How the Belenko button appeared on combat aircraft

In 1976, the Soviet Air Force was shaken by an unprecedented emergency. On September 6, in a fighter regiment of the air defense forces during a training flight, a brand new MIG-25P interceptor with tail number 31 disappeared from the radar screens. It was piloted by a young but already experienced pilot, Senior Lieutenant Viktor Belenko. This incident happened in the Far Eastern Military District at the Chuguevka airbase.

However, an hour later, Japanese radio broadcast that the MiG-25P (tail number - "31"), piloted by the Soviet pilot Belenko, landed at Hakodate airport (Hokkaido island). Subsequently, the Japanese authorities issued an official notification that Belenko had applied for political asylum. On September 9, he was taken to the United States. The aircraft was disassembled, subjected to detailed study by Japanese and American specialists, and returned to the USSR on November 15, 1976.

The returned plane was used for a long time as a teaching aid at the Daugavpils military school, and in the late 80s it was decommissioned and disassembled for souvenirs.

... After the "debriefing" it turned out that during the incident a pair of MiG-25s had been raised in pursuit of Belenko, but it was impossible to catch up with the traitor - he had gone far. Even if they caught up, they would not be able to shoot him - the smart MIG was so arranged that he did not shoot at his own people. Then a special button appeared in the cockpit, which was nicknamed "Belenkovskaya" among the pilots. She gave in the most extreme case the opportunity to use weapons on your plane. Before Belenko, no one could have imagined that one might need one.

The damage from Belenko's escape was estimated at about 2 billion rubles, since it was necessary to urgently change the equipment of the friend-or-foe recognition system throughout the country.

The Belenko case was closed in November 2001 with the wording "For a long time", when it was 25 years from the date of the verdict in absentia.

The dissident pilot himself settled in the United States. Initially, he taught the technique and tactics of air combat at one of the military academies. Over time, his knowledge became obsolete and he switched to lecturing on events, customs and traditions in the USSR. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belenko's lectures ceased to be relevant. The only thing that America thanked him for was that it granted him citizenship. Belenko married an American woman with whom he has three children. However, then he divorced and left her all the acquired property. Lately, he has been wandering around cheap motels, interrupting temporary work.