MiG-25 vs F-4 in Iran-Iraq war

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I'm looking for details of any aircombat involving MiG-25 and F-4 in the Iran-Iraq war
I have read in a Tom Cooper book that 2 F-4s were lost to MiG-25s and 1 recon version of F-4 and one recon version of foxbat was lost to F-4s
Any further details will be much appreciated

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A former Iraqui Air Force officer used to post in ACIG a few years ago. His nickname was Ahmad Rushdi, real name Ahmad Sadik. He has writter a few articles on the Iraqui Air Force. This is what he explained on MiG-25

- Iraq received from the Soviet Union 22 Mig-25 PD/PDS. Of those 12 were original Mig-25 P converted to PDS by Soviet experts in Iraq in 1983. Iraq operated the Mig-25PD/PDS in the 96th squadron stationed in Tammuz AB (Taqaddum). The Iraqi 84 squadron operated the Mig-25RB from the same base.
- During the Iraq-Iran war Iraq lost one Mig-25PDS w/o after a heavy landing on August 6th 1986. It was hit originally over the Iranian town of Tabriz by an F-5E machine gun.

-Iraq lost two Mig-25RB during the whole war, as follows:

1. Mig-25RB shot over the Gulf, Kharg Island by F-14 during spring 1982.
2. Mig-25 RB shot over the Iranian city of Isfahan by a Chinese HQ-2. The pilot a 1st Lt. ejected and was POW.
Among the long list of Iranian claims, the Iranians would be able to present to the world the pilot of the second Mig-25RB as well part of the wreckage of his aircraft only.
All he other claims are non existent. The list in the ACIG Iranian air to air victories about the F-14 shooting so many Iraqi and Soviet Mig-25 are all not correct.

Tom,
The Soviet Union didn’t declare war on Iran

As for Soviet Mig-25 aircraft being shot over Iran, please let the Iranians show us photos of wreckage, pilots or remains of pilots should be presented. Even if the AIM-54 blasts the Mig-25 out of the sky and the pilots are shredded to small pieces, the engines should survive. Where are they?

As for the Soviet" Mig-25BM contingent" in Iraq I would to make the following comments and questions:

-Iraq is a small country, not like the US where you can have Area 51 completely sealed to the outside world. If the Soviet Mig-25BM operated from Iraq, then it had to operate from one of the Iraqi basis and there was no such a thing.
-The soviets would bring with them there technicians and there spare parts and that meant that to operate a force of 4-6 Mig-25 at least around 200 Soviet military personnel would be present.
- The Soviet contingent would have to bring all the equipment necessary to maintain their aircraft (they would never use Iraqi equipment) and they have to bring all the equipment to test their unique weapons.
- The soviet contingent had to bring their own GCI officers who would talk Russian to vector or control their planes. This mean that every listening post in the Middle East would be informed about the attacks by the Soviet pilots against Iran. The Soviets weren’t that naïve.
- Iraqi AF main operation center as well the AD sectors had to be informed whenever the Soviets flew and returned back.

Nothing of the above ever happened how can you explain that? You cannot hide such operations from the world and the soviets were forbidden from flying armed aircrafts in Iraq except at the request of the Iraqis.

I am ready to dialogue with you about this issue, no problem for me

The encounter between the Mig-25PD and the Iranians occurred early in the day, and I do remember it was a Friday. The after action report of the Iraqi pilot mentioned that his RWR (type SPO-15) indicated that there was a lock-on by an AWG-9 (radar associated with F-14 aircraft) and then it indicated an AIM-54 Phoenix launch. The Iraqi pilot decided to make two reverses and then dive inside a valley. He was flying in the mountainous area located in Northeast Iran. The lights in his RWR went off and he decided to report that to the Iraqi GCI, before doing so he felt bullets striking the back of his aircraft. He immediately broke off and returned to Iraq.

Next day I went with a group of specialized Iraqi officers to inspect the Iraqi Mig-25PDS in Saddam's AB. We managed to have a fairly good look on the aircraft from all angles there was no indication whatsoever that the aircraft was hit by any missile. Then a ladder was brought and after taking off my boots I walked on the back of the Mig; counting holes and retrieving 2 or 3 bullets. Further analysis showed that it was 20mm ones from the guns of an F-5.

The radar of the Iranian F-5E was not working and this what made the Iraqi unaware of the Iranian aircraft presence. It is now quite clear that the Iranian missile missed the Mig-25PDS and that for unknown reason the Iranian F-14 pilot didn’t press his attack, or that he may have thought that he has shot down the Iraqi Mig. Why didn’t the Iranian F-5E use its AIM-9, this is another unanswered question.

Iraq received only 22 Mig-25 PD/PDS and there were no further deliveries. It had only one squadron for this type of aircraft, the 96. In this case we might disregard the SIPRI figure. I don’t know how the latter arrived at this figure. The Soviet Union was in fact very reluctant to provide the MIG-25PD to Iraq, it did so only after intense negotiation and the ten aircraft was delivered to Iraq by Soviet pilots flying from the former Soviet Union via Turkey. By 1986 the Soviet Union informed Iraq officially that it was going to close the production line of that type of aircraft. The Iraqi air force had to import large quantity of engines for both the MIG-25 PD/PDS and MIG-25RB

The Iraqi air force received 12 Mig-25P from the Soviet Union in 1980. In 1983 all 12 were modified to Mig-25 PDS. They were flying under the 96 squadron located at Tammuz AB (better known as Taqaddum). Later on 10 Mig-25 PD were added so the total was 22 aircrafts.

The Iranian fighters were no match for the Mig-25PD/PDS which prevailed in every clash with Iranian F-4Es and F-5Es, as well knocking down the Iranian ELINT aircraft C-130 (The Iranians called it the Khofash-bat in both Arabic and Farsi) killing all its valuable and indispensable crew and depriving the Iranians of an important intelligence asset. Iraqi Mig-25s roamed the length and breadth of Iran unchallenged. R-40R, R-40RD and R-40TD missiles were used in these air to air battles.

Only one Mig-25PD was hit by an Iranian F-5 during a patrol over the Iranian City of Tabriz; the incident occurred in September 1986. The Iranian pilot managed to sneak to about 2000 meters from the Iraqi Mig-25 undetected due to the fact that his radar was not working; there was no warning for the Iraqi pilot. Due to lack of aerial profieciency; the Iranian pilot decided to open fire from his gun prematurely; out of range. The majority of his bullets missed their target and fell short. Only about 25 bullets managed to hit the fuselage and both wings. The Iraqi pilot 1st Lieutenant Mohammad Salem managed to bring the aircraft back to its temporary base at Saddam AB (better known in the west as Qayarrah West). However the landing of the aircraft was too heavy and it was declared an R/O later.

Two other accidents occurred with the Mig-25PD/PDS both were unrelated to Iranian action. One before take off and the other during landing. Both pilots survived. On the night of January 17th 1991 the Iraqi Air Force had 19 Mig-25 PD/PDS.

In 1983 there were no Mig-25 PDS in Iraq. In 1983 a large soviet depot level delegation was converting the 12 Iraqi Mig-25Ps into PDSs. This was extensive work which included the replacement of radar, fire control system and some extensive wiring of the aircraft including the missile pylons, which have now to accommodate the R-40RD/TD and the canceling of the R-40R.
Between early 1981 and the mid of 1983 there was a limited number of sorties performed by Iraqi Mig-25P. Including the operation that led to the shooting down of the Algerian G-III with an R-40R. Again it was a single Mig-25P that was guided by GCI to near the Iranian-Turkish border, the place where the International air corridor is located. The Iraqi pilot locked on the Algerian plane and fired a single R-40R, he watched the plane explode. He returned back to his temporary base without any attempt by the Iranians to intercept him, although the interception occurred somewhere to the north of the Iranian town of Tibriz.

The description of the incident of 2 F-4Es as told by the Iranians doesn’t match what I saw and knew. Never during the Iraq-Iran war did the Mig-25PDS ever venture near Tehran. Iraqi Mig-25 PDS always worked in a single ship formation. The Iraqi Mig-25 PDS always worked under GCI control, Tehran was out of range of Iraqi GCI. The maximum the Iraqis could afford to send the Mig-25 PDS and not the RB was somewhere near Hamadan.

The only way to know the full circumstances surrounding the Iranian story is that if you can obtain information about speed, altitude and course of the "Iraqi targets". Where the Iranian F-4E from Mehrabad or Hamadan? I am just trying to be helpful. There might be some confusion with a Mig-25RB sortie. Could it be a Mig-25RB with an active repeater jammer on? In 1983 there was a big Iraqi campaign to photograph Tehran and all the economic installations nearby. Again the Mig-25RB worked in a single ship formation.

Putting the Iranian aside until we get more information, why would I trust US reports when I was sitting on the radar screens watching these battles.

