MiG


MiG
/mig/, n.
any of several Russian-built fighter aircraft, as the MiG-15, a jet used in the Korean War.
Also, Mig, MIG.
[named after Artem Mi(koyan) and Mikhail G(urevich), Russian aircraft designers]

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I
Any member of a family of Russian military fighter aircraft produced by a design bureau founded in 1939 by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich.

The early MiGs, built in World War II, were propeller-driven. The MiG-15, first flown in 1947, was among the best of the early jet fighters; it saw extensive combat in the Korean War. The MiG-21, a lightweight, single-engine interceptor introduced in 1955, became the principal fighter of North Vietnam and was built for more than 40 other countries. More modern jets include the MiG-29, a single-seat, twin-engine air-to-air fighter that can also be used for ground attack.
II
officially ANPK imeni A.I. Mikoyana formerly OKB-155
Russian design bureau that is the country's major producer of jet fighters. The company originated in 1939 within another Soviet design bureau as a department under Artem Mikoyan and his deputy, Mikhail Gurevich. Three years later it became the independent bureau OKB-155. Its first design, a single-engine interceptor (first flown 1940), eventually bore the name MiG-1 ("MiG" being an acronym based on "Mikoyan" and "Gurevich"). After World War II it produced the first Soviet jet fighter, the MiG-9 (1946), and followed on with some of the U.S.S.R.'s most notable high-speed aircraft (see MiG [fighter aircraft]). The last major fighters designed under Mikoyan

died 1970

were the variable-wing MiG-23 (entered service 1972), and the MiG-25 (introduced 1970; capable of about Mach 3).

The organization later produced several new designs, including the MiG-29 and MiG-31 (both first flown in the 1970s). In the late 1980s its formal name became ANPK imeni A.I. Mikoyana. In the 1990s, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, MiG was consolidated with several other major firms into the giant state-owned aerospace complex VPK MAPO. MiG diversified modestly into the civilian passenger plane market and continued to develop advanced fighter concepts, including the 1.42 (1.44I) multifunctional fifth-generation fighter (first flown 2000).

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▪ Russian design bureau
officially  ANPK imeni A.I. Mikoyana  also called  ANPK MiG  formerly  OKB-155 

      Russian aerospace design bureau that is the country's major producer of jet fighter aircraft. It developed the family of technologically advanced MiG aircraft (MiG), including the Soviet Union's first jet fighter. The MiG design bureau is part of the state-owned multifirm aerospace complex VPK MAPO (Military-Industrial Complex–Moscow Aircraft Production). Headquarters are in Moscow.

      The MiG design bureau is institutionally part of the larger MiG Aircraft Building Corporation. The latter corporation employs 15,000 people, 2,500 of whom work for the design bureau. Since its formation at the beginning of World War II, the bureau has been involved in about 250 different aircraft projects, of which 120 reached the construction stage. In that time, its main manufacturing plant in Moscow has built more than 15,000 aircraft. At the start of the 21st century more MiG-designed fighter aircraft, accounting for roughly 20 percent of the world's fighters, were in service than any other type. The company also has a subsidiary production facility at Lukhovitsy. The MiG and Sukhoy design bureaus evenly share the Russian fighter market, but hard times in the 1990s prompted the former to engage in vigorous marketing abroad to countries in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe and to diversify modestly into the civilian passenger plane market.

      The company had its start in 1939, when the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered the formation of a department within the Moscow-based design bureau of the prominent aviation designer Nikolay N. Polikarpov to develop a new military fighter. Chosen to lead the project was a promising engineer in the bureau, Artem I. Mikoyan, who in turn requested Mikhail I. Gurevich, a close colleague, as his deputy. The two men, possessed of complementary skills and personalities, would remain associated throughout most of their successful and prolific careers. Their first design was the I-200 single-engine, high-altitude interceptor, which first flew in 1940 and which eventually bore the name MiG-1 (MiG being a formation of the first letters of Mikoyan and Gurevich plus i, the Russian word for and). An improved version, the MiG-3, soon followed. In 1942 the MiG department was reorganized as an independent design bureau with an aircraft plant in Moscow and given the designation OKB-155 (Experimental Design Bureau 155).

      Because Germany did not mount many strategic bombing raids against the Soviet Union in World War II, few early MiG interceptors saw action in their primary role, and it was only in the postwar era that the design bureau grew rapidly in size and influence. Using technology captured from the Germans after the war, Mikoyan and Gurevich produced the first Soviet jet fighter, the MiG-9, which first flew in 1946. During the Cold War, OKB-155 developed some of the U.S.S.R.'s most notable high-speed jet fighters. Between the mid-1940s and late 1950s it created the MiG-15 (which shocked Western forces in the Korean War with its speed and agility), the MiG-17 (which reached supersonic speeds in tests), the MiG-19 (the first mass-produced Soviet supersonic fighter), and the MiG-21 (capable of about twice the speed of sound). The design bureau produced more than 9,000 MiG-21s in as many as 32 versions for the air forces of the Soviet Union and more than 40 other countries and licensed a version for production in China. The last major fighters designed under Mikoyan's leadership were created in the 1960s. They included the technologically sophisticated MiG-23 interceptor, the first Soviet operational variable-wing jet fighter, and the MiG-25 interceptor, capable of three times the speed of sound.

