Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17

From Academic Kids

MiG-17 at the Central Texas Airshow, USA, May 2003.
MiG-17 at the Central Texas Airshow, USA, May 2003.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (NATO reporting name Fresco) is a Russian jet fighter aircraft, in service from 1952.


The MiG-17 design was generally based on a previous successful Mikoyan and Gurevich fighter, the MiG-15. The major novelty was an introduction of a swept wing with a "compound sweep" configuration: 45° angle near fuselage, and 42° angle of outer parts. It shared the same VK-1 engine and the rest of construction was similar. The first prototype, designated SI in a construction bureau, was flown on January 14, 1950. Second prototype variant SP-2 was an interceptor, with a radar. Despite the SI prototype crash on March 17, 1950, tests of other prototype SI-2 and experimental series aircraft SI-02 and SI-01, in 1951, were generally successful, and on September 1, 1951 the aircraft was accepted for a production. It was estimated, that with the same engine, as MiG-15bis, maximum speed is higher by 40–50 km/h, and greater maneuverability at high altitude.

The serial production started in August 1951. During production, the aircraft was improved and modified several times. The basic MiG-17 was a general purpose day-fighter, armed with 3 cannons, considered to be most effective in action against enemy aircraft. It could also act as a fighter-bomber, but its bombload was considered light relative to other aircraft of the time, and it usually carried additional fuel tanks instead of bombs.

Soon there was produced a number of MiG-17P all-weather fighters with Izumrud radar in significant covers in front air intake. From spring of 1953 there was produced MiG-17F day-fighter, fitted with the VK-1F engine with an afterburner, which improved its performance. It became the most popular variant of the MiG-17. The next mass-produced variant with afterburner and radar was MiG-17PF. In 1956 a small series (47 aircraft) was converted to MiG-17PM (also known as PFU) with 4 first-generation air-to-air missiles K-5 (NATO: AA-1). A small series of MiG-17R reconnaissance aircraft were built with VK-1F engine (it was tested with VK-5F engine).

Several thousand of MiG-17 were built in the USSR by 1958.

Licence production

In 1955 Poland received a licence for MiG-17 production. The MiG-17F was produced in the WSK-Mielec under a designation Lim-5. The first Lim-5 was built on November 28, 1956 and 477 were built by 1960. A number were built in a reconnaissance variant Lim-5R, with AFA-39 camera. In 1959-1960, 129 interceptors MiG-17PF were produced as Lim-5P. Then, there were developed Polish attack planes, basing on the MiG-17: Lim-5M produced from 1960, Lim-6bis produced from 1963 and Lim-6M (converted in the 1970s) and reconnaissance variants: Lim-6R (Lim-6bisR) and MR.

In China, first MiG-17F was assembled from parts in 1956, then in 1957 started licence production in Shenyang. The Chinese-built version is known as the Shenyang J-5 (for local use) or F-5 (for export - not to be confused with the F-5 Freedom Fighter). According to some sources, earlier MiG-17s, delivered from the USSR, were designated J-4. From 1964, the Chinese produced variant with a radar, similar to the MiG-17PF, known as the J-5A (F-5A). The Chinese developed also two-seater trainer variant JJ-5 (FT-5 for export), merging J-5 with cabin of the JJ-2 (licence-built MiG-15UTI). It was produced in 1966-1986, being the last produced MiG-17 variant and its only twin-seater variant.


The MiG-17 became a standard fighter in all Warsaw Pact countries in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were also bought by numerous countries being under political influence of the USSR, and other, mainly African and Asian ones.

MiG-17s were not available for the Korean War but saw considerable service as the main aircraft of the North Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War, when it frequently worked in conjunction with MiG-21s ordinarily flown by Soviet or Chinese pilots. They also flew against Israel in the various Arab-Israeli conflicts.

Twenty countries flew MiG-17's.


  • MiG-17 - basic fighter with VK-1 engine ('aircraft SI'), Fresco-A
  • MiG-17A - fighter with VK-1A engine with longer lifespan
  • MiG-17AS - attack conversion, fitted to carry unguided rockets
  • MiG-17P - all-weather fighter with Izumrud radar ('aircraft SP'), Fresco-B
  • MiG-17F - basic fighter with VK-1F engine with afterburner ('aircraft SF'), Fresco-C
  • MiG-17PF - all-weather fighter with Izumrud radar and VK-1F engine ('aircraft SP-7F'), Fresco-D
  • MiG-17PM (PFU) - fighter with radar and air-to-air missiles K-5 ('aircraft SP-9')
  • MiG-17R - reconnaissance aircraft with VK-1F engine and camera ('aircraft SR-2s')

Among experimental variants there was an attack 'aircraft SN' of 1953, with central air intake replaced with two side intakes, and two 23 mm cannons mounted in a new nose, that could be swung down to shoot at ground targets. It was not produced.

Some withdrawn aircraft were converted to remote controlled targets.


Day-fighter variants (MiG-17, MiG-17F) were armed with two NR-23 23 mm cannons (80 rounds each) and one N-37 37 mm cannon (40 rounds), on a common bed under the central air intake. The gun bed could be easily wound down for maintenance. Variants with radar (MiG-17P, PF) were armed with three NR-23 23 mm cannons (100 rounds), due to radar weight. All variants could carry 100 kg bombs on two underwing pylons (some could cary 250 kg bombs), but usually they were used for 400l fuel tanks. MiG-17R was armed with two 23 mm cannons. The only variant with air-to-air missiles was MiG-17PM (PFU), carrying 4 rockets K-5 (NATO: AA-1). It had no cannons. In different countries, MiG-17s were sometimes modified to carry unguided rockets or bombs on additional pylons.

MiG-17P was equipped with Izumrud-1 (RP-1) radar, MiG-17PF with RP-1 or later with Izumrud-5 (RP-5) radar. MiG-17PM was also equipped with a radar, used to aim missiles. Other variants had no radar.

Missing image

Specifications (MiG-17F)

General Characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length : 11.36 m ( ft in)
  • Wing Span : 9.628 m ( ft in)
  • Height : 3.80 m (12 ft 5.5 in)
  • Wing area: 22.6 m&sup2 (ft²)
  • Empty: 3930 kg (8,664 lb)
  • Loaded: 5354 kg
  • Maximum takeoff: 6286 kg ( lb)
  • Engine : One 33.1 kN (7,452 lbf) thrust Klimov VK-1F turbojet with afterburner (25.5 kN without afterburner)


  • Maximum Speed : 1144 km/h at 3 km (711 mph at 10,000 ft)
  • Range : 1670 km (1,230 statute miles) (with additional fuel tanks, 1080 km without fuel tanks)
  • Service Ceiling : 16,600 m (54,500 ft)
  • Rate of climb: ft/min ( m/min)
  • Wing loading: lb/ft² ( kg/m²)
  • Thrust-to-weight:


  • One 37-mm N-37 cannon (40 rounds)
  • Two 23-mm NR-23 cannon (80 rounds)
  • 500 kg external stores on 2 pylons

Related content

Related development: MiG-15 - Shenyang J-5 - Lim-6

Comparable aircraft: F-86D Sabre - Dassault Mystère

Designation sequence: MiG-9 - MiG-13 - MiG-15 - MiG-17 - MiG-19 - MiG-21 - MiG-23

Related Lists List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS - List of fighter aircraft

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

Template:Commonsde:Mikojan-Gurewitsch MiG-17 sv:MiG-17 pl:MiG-17


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