The Iranian F-4E RHAW could have never warned the pilot of a Mig-25PDS Lock-on or missile launch. There was no technical capability to do so. If you look at the manual of the Iranian F-4E RHAW and if you match that with the actual hardware you will see that there was no provision to warn the pilot from a lock-on by Mig-25 or any launch of its missile. I would like here to point that there is no change of mode between lock-on mode and fire mode in the Mig-25P radar. This was shown practically, when I noticed that in actual air battles, the poor Iranian pilots never realized what the Iraqi Mig-25 launched towards them. They never reacted to the launch of the R-40. You should always bear in mind that the F-4E RHAW was a Vietnam era device. It would be very interesting if the Iranian pilot depended on a change I the Iraqi plane contrail to decide that there was a missile.

If any Iranian is generous enough to show us the photograph of the unexploded Iraqi R-40 then I and the readers of this thread will be more than happy. The radome of the R-40 was made from ceramic, it can withstand high temperatures alright but it was fragile. Hitting the ground at such a speed would certainly cause to crash and thus damage the RHH. The R-40 also had an impact fuse mechanism; I wonder why this didn’t work as well. It is also puzzling why a high ranking Iranian delegation which visited Libya in 1986 asked to inspect and fly the Mig-25. The inspection included a brief on the aircraft armament.

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Thank you very helpful
this is what I found on wikipedia
The MiG-25 was in service with the Iraqi Air Force during the Iran–Iraq War, but its success against Iranian fighters is largely unknown. Research by journalist Tom Cooper shows that as many as 14 MiG-25s may have been shot down by Iranian fighters during the period from 1978 to 1988,[27][28][29][page needed] although it is difficult to determine the validity of these claims. Iraqi MiG-25s made their first kill against Iran in February 1983, when an Iraqi MiG-25PD shot down an Iranian C-130. On 21 March 1984, an Iraqi MiG-25PD shot down an Iranian F-4E and on 5 June 1985 an Iraqi MiG-25PD shot down a second Iranian F-4E. On 23 February 1986 an Iraqi MiG-25PD shot down an Iranian EC-130E and on 10 June an RF-4E, later in October 1986, an Iraqi MiG-25PDS shot down a second RF-4E.[30] The most successful Iraqi MiG-25 pilot of the war was Colonel Mohommed "Sky Falcon" Rayyan, who was credited with 10 kills

Not sure what the source is for these claims

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More Mig-25 casualties

Ahmad Rushdi (Ahmad Sadik) obviously doesn't know about some other Mig-25s being shutdown by Iran's Tomcats.

Wikipedia says Mohommed Rayyan (Iraq's Ace pilot) was killed by Iran's F-14s while flying a Mig-25 in 1986.

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There was no Iraqi pilot called "mohammed rayyan" (I think its an iranian invention kind of like the americans with their "colonel toon", and it got propagated via tom coopers works into english media),

in fact the Iraqi air force never had an official "ace"... there was one Mirage F1 pilot who had "claimed" something like 13 kills or something, but the Iraqi Air Force re-evaluated his claims already in 1984 and reduced his "kills" to 2 confirmed only... (and since the pilot had insolently painted 13 kill marks on his plane, he was then grounded from flying for the rest of the war).

ahmed sadik (along with official Iraqi records released after 2003) illustrate clearly that the Iranian claims as published earlier by Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop are simply Iranian claims that were obviously not tallied with Iraqi actual losses... anyway that's not really tom's fault since the information on Iraqi aircraft availability in 1990 simply was not available to them when their books / magazines were published.

Iraqi air force lost about 130-140 fixed wing fighters/bombers during the 1980-88 war... they also lost a similar number of helicopters and turboprops. This is about 80% less than the Iranian claims. A massive discrepancy.

officially the Iraqis ran a very rigorous "confirmation" system for kills... e.g. Lt Zuhair Dawood who shot down speicher in 1991 did not get official confirmation of his kill until speicher's plane was found by beduins in 1995 and the US confirmed the real location of the plane when it went down to the Iraqis... OTOH the MiG23 pilot who shot down the Tornados got his kill confirmations immediately since the wreckage and crew were recovered and his weapons system records/wreck matched it.