      The bureau underwent leadership changes in the 1960s and '70s. Gurevich retired in 1964, and Mikoyan died in 1970 and was succeeded by his deputy Rostislav A. Belyakov. With Belyakov at the helm, the organization, which in 1978 was renamed to honour Mikoyan, produced several new fighter aircraft for the Soviet Union. They included the MiG-29 attack light interceptor and the all-weather MiG-31 fighter-interceptor, both of which first flew in the 1970s. In the late 1980s the formal name of the design bureau was changed to ANPK imeni A.I. Mikoyana (Aviation Scientific and Production Complex named after A.I. Mikoyan), although it remained commonly known as MiG.

      Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the company, like many other former Soviet defense enterprises, restructured its operations. In 1995 the Russian government established MAPO-MiG (Moscow Aircraft Production Organization-MiG) by combining aircraft production plants with the design bureau. The following year Russian President Boris Yeltsin established the giant VPK MAPO, which consolidated 12 major aerospace firms including MAPO-MiG, as a single entity that could focus on research and development, manufacturing, and marketing of aircraft, engines, avionics systems, and other aerospace products. In the late 1990s MAPO-MiG was beset by financial embezzlement scandals, fierce competition from Sukhoy, major layoffs, and the resignations of several senior designers. In 1999, as part of a general restructuring, the Russian government renamed MAPO-MiG as the MiG Aircraft Building Corporation.

      To survive in an extremely strained post-Communist economy, the company turned mostly to export sales of modernized versions of the MiG-29. Despite the lack of government interest, it continued to develop advanced fighter concepts, including the 1.42 multifunctional fifth-generation fighter. Also known as the 1.44I, the aircraft made its first flight in 2000.

Asif A. Siddiqi

Additional Reading
Valuable accounts of the Mikoyan design bureau and its aircraft are found in R.A. Belyakov (R.A. Belíàkov) and J. Marmain, MiG: Fifty Years of Secret Aircraft Design (1994), co-written by Mikoyan's deputy and successor; and Piotr Butowski and Jay Miller, OKB MiG: A History of the Design Bureau and Its Aircraft (1991). A useful survey of Russian aircraft, grouped by producers, is Bill Gunston, The Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft, 1875–1995 (also published as The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft, 1875–1995, 1995). Robin Higham, John T. Greenwood, and Von Hardesty (eds.), Russian Aviation and Air Power in the Twentieth Century (1998), has a chapter on individual Soviet aircraft designers and their bureaus.Asif A. Siddiqi

▪ Soviet aircraft
      any member of a family of Soviet military fighter aircraft produced by a design bureau founded in 1939 by Artem Mikoyan (M) and Mikhail Gurevich (G). (The i in MiG is the Russian word meaning “and.”)

      The early MiG aircraft were propeller-driven fighters produced in moderate numbers during World War II. The MiG-9, which first flew in 1946, did little more than apply jet propulsion to a piston-engine airframe; but the MiG-15, built with swept-back wings derived from German wartime research and powered by a copy of a Rolls-Royce engine, became one of the best of the early jet fighters. This single-seat, single-engine plane was first flown in 1947 and saw extensive combat in the Korean War. An improved version, the MiG-17, first flown in 1950, shared its maneuverability and was used as a defensive interceptor by North Vietnam in the Vietnam War during the 1960s and as a fighter-bomber by Egypt and Syria in the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. Twin engines made the MiG-19, first flown in 1953, the first supersonic fighter of European manufacture, but it was surpassed in 1955 by the MiG-21, a lightweight, single-engine interceptor capable of flying at twice the speed of sound. The basic version, which entered service in 1958, was a simple, low-cost day fighter that was highly maneuverable, easy to maintain, and able to operate from unimproved airfields. It became the principal high-altitude interceptor used by North Vietnam, and improved versions formed the backbone of Arab air forces through the 1970s.

      The MiG-23, which entered active service in 1972, featured a variable-sweep wing intended to improve performance at various speeds and altitudes. It also introduced electronic sensor and warning systems of increasing sophistication that allowed successive MiG fighters to find and attack aircraft at greater ranges and against cluttered radar returns from the ground. A ground-attack version of the MiG-23, with armoured cockpit and more weapons stores, was known as the MiG-27. In response to U.S. experiments with high-altitude, supersonic bombers, the MiG-25 was designed about 1960. As introduced in 1970, this twin-engine interceptor, the fastest combat aircraft ever in active service, registered speeds of Mach 2.7 and 2.8, with an operational ceiling above 24,400 m (80,000 feet). These abilities also made it useful for reconnaissance. The MiG-31, a two-seat interceptor introduced in 1983, is based on the MiG-25 but is modified for less speed and better performance at lower altitudes. The MiG-29, first operational in 1985, is a single-seat, twin-engine air-to-air fighter that can also be used for ground attack.

      Variants of most MiG jets except the MiG-23 and MiG-25 were also produced outside the Soviet Union in such countries as China, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and India.

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Universalium. 2010.

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