Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Fresco)

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Fresco)

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft


The Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 jet fighter was a major improvement over the classic MiG-15 series.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1952
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Mikoyan-Gurevich - Soviet Union / Chengdu - China
OPERATORS: Congo; Cuba; Guinea-Bissau; Guinea; Madagascar; Mali; North Vietnam; Syria; Albania; China; Soviet Union; Russia; Sudan

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F (Fresco) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 36.94 feet (11.26 meters)
WIDTH: 31.59 feet (9.63 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.47 feet (3.8 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 8,664 pounds (3,930 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 13,393 pounds (6,075 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Klimov VK-1F turbojet engine with afterburning developing 7,450 lb of thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 711 miles-per-hour (1,145 kilometers-per-hour; 618 knots)
RANGE: 1,230 miles (1,980 kilometers; 1,069 nautical miles)
CEILING: 54,462 feet (16,600 meters; 10.31 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 8,202 feet-per-minute (2,500 meters-per-minute)

1 x 37mm cannon OR 2 x 23mm cannons OR 3 x 23mm cannons.

Maximum external weapons load of up to 1,102lbs (500kg) consisting of any of the following:

2 x 550lb bombs
2 x UV-16-57 Rocket Pods (16 x 50mm rockets)
2 x AA-1 Alkali radar-guided missiles
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-radar/anti-radiation missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• MiG-17 "Fresco-A" - Initial production variant not differing greatly from the base MiG-15 models.
• MiG-17F "Fresco-C" - 88 gallon drop tanks for increased fuel range; Most produced model of the series.
• MiG-17P - Night Fighter / All-Weather Capability series designation.
• MiG-17PF "Fresco-D" - Night Fighter / All-Weather Capability featuring search and ranging radar systems.
• MiG-17PFU - Provisions for ARS-212 (AA-1) Alkali air-to-air radar-guided missiles; First missile-produced Soviet fighter.
• J-5 - Chinese single-seat locally-produced version based on the single-seat MiG-17; manufactured through Chengdu.
• JJ-5 - Chinese two-seat locally-produced version based on the two-seat MiG-17; manufactured through Chengdu.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Fresco) Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 1/28/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
As impressive as the later versions of the MiG-15 fighter were (detailed elsewhere on this site), the MiG-17 "Fresco" was a vastly improved development based on lessons learned in the formers design. With the MiG-15 representing the pinnacle of research garnered from captured documents of Germany after World War Two, the MiG-17 represented all that there was to recommend the MiG-15 with improvements to the handling and structure for the MiG-17 to be considered one of the best fighter designs ever constructed.

The MiG-17 Fresco was already being developed when the MiG-15 hit full operational status on the frontlines. The MiG-17 incorporated lengthened wings that featured more of a sweep to the geometry. A larger tail assembly along with increased horizontal surfaces assured this new design that it would surpass the poor high-speed handling that plagued its predecessor. The system would be fielded with a single engine, single seat cockpit and a weapon array of 1 x 37mm cannon and 2 x 23mm cannons - an ode to the original MiG-15 weapon layout. Underwing stores allowed for additional weaponry in the form of rockets and bombs to be carried.

Basically an all-new design when compared to the MiG-15 Fagot, the MiG-17 Fresco also featured a development of the "borrowed" British Nene powerplant - illegally licensed for production in the Soviet Union. The improved powerplant of the MiG-17 was a rather thirsty engine that required substantially more fuel when operating on full afterburn, even though this new airframe maintained roughly the same fuel-carrying capacity of the MiG-15. As a result, the MiG-17 was almost always fitted with two identifiable drop tanks underwing.

As soon as the MiG-17 went into production, production of the MiG-15 was halted. The MiG-17 was fielded by a majority of Soviet forces and supported satellite regimes globally, with some even taking on local production of the system. Reliable, responsive and a great addition to the MiG line of aircraft, the MiG-17 proposed a new and veriable threat to the West.

China took on the design of the MiG-17 and produced a local variant designated as the Chengdu J-5 for the single-seat version and JJ-5, a two-seat variant. The twin seat trainer versions were actually only manufactured in the Soviet Union and China as the MiG-15 was still deemed an adequate trainer for both the MiG-17 and upcoming MiG-19 models.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Fresco) (Cont'd)

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Fresco) (Cont'd)

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft

In flight, the MiG-17 proved to be quite stable at high speed and, at the time, had a turning radius better than most of the Western fighters available. Communist forces would utilize the MiG-17 against the United States in the Vietnam War to good effect. As the US military was beginning to steer aircraft development away from cannon and machine gun-armed systems to the "future" in the form of air-to-air missiles, the Soviet Union continued with the World War Two designs that incorporated cannons for close-range combat. As a result, the tighter-turning fighters would simply close the distance on American warplanes, rendering their short or medium range missiles ineffective at close range, and opening up with their own 37mm and 23mm cannons.

The MiG-17 often stands as a mid-level design in between the oft-thought of MiG-15 and the more powerful MiG-19 though the MiG-17 could often times stand on its own. History would show that the powers of the East were in full swing and producing quite capable aircraft to match even that of the most supersonic missile-laden warfighters of the West. In the end, the MiG-17 would go down as a classic warbird, having combat history, export numbers and longevity to show for its long term success.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (711mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F (Fresco)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (10,367)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
In the Cockpit...
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo