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Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan (5 August 1905 – 9 December 1970) was a respected Soviet aircraft designer who, along with Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich, designed many of the USSR’s iconic MiG military aircraft. He first worked as a machine tool operator in various companies before he was conscripted into the military.

Upon his military discharge, he joined the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy where he graduated in 1963. He made is first aircraft at the academy.

In December 1939, he was named as head of the new bureau on aircraft design in Moscow. This is where the famous Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau was formed, which produced a series of innovative fighter aircraft. By 1942, the bureau underwent changes including renaming it as OKB MiG (Osoboye Konstruktorskoye Büro), ANPK MiG (Aviatsionnyy nauchno-proizvodstvennyy kompleks) and OKO MiG.

The first fighter aircraft produced by the bureau, the MiG-1, was not a success. Even the MiG-3 could only occasionally fight according to its high-level interceptor role because of various issues. The MiG-5, MiG-7 and MiG-8 Utka were not successful either since these were stuck in the research prototype phase.

Not all was doom-and-gloom, fortunately. The MiG-15 had excellent performance, which formed the foundation for many future fighter jets in the Soviet military. Many variants of the MiG-15 have been built with the most common being the MiG-15UTI.

More than 18,000 of MiG-15s were produced before the MiG-17 and MiG-19 came along. The MiG-15s were used by Communist forces during the Korean War.

Mikoyan was also a designer of missile systems particularly suited for the aircraft he has also designed, such as the MiG-21. He was such a prolific designer that he continued working on high-performance fighters in the 1950s and 1960s.

For his work, Mikoyan has been recognized with several awards including Hero of Socialist Labor, the highest civilian honor in the USSR; the Six Orders of Lenin; the Lenin Prize; the Stalin Prize, and the Two Orders of the Red Star, many of them multiple times.


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