|This page is about the Soviet jet fighter MiG-15. For other versions, see MiG-15 (Family).
Shortly after the first generation Soviet jet fighters were entering service, the plans for far more improved "second generation" fighters were already underway. Mikoyan OKB would begin testing swept wing designs on their MiG-8 prototype before a major breakthrough in aviation technology occurred in the Soviet Union: the United Kingdom not only authorized the sale of their latest and highly advanced Rolls-Royce Nene and Derwent engines, but also sold a license for production to the Soviets to produce them as the RD-45 and RD-500 respectively. As such, all new second generation fighter projects quickly restarted and drew up new designs to use these new engines. Mikoyan was no exception, with their I-310 prototype utilizing a 35 degree swept wing on a high-tailplane airframe powered by a single RD-45 engine. In the end, this design and Lavochkin's Project 174 ended up beating Yakovlev's heavily delayed Yak-30, and were chosen as the Soviet Union's second-generation jet fighters, entering production as the MiG-15 and La-15 respectively. The MiG-15 would go on to serve a very long and fruitful life with many countries all around the world and would be produced in other regions of the world (both with and without a license) as the Lim-1 in Poland, the S-102 in Czechoslovakia, and the J-2 in China.
The MiG-15 (NATO reporting name: Fagot) was introduced in Update 1.35 as the top rank Soviet jet at the time, as a competitive contemporary to the F-86F-25. The MiG-15 is characterized by its above-average energy parameters for its battle rating, its hard-hitting but sparse armament which can be tricky to new pilots, and its abysmal roll-rate compared to all of its adversaries. The MiG-15 has strong energy fighting characteristics, but can turn fight some of its adversaries if the need arises due to its flight performance. Players who enjoy this aircraft and master its characteristics are advised to research the foldered variant, the upgraded MiG-15bis. The MiG-15bis will reward its pilots with far stronger engines and better energy management during dogfights over the normal MiG-15, allowing its pilots more options and energy-reliant manoeuvres to use during an engagement.
The MiG-15, while being a successor of the MiG-9, uses swept wings which provide better performance at transonic speed. The other difference is the use of a single engine, the Klimov RD-45F. The plane is able to reach 1050 km/h at sea level and 994 km/h at 9,000 m, it makes the plane's speed very comparable with other jets at a similar battle rating. The climb rate is very high: with full fuel tanks it reaches 42 m/s and the plane can climb from sea level up to 5,000 m in slightly above 2 minutes. The acceleration is also great, thrust to weight ration when the plane is fully loaded is 0.44, which is significantly better compared to the F-86A, one of its main competitors, the plane also keeps its speed very well, especially at high speed. The engine can start overheating after prolonged flying at 100% of power, but it is quite easy to cool down, although when that happens it will keep overheating after switching back to max power so when it possible it should be reduced to 95% or lower.
The MiG-15's weight is very low in comparison to other jet fighters from similar era, it is only ~4700 kg and along with quite good wings aerodynamics and wing loading it makes the plane very manoeuvrable at low and medium speeds and makes it a very dangerous foe to any other plane when it comes to dogfighting, the only thing that slightly drags this plane down is its high speed turn rate, which is very underwhelming. The MiG-15 locks up at lot after reaching subsonic speeds and its rolling performance, which is already very average at medium and low speeds, gets very bad at high speed. It is also equipped with an airbrake that can help a lot with slowing down and it situations to make the enemy plane overshoot. Flaps while do not have very high speed limit can still make the turn fight at medium and low speed easier, as they increase turn rate by up to ~10% at a cost of increased drag.
When flying with simulator controls, it is very pleasant to fly: trimming is almost not required when the plane travels at high speed, insufficient roll rate can be improved by using the rudder, but that can also make it slow down. The plane can be stalled out even at high speed, and when above its critical angle of attack (AoA) it severely wing-stalls, throwing off your aim and/or your heading. Be very careful to not pull too much from the stick as to not reach this state, remember that it is one of the best rate-fighter of its tier, so it's best to pull a bit less to keep your speed and not wing-stall as you'll get into position within a few turns.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run
|Max Static G
|Optimal velocities (km/h)
|Wing loading (full fuel)
|Mass with fuel (no weapons load)
| Max Takeoff
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)
| 2,086 kgf
Survivability and armour
- 64 mm Bulletproof glass in the cockpit front
- 10 mm Steel plate in front of the pilot in the nose
- 6 mm Steel plate in pilot's seat
- 10 mm Steel plate behind the pilot's head
Modifications and economy
The MiG-15 is armed with:
- 1 x 37 mm N-37D cannon, nose-mounted (40 rpg)
- 2 x 23 mm NS-23 cannons, nose-mounted (80 rpg = 160 total)
Both the N-37D and the NS-23 cannons have the muzzle velocity of 690 m/s.
The MiG-15 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 100 kg FAB-100M-43 bombs (200 kg total)
Usage in battles
At higher ranks of the Soviet aviation line, the MiG-15 series is one of the most iconic jet fighter aircraft designs from after the Second World War. Earning its reputation on fame over the skies of Korea against its US contemporary, the F-86A-5 Sabre.
The MiG-15 can be researched from its predecessor, the MiG-9. The MiG-15 features a powerful cannon arrangement of 2 x 23 mm and 1 x 37 mm, excellent high altitude performance and is highly effective in vertical manoeuvres. Unlike the MiG-9, the MiG-15 is also the first Soviet jet aircraft to feature an air brake which is extremely useful in combat situations. The jet fighter does, however, have its downsides. The lack of an "All-flying tailplane" (such as that featured on the F-86F-25) leads to less control over the aircraft at higher speeds approaching 1,000 km/h. While the MiG is initially faster in acceleration by comparison to the Sabre, this does mean that once both aircraft are up at higher speeds, the Sabre will hold some advantages over the MiG-15. If you load 8 minutes of fuel instead of the regular (for most pilots) 20, it drastically improves your performance. However, this is not recommended to be done at the beginning of the match as most matches last longer than 8 minutes, and should instead be done when you land mid-match.
The combination of 37 mm and 23 mm cannons creates aiming issues for pilots not familiar with their ballistic properties or velocity. Due to the size of these cannons, ammunition pools are restricted by comparison to other top tier jet aircraft. To help compensate the two different trajectories of the armament, it is recommended to use rolling manoeuvres, as the rudder may lock in high speeds. To aim with these cannons, it is best to estimate the lead with the experience built up with planes beforehand (i.e.: Yak-9T / La-9) and add extra distance over the estimated lead (about double from the estimated).
Once pilots have learned to use the MiG-15s excellent rate of climb, acceleration and high altitude capabilities to their advantage, the downsides of the aircraft are far less significant than the positives. In the right hands, the MiG-15 can be a devastating combatant, capable of dealing with any aircraft in game swiftly. Teamwork, Squads and communication will also be beneficial when flying the MiG-15 as effective coordination between multiple pilots allow you to use this aircraft to its maximum potential. After mastering the MiG-15, you can research its improved variant, the MiG-15bis. As the MiG-15 is essentially a slightly merged MiG-15bis, it shares much of its performance issues and abilities.
Pros and cons
- Flaps can be deployed at high speeds
- Capable and useful air brake
- High rate of climb
- Great acceleration
- Deadly armament capable of making snapshots
- Excellent energy retention
- Quite good turn rate compared to other subsonic jets
- Abysmal roll rate
- Compression at high speeds
- Extremely challenging to use when stock
- Armament is difficult to use (low velocities, low ammo and two different trajectories)
- Guns tend to do an insufficient amount of damage quite often
- No G-suit, so maintaining control is difficult when turning at high speeds
- The plane cannot use any rockets, it is limited to bombs only
- Poor forward visibility in simulator, as a large canopy frame and the gunsight block the top and bottom
First taking to the air in December of 1947, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet fighter aircraft came as a massive shock to the west when it appeared in the skies over Korea in the early 1950s. The swept-wing fighter quickly proved itself as a capable and effective combat aircraft and forged a fearsome reputation.
The prototype I-310 was designed around the British Rolls Royce Nene engine which was purchased under license from Great Britain as the RD-45. Featuring sleek swept-back wings, tricycle undercarriage and the same armament as its predecessor, the MiG-9, in the form of 2 x 23 mm NS-23 cannons (Later replaced by NR-23 cannons in the MiG-15bis model) and a single 37 mm N-37D cannon all mounted centrally under the nose intake. The new aircraft was designed as an interceptor with heavy armament capable of quickly taking out bomber formations and was one of the most advanced aircraft in the world at the time.
Entering service between 1949-50, the MiG-15 saw combat during the last stages of the Chinese Civil War. In repsonse to air raids conducted by Republic of China Air Force based in Taiwan against mainland China, the Soviets deployed a MiG-15 unit in Shanghai at the request of the leadership of the People's Republic of China. On 28 April 1950, a ROCAF P-38 was shot down a MiG-15, the first aerial victory of the MiG-15. The MiG-15 made its operational combat debut in the Korean War, completely outclassing the first-generation jet fighter aircraft of the UN forces such as the F-80C-10 and F-84B-26. The MiG's excellent climb rate, high-speed performance and deadly weaponry proved superior to the early jets and was only challenged by the arrival of the F-86A-5. At the time, the Sabre was the only aircraft capable of effectively combating the MiG in aerial combat and the pair became synonymous with the conflict.
