* Although the Soviet Union was lagging in jet aircraft design at the end of World War II, the Communist state initiated a major effort to catch up, and by the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 the USSR had a jet fighter, the Mikoyan "MiG-15", that was a match for the best the West had at the time. The MiG-15, and its improved successor the "MiG-17", were the standard Soviet jet fighters of the early Cold War, and even in the late 1960s the MiG-17 would effectively challenge the latest US aircraft in the skies over North Vietnam.
The MiG-17 led, less directly, to the "MiG-19", the USSR's first operational supersonic fighter. The MiG-19 ended up being an interim type in Soviet service, but the Red Chinese embraced it enthusiastically as the "J-6", and even designed their own derivatives. This document provides a history and description of the MiG-15, MiG-17, and MiG-19.