What if the MiG-25 was made of titanium?

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.

For the USSR I believe it's less the titanium being expensive (since it was the worlds largest producer with the only country that really started producing titanium a bit later in the Cold War being Apartheid South Africa (part of the reason why completely breaking relations with South Africa/really strong sanctions were so difficult and delayed by the US and other Western powers. Namely they had to deal with the South Africans to purchase the titanium needed by various high end weapons. The US had pulled the "Sneakily buy it in small quantities through shell companies from the Soviets" earlier but I believe they caught on and it really wasn't a long term sustainable option. That meant South Africa. )

The problem with building aircraft and other high end weapons from Titanium (like the couple of subs the Soviets built with Titanium hulls) is that especially at the time it's a really expensive and complicated material to make something mostly off. For the Soviet titanium sub if I remember correctly the Soviets had to build a custom one of a kind building slip in what was effectively a airlock with the air replaced by some gas highly toxic to people. Meaning that all the workers had to work in full blown MOP style protective gear with the possibility of even a slight tear in the gear meaning death for the worker. The cost of building that single sub was like the cost of building half a dozen more normal comparative SSN attack boats. I mean having to build a completely unique never done before building slip/atmospheric containment bubble filled with highly toxic gas to build a single sub (and that custom building slip was only a small part of the expense of the effort. I mean having to build a completely unique building slip/atmospheric containment vessel/gas chamber just to build a single sub is insane.

I'm just not sure a majority/almost all titanium construction Mig 25 would be poducable in anything above a Cottage industry level with probably about as many made as the US made SR-71s and the various related models. You'd end up with like two dozen interceptors.
 
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.
That’s why say soviets had a numerical inferiority as compared to NATO ( in terms of tactical aircraft) for most of the Cold War esp 1970 to 1991 even if you don’t count the aircraft in North America
It’s just western propaganda and myth making like the lies they popularized about the tiger tank Bismarck luftwaffe etc etc
 
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.
Except the engines could not actually operate at M3.0. The one that was clocked by the Israeli's at M3.2 was having a malfunction at the time which nearly resulted in the loss of the airframe and pilot, the more normal speed was around M2.8 and at those speeds it was as maneuverable as a piano on a ski slope. It's G limits were pathetic and it had horrible visibility. The thing was a high speed high altitude interceptor not a fighter.
 
I'm just not sure a majority/almost all titanium construction Mig 25 would be poducable in anything above a Cottage industry level with probably about as many made as the US made SR-71s and the various related models. You'd end up with like two dozen interceptors.

I agree, and if you're building 50-100 planes I doubt they'd be used an anything other than highly specialised interceptors against SR71s and recce planes.

Assuming they do hand build 50-100 what performance will they have?
 
That’s why say soviets had a numerical inferiority as compared to NATO ( in terms of tactical aircraft) for most of the Cold War esp 1970 to 1991 even if you don’t count the aircraft in North America
It’s just western propaganda and myth making like the lies they popularized about the tiger tank Bismarck luftwaffe etc etc

The number of planes don't count, its the number of sorties they fly that matters.

In 1973 ~400 Israeli planes flew ~11,000 missions and ~900 Arab planes flew ~9000 missions. In the Falklands never more than 25 Sea Harriers flew ~1500 missions when ~100 Argentine planes flew about ~500 missions.
 
The number of planes don't count, its the number of sorties they fly that matters.

In 1973 ~400 Israeli planes flew ~11,000 missions and ~900 Arab planes flew ~9000 missions. In the Falklands never more than 25 Sea Harriers flew ~1500 missions when ~100 Argentine planes flew about ~500 missions.
Well soviet planes probably will fly 50% sorties less too so that makes the quantitative gap even larger
 
The number of planes don't count, its the number of sorties they fly that matters.

In 1973 ~400 Israeli planes flew ~11,000 missions and ~900 Arab planes flew ~9000 missions. In the Falklands never more than 25 Sea Harriers flew ~1500 missions when ~100 Argentine planes flew about ~500 missions.

This is a great point. Though to some degree the Soviets compensate with missiles. Both in defense with SAMs and offense with the likes of SS-21.
 
This is a great point. Though to some degree the Soviets compensate with missiles. Both in defense with SAMs and offense with the likes of SS-21.

Its much easier and cheaper to train a SAM battery commander than a fast jet pilot, this is particularly important for developing countries where the talent pool for fighter pilots is small.
 
Its much easier and cheaper to train a SAM battery commander than a fast jet pilot, this is particularly important for developing countries where the talent pool for fighter pilots is small.
It absolutely isn't. It takes several years to make a BTR CDR. 2 to make a fighter pilot.
You and others are falling into the Clancy style trap of denigrating Soviet equipment without understanding their doctrine. And you don't understand their doctrine since you don't understand their circumstances.
The Soviets had to defend a country with the longest borders in the world surrounded by enemies. The US....didn't. The Foxbat was meant for the interceptor role. It needs to be able to dash, to be able to fix any mistake in the setup and timing of the intercept, otherwise you miss and the bomber happily flies to its target.
The MiG-25 was designed when the threat to them seemed to be coming from supersonic bombers which greatly reduced earlier aircraft's engagement and engagement envelopes.
 
Simon Whistler's 'Megaprojects' has also a MiG-31 expisode.
No surprise there. His scriptwriters just churn them out and he has, what, 5-10 accounts at this point? In some of them he just walks up and down reading from a piece of paper. A good watch but he's beginning to annoy me.
 