According to Iraqis over on other forums and from biographies of Iraqi air force officers the MiG25s were quite invulnerable to attack but suffered from a poor weapons system in the R40s which did limit their potential. Either way, they were the "premier" fighter of the Iraqi AF even after the induction of the MiG29s which tells you all you need to know about how highly the Iraqis regarded them. They did not shoot down many Iranian aircraft (less than a dozen), but specialised in shooting down the Iranian EC130, RF-4Es and other such "high altitude / straight line" planes that would be suitable for engagement by the MiG25. the first "true loss" for an Iraqi MiG25PDS I believe was at the hands of a US AMRAAM fired by an F16 after the end of the 1991 war... The Iraqis learned quickly from that loss, and for the rest of the 1990s engagements in the no fly zones they successfully avoided / countermeasured all the AMRAAM launches against them.

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What MIG-23 kill, is it the AMI Tornado? Do you have more info about Iraqi kills during 1991? ( should be 4 or 5, right ?)
As to the topic at hand, any idea how many planes did the iranians lost during 1980-88? Thank you.

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I believe it was an RAF tornado shot down over Imam Ali AB while it was doing a JP-233 run by a MiG23ML.

the italian and other RAF tornado (on the 17th jan I think also over an airbase in basra) seem to have been downed by MiG29s.

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I think those Tornados were confirmed as being shot down by SAMs/AA.

The only Iraqi A2A kill in 1991 was an F/A-18 Hornet by a MiG-25.

Tornado losses:

RAF

1 to premature bomb explosion
3 SAM
2 AAA

Also 1 on take off landing when it suffered a malfunction

Saudi Air Force
20/01/1991 - 765 - fuel starvation

Italian AF:
16-18/01/1991 - AAA

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MIg-25RB

How many Mig-25RB were delievered to Iraq by the Soviets?

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Strange that my question has met silence.
How many Mig-25RBs were delivered to Iraq by the Soviets?

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MiG-25RB
delivered: 12
sent abroad during 1980s: ??
Accidental losses: ??
Combat losses: 2-3
remaining in 1990: 9
destroyed in 1991: 3
damaged in 1991: 3
flew to iran in 1991: 0
survived after 1991: 3

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I think those Tornados were confirmed as being shot down by SAMs/AA.

The only Iraqi A2A kill in 1991 was an F/A-18 Hornet by a MiG-25.

I think the shooter is in a better position to confirm what he used to do the job... Iraqi AF were more sure about the tornado kills and F111 / B52 hits than they were about the F/A18.

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the fighter versions...

MiG-25PDS
delivered: 22
sent abroad during 1980s: ??
Accidental losses: 1
Combat losses: 1-2
remaining in 1990: 19
destroyed in 1991: 13
damaged in 1991: 1
flew to iran in 1991: 0
survived after 1991: 5

http://iraqimilitary.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=71

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I believe it was an RAF tornado shot down over Imam Ali AB while it was doing a JP-233 run by a MiG23ML.

the italian and other RAF tornado (on the 17th jan I think also over an airbase in basra) seem to have been downed by MiG29s.

No Tornado was shot down during a JP233 run, that is a myth that has propagated over the years often by people who have an axe to grind over the RAF CoughSharkeyWardCough. I think it also suited the RAF to talk up the risks of JP233 deployment and its thereafter retirement as it hid the greater issues of the low level penetration policy held by the service. Whilst low level strike made sense in Northern Europe over the desert it was rather dangerous!

The only Tornado lost during Gulf War 1 whilst carrying JP233 was ZA392 but that was ten miles after it deployed the system and the post incident reports concluded it as a controlled flight into terrain as there was no evidence of ground fire. I have seen some reports suggest a SAM hit but nevertheless the aircraft went down after the bomb run was finished and certainly no Mig-23 was involved!

Over small Russian single or dual runway airfields in East Germany JP233 makes plenty of sense as the aircraft is in and out through covering terrain before the enemy can respond. Over a vast multi runway desert airfield with little to no cover and clear sight lines for GBAD's low level strike is a poor idea. In the second half of the Gulf War the RAF moved to medium altitude strikes using LGB designated by Pave Spike carried by Buccaneer or self designation using two hastily rushed out prototype TIALD pods that were still technically in development trials. The two pods deployed were apparently called 'Sandra' and 'Tracy'! :D

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I think the shooter is in a better position to confirm what he used to do the job... Iraqi AF were more sure about the tornado kills and F111 / B52 hits than they were about the F/A18.

Not necessarily. It's common for there to be conflicting claims.

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The following site states that a Mig-25RB was shot down by Iranian F-14 in Sep/1986 and Pilot was taken as POW. Pilot name: "Khazai"

http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/country-by-country/Iraq.htm

This seems to be another POW incident to Lt "Al-Bayaani" who was downed with HQ2.

yes that tallies (somewhat) with deliveries and Iraqi official loss numbers.

fantastic claims of shooting down dozens of non-existent MiG25s by Iran on the other hand...

