MiG-21 was designed largely as a result of combat experience
in Korea. This high-performance short-range air-superiority
fighter became the most extensively used fighter aircraft in the
The E-5 prototype was first flown in
1955. Since then over 30 countries have flown the
MiG-21. More than 8,000 were produced including license built
aircraft (per the U.S. Air Force), the largest production figure for
any modern jet aircraft. The last MiG-21s were produced by
China and India in the late 1980s.
The MiG-21 was flown by the North Vietnamese Air
Force during the Vietnamese War. NATO gave the MiG-21 the code
Ltd (HAL) license built the MiG-21 under the name Vikram
The Chinese reverse
engineered the MiG-21 to produce the J-7, first manufactured
by Shenyang, then by Chengdu. The designation has been changed
to F-7 on some export models.