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Soviet pilot lands Russian MIG fighter plane in Japan

Soviet pilot lands Russian MIG fighter plane in Japan

A Soviet Air Force pilot lands his MIG fighter jet in Japan and requests asylum in the United States. The incident was a significant embarrassment for the Soviets, and provided a surprise for U also.S. officials.

When the Soviets first put the MIG-25 (referred to as the Foxbat) into production in the 1960s, U.S. officials became hysterical nearly. The new plane, they claimed, was the fastest, innovative, & most destructive interceptor jet built. Its debut, they argued, meant that the United States was falling dangerously behind in the race to regulate the skies. On September 6, 1976, those officials got a close-up consider the aircraft. Soviet Air Force Lt. Viktor Belenko took his MIG-25 out of Soviet airspace and landed it at a Japanese airfield at Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido. Japanese police took the pilot into custody, where he immediately asked for asylum in the United States. Experts from the U.S. quickly arrived to obtain a firsthand consider the aircraft. After being questioned extensively by both Japanese and U.S. officials, Belenko was flown to the United States and granted political asylum.

For the Soviets, the MIG-25 incident was a significant diplomatic and military embarrassment. To have among their innovative planes delivered in to the hands of these enemy was mortifying and was seen as a serious setback to the Soviet weapons program.

U.S. officials were set for a surprise. After an intensive check of the MIG-25, the Americans experts came away significantly less than impressed. The plane was quite fast, but unwieldy and almost completely not capable of close-quarters combat also. In addition, the electronic technology of the plane was deemed to be behind comparable U far.S. aircraft. As one U.S. expert joked, “I guess it could be worse; it might have been made out of wood.” The MIG-25 incident suggested that U.S. officials could have overestimated the Soviet threat to be able to push for even higher American defense spending.

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Source: History