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The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973The USSR's Military Intervention  in the Egyptian-Israeli Conflict$
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Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190693480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190693480.001.0001

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Return of the Foxbats

Return of the Foxbats

(p.223) 19 Return of the Foxbats
The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973

Isabella Ginor

Gideon Remez

Oxford University Press

In early 1971 the Soviet Air Force began preparations to redeploy in Egypt its high-altitude, mach-3 aircraft, which would later be called MiG-25 or, by NATO, Foxbat. The authors’ previous book “Foxbats over Dimona” documented this yet-experimental model’s use in May 1967 for provocative flights over Israel’s nuclear facility that precipitated the Six-Day War. Two craft each of the interceptor and the reconnaissance/bomber versions, with top pilots, were included in a special formation, the 63rd Air Group, and dispatched secretly to Egypt where their presence was soon detected. However, as there was no western match for the MiG-25’s performance, they began carrying out photoreconnaissance sorties over Sinai and Israeli proper with impunity. The flights were meant primarily to prepare an ultimate crossing of the Suez Canal, but they helped to cause a war scare while fruitless talks continued about an interim settlement to include an Israeli withdrawal from the Canal.

Keywords:   MiG-25, 63rd Air Group, Aleksandr Bezhevets, Henry Kissinger, Anatoly Dobrynin, Yitzhak Rabin, Suez Canal, Sinai Peninsula

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