I've often heard that because the Soviet Union lagged behind in integrated circuit development, they built their fighters to rely less on them compared to NATO and American platforms.

The Mig25 is often brought up as an aircraft that utilized a heavy number of vacuum tubes for the aforementioned reason, but also as a defense against EMP related issues when tasked with intercepting American bomber formations.

How much of the Mig25 utilized vacuum tubes, especially in comparison to semiconductor/transistor-based circuitry?


1 Answer 1


From the Russian sources here and here it is seen that Mig-25 used vacuum tubes. However these where not the usual large vacuum tubes from consumer electronics, already obsolete at that time. Mig-25 used miniature vacuum tubes specially designed for this aircraft.

Sources say the electronics was anyway efficient and worked well.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please reproduce the pertinent parts of your links here in the answer itself. Links rot. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Dec 31, 2023 at 14:31

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