The Mikoyan Design Bureau's first swept-wing jet fighter, the MiG-15 Fagot, which gained world fame (or notoriety, depending on which side of the Iron Curtain you were on) after the Korean War, served as the basis for a more refined model, the MiG-17 Fresco. No sooner had the MiG-15 entered production and service than the designers decided to increase the wing sweep from 35 degrees to 45 degrees, initially by way of experiment. The resulting aircraft showed higher performance than the MiG-15, exceeding Mach 1 in a shallow dive during a test flight, something the Fagot had been unable to do.
Following its production entry the MiG-17 was constantly improved, with Mikoyan developing a succession of production and experimental versions. Firstly, an afterburning engine was fitted to improve performance. Secondly, the increasingly frequent incursions by NATO reconnaissance aircraft, coupled with the knowledge that the West was developing all-weather fighters, led the Soviet 'fighter makers' to develop a number of radar-equipped interceptors. The all-weather versions of the MiG-17 proved to be the most successful and some of them were cleared for production.
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