From 1950, the MiG-15 was later developed into the Bis model, featuring a new engine, armament changes and minor overall improvements. However, the aircraft would ultimately lead to the development of the MiG-17. The MiG-15 was also a hugely successful export aircraft, operated by many nations such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, China, North Korea and Vietnam to name but a few. Licence built versions of the MiG-15 also existed such as the Chinese J-2, Czech S-102/3 and Polish Lim-1.
The MiG-15 is a true icon of aviation and will provide experienced pilots with an impressive top tier jet fighter when employed to its strengths, being more than a match to any other aircraft in the game.
After World War II was over, the leaders of the USSR realized that they were behind the leading states of the world in the sphere of jet aircraft construction, most notably in the full-scale production of turbojet engines. Consequently, a delegation including the designers A. I. Mikoyan and V. Y. Klimov was sent to Great Britain towards the end of 1946. Their negotiations were successful, resulting in the purchase of two of the most advanced turbojet engines at that time: the Rolls-Royce Derwent Mk.V and the Rolls-Royce Nene I/Nene II. The British consented to sell their newest strategic designs easily enough, since they believed that the Soviet industrial/technological apparatus could not handle the mass production of sophisticated assemblies. However, very soon that the Rolls-Royce engines were launched into full-scale Soviet production under the designations RD-500 and RD-45.
The emergence of the new engines led to the creation of Soviet jet fighters able to compete with the leading models of the world. In 1947, the Mikoyan Design Bureau started the development of a front line fighter with a Nene (RD-45) turbojet engine and an airtight cockpit: the I-310 ("S"). The first S-01 prototype aircraft made its first flight on December 30, 1947, and, after working on the test results, was launched into full-scale production in 1948 under the designation MiG-15. The plane's airframe was an all-metal monoplane configuration with mid-swept wings and empennage. Thus the MiG-15 became the first production swept-wing fighter.
The MiG-15 was equipped with a RD-45F single-shaft turbojet engine rated at 2,270 kg of thrust with a double-entry centrifugal compressor. The plane's armament included a 37 mm Nudelman N-37D cannon with 40 rounds and two 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23KM guns with 160 rounds in total. The cannons were mounted in the forward fuselage on a lowerable carriage. Two 100 kg or 50 kg bombs could be suspended under the wings. To increase its flight range, the aircraft could carry two external fuel tanks with a capacity ranging from 250 to 600 litres.
The MiG-15 fighter was notable for its simple and reliable structure, high flight and operating characteristics, and powerful armament. Its maximum speed, rate of climb, ceiling, and flight range were the best among Soviet fighters at the time and superior to many foreign aircraft, as well.
The first production MiG-15s with RD-45F engines began to leave the factory floor in early 1949. In 1950, more advanced MiG-15bis fighters replaced them in the factory assembly lines.
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (Микоя́н и Гуре́вич Опытное конструкторское бюро)
|MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34
|MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l)
|MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH
|MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis
|MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD
|MiG-27M · MiG-27K
|MiG-29 · MiG-29SMT
|␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)
|◊MiG-15bis · J-2*
|MiG-17AS · J-4* · Shenyang F-5*
|◊MiG-19S · J-6A*
|◄MiG-21 SPS-K · ◊MiG-21MF · ◊MiG-21 "Lazur-M" · ▄MiG-21bis · ◊MiG-21bis-SAU · J-7II**
|◊MiG-23BN · ◊MiG-23MF · ◊MiG-23MLA
|◊MiG-29 · ◄MiG-29G
|*Licensed and domesticated with Chinese designations.
|**Unlicensed, reverse-engineered and domesticated with Chinese designations.
|Shenyang · Chengdu
|USSR jet aircraft
|Yak-15 · Yak-15P · Yak-17 · Yak-23 · Yak-28B · Yak-30D · Yak-38 · Yak-38M · Yak-141
|MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l) · MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH · MiG-17 · MiG-17AS · MiG-19PT
|MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis
|MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD · MiG-27M · MiG-27K
|MiG-29 · MiG-29SMT
|La-174 · La-15 · La-200
|Su-9 · Su-11
|Su-7B · Su-7BKL · Su-7BMK · Su-17M2 · Su-17M4 · Su-22M3
|Su-25 · Su-25BM · Su-25K · Su-25T · Su-39
|IL-28 · IL-28Sh