, several Salyuts and the Buran.

Sometimes the mountain beats the viper

The US/WE are The Mountain, they're the ones with all the money, technology and power. The Soviets are The Viper, resorting to specialist, niche tricks to gain the advantage in odd circumstances.
 
The US/WE are The Mountain, they're the ones with all the money, technology and power. The Soviets are The Viper, resorting to specialist, niche tricks to gain the advantage in odd circumstances.
But their goals are modest too
All their Cold War jets are one trick ponies even the su27
It’s not a bad thing if you are preparing for a big conventional war
Multi role is great for smaller wars or confrontations but attrition could be so high in a big war that the only secondary role that matters is the ability to carry a tactical nuke
 
The OP said that titanium was rejected for the MiG25 because it was too expensive, I don't know the numbers but the Soviet Union was a relatively poor country so that makes sense.
It was rejected because it was to hard to form for a plane that had engines rated for about 500 hours. Really for the spectsts the ussr wanted for the mig-25 they really did not add much quality to it.
 
It's chicken and egg; their capabilities are limited so their goals are limited.
Right but they had realistic expectations from their weapon systems
WE in the west have this perception that mig29 was f16 and mig23 was a F4 , so they should fulfill all the roles of western “equivalent “
 
Right but they had realistic expectations from their weapon systems
WE in the west have this perception that mig29 was f16 and mig23 was a F4 , so they should fulfill all the roles of western “equivalent “

They just did things differently. For example the Soviets/Russians get what the west would consider appalling availability rates for their combat aircraft, like 50-60% compared to 80-90% for western combat aircraft in times of war. This makes simple counting planes a pointless exercise as Soviet/Russian fleets need to be 50% larger to have the same number of planes ready to fly each day (although India got 70% availability from its Soviet/Russian aircraft, bucking the trend). If they need 50% more planes than it makes sense they'll need to be cheaper, etc etc etc in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
 
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