Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-150 was developed in 1955 as a heavy interceptor to carry out automatic interceptions.

After World War II, worried about the air threats from the West, Mikoyan-Gurevich of the Soviet Union was very famous for its MiG-15 or MiG-21 models. Several ground-breaking interceptors were also developed, but for various reasons even remained in prototypes, one of them being the MiG Ye-150 family. The Ye-150 was developed as an interceptor, with a design that looks similar to the MiG-21 and seems likely to worry the West.

Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-150 was developed in 1955 as a heavy interceptor to carry out automatic interceptions. The first prototype had its maiden flight on July 8, 1960. In total, four Ye-150 family aircraft were built. There was one Ye-150, followed by two Ye-152s, and a Ye-152A prototype. The Ye-150 was a missile-armed version, but development was hampered by the short life of its R-15 engine.

The Ye-150 family was planned to be equipped with the Uragan-5 automatic weapons system, initiated by the Council of Ministers in 1955 to intercept supersonic bombers flying at 10 to 25,000 m altitude at 1,600 to 2,000 km/h. The system relied on ground-based radar to guide the interceptor to an intercept with the target and aircraft based radar and weapon aiming systems to complete the mission using the following components: A high resolution ground-based radar system, to provide accurate position and height data at a range of 345 km.

Despite the issues though, the Ye-150 showed the potential the jet had. Over 42 flights, it achieved a frankly unbelievable top speed of Mach 2.65 with some speculating that it went even faster. Altitudes of 69,000 ft were achieved by the jet and its rate of climb was incredible. This was achieved with a similar level of thrust to today’s Saab Gripen, which could not accelerate like the Ye-150. The Ye-152s would also register world record flights, so there was serious potential within the Ye-150 range.

Despite these levels of performance, the project was ultimately doomed. The electronics being developed for the aircraft were simply not up to the job, the same was true of the missiles and the unreliable engines set the project back massively. Every single aircraft within the Ye-150 range suffered delays and problems, before the Soviet Union canceled the project entirely in 1962.

In some ways, this was a sad outcome. Because the Ye-150 family had shown serious potential, with a menacing looking jet that had some truly remarkable performance figures. Sadly, those figures proved too much. Today, just the sole Ye-152M survives, located at the Central Air Force Museum in Monino, Russia, and it serves as a reminder of what might have been one of the world’s most capable interceptors.


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