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What we have seen in this tread is:

-Mig-25PDS shot by F5 machine gun.
-Mig-25RB shot down near the Khark Island (over the Gulf) by F14.
-Mig-25RB Shot down by F14 with Pilot Khazai as POW.
-Mig-25RB Shot down by Hq1 in Isfahan (Lt "Al-Bayaani").
-Mig-25PDS lost while landing (as stated by a89)
-Mig-25PDS lost while taking off (as stated by a89)

Apparently, Iran claims to have shot down some 13 Mig-25s during the war (not dozens).

They claim the Soviets kept replacing the lost ones and the damaged squadrons got rebuilt during 8 years of war. We all know IRAQ had more fighter jets in the end. How else would Iraq's Air Force grow in inventory despite the losses?

Question is: Did the Soviets provide more Mig-25 in addition to initial delivery?

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The questions are interesting however I would imagine the answer for that would be even more if it was introduced a disturbing question that perhaps not all MiG 25 that had been operated in Iraq were under orders or were piloted by Iraqis.

Because of this I imagine that would be an almost impossible mission to confirm how many MiG-25 Foxbat were supplied by the Soviet Union and how many indeed were lost by Iraq during the Iran / Iraq War.

It could be a high possibility that Soviet Union sent versions of the MiG 25RB/PD/BM had been keeping under the command from Soviet Union itself in Air Bases from Iraq during the Iran / Iraq War.

I will not use this thread to repeat what I put previously, though I imagine that there is still much to discover about the operations of the MiG 25 in Iraq, especially what actually had been occurred in the H 3 Air Base from Iraq, since this base were attacked by several F 4E Phantom II from Iran in 1981 in what were described as a daring mission performed by Iran Air Force.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YtLYuNVVJyc/US6eDpGi6II/AAAAAAAAByw/UaxluinYfy8/s576/H3%25201%2520Main.jpg
Image edited from Google Maps:http://goo.gl/maps/DFc3C

The H3 Main Air Base from Iraq, one of from three bases in the extreme West from Iraq. This base had been using by Soviet Union MiG 25 PD/RB during the 80’s and were considered strategic for the Iraq High Command even far way from the battles zones during the War Iran-Iraq.

Thread:http://forum.keypublishing.com/showpost.php?p=1996034&postcount=116

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my father in law was a doctor in H3 during the entire war. The air base was a combat training and maintenance base far away from the war and it was not used by active combat aircraft during the war. the small iranian attack on the airbase from the beginning of the war came from Syria and it didn't do any appreciable damage. It was in fact part of the broader political fallout between Iraq and Syria at the time rather than the "daring mission against the enemy rear"... especially since Iraq had mainly a few MiG21s / MiG17s there for dissimilar training etc... hardly a top target when Shuaiba AB right next to the Iranian border hosted combat squadrons flying non-stop against Iran for the entire war period.

According to Iraqis all the MiG25s (and other aircraft) flying operational missions were all flown by Iraqis. The only foreign pilots (mainly Indian, Jordanian and French) were based out of either Tikrit or one of the OCU bases far away from the front lines during the war and used as instructors only. Maybe there was some "top secret" soviet combat mission in Iraq as Tom Cooper and co claim... but absolutely no evidence for it has ever emerged, and it seems the only reason the Iranians make these claims up is in order to "prove" their kill claims...

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What we have seen in this tread is:

-Mig-25PDS shot by F5 machine gun.
-Mig-25RB shot down near the Khark Island (over the Gulf) by F14.
-Mig-25RB Shot down by F14 with Pilot Khazai as POW.
-Mig-25RB Shot down by Hq1 in Isfahan (Lt "Al-Bayaani").
-Mig-25PDS lost while landing (as stated by a89)
-Mig-25PDS lost while taking off (as stated by a89)

Apparently, Iran claims to have shot down some 13 Mig-25s during the war (not dozens).

They claim the Soviets kept replacing the lost ones and the damaged squadrons got rebuilt during 8 years of war. We all know IRAQ had more fighter jets in the end. How else would Iraq's Air Force grow in inventory despite the losses?

Question is: Did the Soviets provide more Mig-25 in addition to initial delivery?

the numbers shown are for total aircraft delivered INCLUDING additional airframes delivered during the war. Initial deliveries were 12 airframes only, and an additional 10 were delivered later on... of these 19 survived until 1990, and two were written off in accidents... you do the math.