Firefox Down

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The 1984 UK cover to Firefox Down by Craig Thomas.

Firefox Down is a 1983 novel by author Craig Thomas. It is a sequel to his novel Firefox. Craig Thomas dedicated the first edition of the novel to actor/director/producer Clint Eastwood, who starred as Mitchell Gant in the film adaptation of the first novel, stating, "For Clint Eastwood — pilot of the Firefox".

Plot summary[edit]

As with the first novel, the book focuses on the efforts of Mitchell Gant to steal the fictional prototype MiG-31 Firefox Soviet aircraft. At the climax of Firefox, Gant engaged in combat with a second MiG-31; the second novel begins mere moments later, with Gant discovering that his aircraft sustained damage in the dogfight and is losing fuel rapidly. After a brief engagement with two Soviet MiG-25s, Gant lands the Firefox on a frozen Finnish lake, whereupon the weight of the aircraft causes it to break through the ice and become submerged.

Upon fleeing the lake, Gant is captured by the KGB and taken back to the Soviet Union. The West must then mount a desperate attempt to recover the Firefox from the lake, repair it, and return it to flyable condition before Soviet forces can recapture or destroy it. At the same time, Gant attempts to escape the Soviet Union. Dmitri Priabin (a KGB officer with a minor role in Firefox) has an expanded role in its sequel; his lover has been working for the Americans under the codename Burgoyne, forcing Priabin to choose between recapturing Gant and saving the woman.

Unlike its predecessor, Firefox Down did not become a feature film. The book, however, depicts the MiG-31 from the movie on the cover and the text of the novel describes it as black, as it was in the movie, rather than the original silver.


Aside from being an immediate sequel to Firefox, Firefox Down fits within the larger fictional universe of the Craig Thomas novels.

Mitchell Gant continues his appearances in the novels Winter Hawk (1987) and A Different War (1997). The characters Colonel Kontarsky, Vasilly, General Vladimirov, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) First Secretary, and Kenneth Aubrey return from Firefox. Yuri Andropov, who was the Chairman of the KGB in Firefox (first published in 1975) retains this role, even though by the time the sequel was published, he had already become the General Secretary of the CPSU, as explained in a prefatory note inserted by the author. Dmitri Priabin reappears in later books as well, though mostly by reference. As with Gant, Priabin has a major role as an antagonist/protagonist in Winter Hawk, largely based on a personal vendetta against Gant due to the events of Firefox Down. Alan Waterford features as well in Snow Falcon, and CIA Deputy Director Charles Buckholz appears in several other novels.