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Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25 'Foxbat'
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U.S. weapons inspectors have discovered "dozens of Iraqi air force fighter jets" buried in the sand near an airfield west of Baghdad, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, August 4, 2003.

Inspectors stumbled upon the startling find after noticing two tail fins poking up through the sand. Beneath the telltale stabilizers: a completely intact Soviet-built Cold War era MiG-25.

By the time the excavation was complete, inspectors had uncovered "30-plus" aircraft hidden underground, including MiG-25 interceptors and Su-25 ground attack jets.

The below photos show a buried Iraqi jet fighter being recovered by U.S. Army and Air Force personnel. The jet, an advanced Russian MiG-25 Foxbat, was found buried in the sand after an informant tipped off U.S. forces.

The MiG was dug out of a massive sand dune near the Al Taqqadum airfield by U.S. Army and Air Force recovery teams. The MiG was reportedly one of over two dozen Iraqi jets buried in the sand, waiting to be recovered at a later date.

The Russian-made MiG-25 Foxbat being recovered by U.S. troops in the photos is an advanced reconnaissance version never before seen in the West and is equipped with sophisticated electronic warfare devices. The Foxbat is known to be one of Iraq's top jet fighters. The advanced electronic reconnaissance version found is also currently in service with the Russian air force.

U.S. Army and Air Force recovery teams had to use large earth-moving equipment to uncover the MiG. The recovery of the advanced MiG fighter is considered to be an intelligence coup by the U.S.

The buried aircraft at Al Taqqadum were covered in camouflage netting, sealed and, in many cases, had their wings removed before being buried more than 10 feet beneath the Iraqi desert.


MiG-25 (25k) Iraqi MiG-25 as it first appeared to US troops
MiG-25 (47k) Uncovering the cockpit of the MiG-25
MiG-25 (34k) Heavy equipment being used to uncover an Iraqi MiG-25 buried in the desert
MiG-25 (17k) Plastic covering used to protect the buried MiG-25
MiG-25 (15k) Troops with shovels uncovering the Iraqi MiG-25
MiG-25 (21k) Camoflauged netting covering the vertical tails of a buried Iraqi MiG-25
MiG-25 (37k) Iraqi MiG-25 being dug out from beneath the desert sands
MiG-25 (33k) MiG-25 almost completely free of the sand
MiG-25 (35k) Heavy equipment being used to uncover the Iraqi MiG-25
MiG-25 (47k) Iraqi MiG-25, with wings removed, being pulled from the desert sands
MiG-25 (31k) Recovered MiG-25 pulled from its resting place
MiG-25 (46k) Iraqi MiG-25 emerges from the desert sands as troops look on

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