C/N MiG-25RB

Here is an exceptional document that details the aircraft on strength with the first squadron of the 931.OGRAP. The complete document also included the strength of the second squadron (Yak-28PP) and the third squadron (MiG-25BM). This list was thus drawn up between June 1986 (when the Yak-28PP were transferred from Welzow to Werneuchen) and not before the end of that year, when the last MiG-25BM were taken on charge by the 931.OGRAP.
The first column indicated the individual tactical code number (bort nomer) for each aircraft.
The second column indicated the serial number.
The third column probably indicated the date when the aircraft was taken on charge by the VVS or when it left the factory.
The fourth column indicated the specific equipment carried by the aircraft or even the features of specific equipment.

- N01 (number erased) (PHOTO), 02 (PHOTO) and 03 (PHOTO) were MiG-25RU two-seaters. The serial numbers started with the Article number (39 for the RU variant). The letter "U" (Y) (U for "Uchebnyy" - training)
  in the fourth column specified that the aircraft were two-seat trainers.
- N50, 51 and 52 were MiG-25RB equipped with a "Sablya" suite - i.e. MiG-25RBS - hence the letter "S" (C) in the fourth column. The serial numbers started with 02, i.e. the Article number of every RB variants.
  There was additional information for aircraft n50 and 51: "P-2" (П-2) indicated that they had been upgraded to the "Peleng-2" navigation complex, the most efficient variant of this system.
- N53, 54, 55, 56 and 57 were MiG-25RB equipped with a "Virazh" suite - i.e. MiG-25RBV. The equipment on n54 was identified with the letters "VF" (BФ): "V" stands for "Virazh," of course; however, why "F"? One
  would imagine that the letter "F" meant "Foto." However, all the RBV models carried cameras. The most plausible explanation is as follows: the aircraft generally were equipped with four A-70M and one
  A/Ye-10 camera. N54 probably was equipped with a more selective camera suite comprising of two A-82 and one A/Ye-10 (see the main text of this article), hence the necessity for a supplementary identifying letter.
- N58 (PHOTO), 59 and 60 were MiG-25RB equipped with a "Kub-3M" suite as indicated by the letter "K" (K) - i.e., MiG-25RBK. "P-2" (П-2) indicated that they had been reequiped with the "Peleng-2" navigation
  complex.
- N61 was a MiG-25RB equipped with a "Tangazh" suite as indicated by the letter "T" (T) - i.e. a MiG-25RBT. The letters "FN" (ФН) probably indicated that this aircraft was equipped with two NA-75
  cameras for night reconnaissance. PHOTO.
- N62 was a MiG-25RB equipped with a "Shar-25" suite - i.e. a MiG-25RBF. It would have been easy and logical to conclude that this aircraft was rather a MiG-25RBSh equipped with a "Shompol" suite as indicated by
  the "Sh" (Ш) in the fourth column. However, a MiG-25RBF bort number 62 was photographed at Werneuchen and Welzow during the early nineties and, according to some aircraft spotter lists, it had the serial number
  02029105 like that of the aircraft on this list. Consequently, it was a MiG-25RBF as evidenced by the pictures (PHOTO).

Some remarks:
> According to Russian aviation expert Sergey Burdin, aircraft with serial numbers 02012179 and s/n 02014125 through 02017125 were produced with a night photo reconnaissance suite.
> The s/n 02020305 of n61 that was supposed to be equipped with a night photo reconnaissance suite did not match the above-mentioned list.
> On the other hand, n53, 55, 56 and 57 for which there was no particular mention except for their ELINT reconnaissance suite, had serial numbers that match the night photo reconnaissance serial numbers.
   However, they were not necessarily equipped with such a suite. N55 had an atypical nose apparently with only two camera portholes. (PHOTO). That was a characteristic of an aircraft equipped with a night photo
   reconnaissance suite.
> Thanks to its serial number, n54 would have been identified in the Werneuchen dump in August 1993. It also was put on display without its engines during an open house at Werneuchen on May 1, 1991.
   The n54 that was photographed (PHOTO) at Welzow in 1991/92 probably was a replacement aircraft.
> There are documents proving that MiG-25RBV n53, 56 and 57 were upgraded as MiG-25RBT variants.
> N58, 59 and 60 equipped with a Kub-3M suite were later upgraded to a Shar-25 suite: PHOTO n58 / n59 / n60.
> Finally, one should note that pilots and ground personnel did not refer to these aircraft as a MiG-25RBV, RBT etc. Instead, the aircraft were identified by data sheets that listed the equipment mounted in the aircraft.
   As an exemple, n52 was not known to be a MiG-25RBS, but rather a Sablya MiG-25 - implying a reconnaissance and bombardment variant fitted with a Sablya suite. This provides a measure of precision to this
   serial number list.