The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in daylight. The MiG-15 also served as the starting point for development of the more advanced MiG-17 which was still an effective threat to supersonic American fighters over North Vietnam in the 1960s.
The MiG-15 is believed to have been one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made, with over 12,000 built. Licensed foreign production perhaps raised the total to over 18,000. The MiG-15 is often mentioned along with the F-86 Sabre in lists of the best fighter aircraft of the Korean War and in comparison with fighters of other eras.
Most early jets were designed like piston-engined fighters with straight wings, limiting their high speed performance. German research during World War II had shown swept wings would perform better at transonic speeds, and Soviet aircraft designers were quick to take advantage of this information. Claims of Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich (lead designers of the “MiG” bureau) being heavily influenced by the Focke-Wulf Ta 183, however, have been discredited.
Although the abortive late-war German jet had swept wings and bore a superficial resemblance to the later MiG-15, the two aircraft are very different in structure and general design. The Soviets did seize plans and prototypes for the Ta-183, but the majority of Focke-Wulf engineers were captured by Western armies; therefore, it could be argued that the MiG-15 design team drew some limited inspiration from the Ta-183, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest it was heavily influenced.
Currently, most sources acknowledge that the MiG-15 is an original design benefiting from German research, but conceived, designed, engineered, and produced by the Soviets.