No surprise there. His scriptwriters just churn them out and he has, what, 5-10 accounts at this point? In some of them he just walks up and down reading from a piece of paper. A good watch but he's beginning to annoy me.
Word pedestrian comes to mind
 
That’s why say soviets had a numerical inferiority as compared to NATO ( in terms of tactical aircraft) for most of the Cold War esp 1970 to 1991 even if you don’t count the aircraft in North America
It’s just western propaganda and myth making like the lies they popularized about the tiger tank Bismarck luftwaffe etc etc
Well, of course the Soviets were outnumbered by the combined NATO air forces: you're comparing one country against a continent-spanning alliance. If you add in the WARPAC air forces, then the numbers swing back in the Soviets' favor. And if you count continental US aircraft and the PVO, the Soviets and Warsaw Pact still come out ahead. See below:

6215 Soviet tactical aircraft (2955 PVO, 3260 VVS)

East Germany: 384
Poland: 498
Romania: 363
Hungary: 113
Czechoslovakia: 120+
Bulgaria: 144+

WARPAC total: 7837 (1522 WARPAC, 3260 VVS, 2955 PVO)

USAF: 4198 (834 ANG)
RAF: 749
Spain: 284
RNAF: 234
Italy: 282
Luftwaffe: 562
ADA: 525
RCAF: 227
Denmark: 90
Norway: 74
Belgium: 160
Portugal: ~100

Total: 7485 (3287 NATO, 834 ANG, 3364 USAF)

And no, adding Greece and Turkey to the NATO total still doesn't tip the balance, even if Turkey still had every single one of their acquired Starfighters in service in 1990 (which they didn't, given many of the second-hand airframes were used as parts hulks).

Greece: 234
Turkey: 231?
 
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Well, of course the Soviets were outnumbered by the combined NATO air forces: you're comparing one country against a continent-spanning alliance. If you add in the WARPAC air forces, then the numbers swing back in the Soviets' favor. And if you count continental US aircraft and the PVO, the Soviets and Warsaw Pact still come out ahead. See below:

6215 Soviet tactical aircraft (2955 PVO, 3260 VVS)

East Germany: 384
Poland: 498
Romania: 363
Hungary: 113
Czechoslovakia: 120+
Bulgaria: 144+

WARPAC total: 7837 (1522 WARPAC, 3260 VVS, 2955 PVO)

USAF: 4198 (834 ANG)
RAF: 749
Spain: 284
RNAF: 234
Italy: 282
ADA: 525
RCAF: 227
Denmark: 90
Norway: 74
Belgium: 160
Portugal: ~100

Total: 6923 (2725 NATO, 834 ANG, 3364 USAF)

And no, adding Greece and Turkey to the NATO total still doesn't tip the balance, even if Turkey still had every single one of their acquired Starfighters in service in 1990 (which they didn't, given many of the second-hand airframes were used as parts hulks).

Greece: 234
Turkey: 231?
The numbers you are quoting are from which years ?
 
Well, of course the Soviets were outnumbered by the combined NATO air forces: you're comparing one country against a continent-spanning alliance. If you add in the WARPAC air forces, then the numbers swing back in the Soviets' favor. And if you count continental US aircraft and the PVO, the Soviets and Warsaw Pact still come out ahead. See below:

6215 Soviet tactical aircraft (2955 PVO, 3260 VVS)

East Germany: 384
Poland: 498
Romania: 363
Hungary: 113
Czechoslovakia: 120+
Bulgaria: 144+

WARPAC total: 7837 (1522 WARPAC, 3260 VVS, 2955 PVO)

USAF: 4198 (834 ANG)
RAF: 749
Spain: 284
RNAF: 234
Italy: 282
ADA: 525
RCAF: 227
Denmark: 90
Norway: 74
Belgium: 160
Portugal: ~100

Total: 6923 (2725 NATO, 834 ANG, 3364 USAF)

And no, adding Greece and Turkey to the NATO total still doesn't tip the balance, even if Turkey still had every single one of their acquired Starfighters in service in 1990 (which they didn't, given many of the second-hand airframes were used as parts hulks).

Greece: 234
Turkey: 231?
Why no Luftwaffe
 

Anderman

Donor
Well, of course the Soviets were outnumbered by the combined NATO air forces: you're comparing one country against a continent-spanning alliance. If you add in the WARPAC air forces, then the numbers swing back in the Soviets' favor. And if you count continental US aircraft and the PVO, the Soviets and Warsaw Pact still come out ahead. See below:

6215 Soviet tactical aircraft (2955 PVO, 3260 VVS)

East Germany: 384
Poland: 498
Romania: 363
Hungary: 113
Czechoslovakia: 120+
Bulgaria: 144+

WARPAC total: 7837 (1522 WARPAC, 3260 VVS, 2955 PVO)

USAF: 4198 (834 ANG)
RAF: 749
Spain: 284
RNAF: 234
Italy: 282
Luftwaffe: 562
ADA: 525
RCAF: 227
Denmark: 90
Norway: 74
Belgium: 160
Portugal: ~100

Total: 7485 (3287 NATO, 834 ANG, 3364 USAF)

And no, adding Greece and Turkey to the NATO total still doesn't tip the balance, even if Turkey still had every single one of their acquired Starfighters in service in 1990 (which they didn't, given many of the second-hand airframes were used as parts hulks).

Greece: 234
Turkey: 231?

The Luftwaffe numbers are quite low do they include the Alpha Jets (175) and the Marine had 112 more Tornados.
 
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