It was formerly a Sovietdesign bureau, and was founded by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich as "Mikoyan and Gurevich", with the bureau prefix "MiG." Upon Mikoyan's death in 1970, Gurevich's name was dropped from the name of the bureau, although the bureau prefix remained "MiG". The firm also operates several machine-building and design bureaus, including the Kamov helicopter plant.
MiG aircraft are a staple of the Soviet and Russian air forces, and the Soviet Union sold many of these planes within its sphere of influence. They have been used by the militaries of China, North Korea, and North Vietnam in aerial confrontations with American and allied forces, and form part of the air forces of many Arab nations. It was recently reported that MiG jet fighters are being used by the Government forces of Syria against insurgents in civil neighborhoods in Aleppo
MiGs follow the convention of using odd numbers for fighter aircraft. However, this naming convention is maintained not directly by MiG, but by ordering institutions, such as Ministry of Defence or Council of Ministers' Military-Industrial Commission (while in Soviet Union). The original designations for MiG aircraft are 2- or 3-digit numbers, separated by a dot. 1.44 or 1.42 is an example of original naming. Although the MiG-8 and MiG-110 exist, they are not fighters. The MiG-105 "Spiral" was designed as an orbital interceptor, contemporaneous with the U.S. Air Force's cancelled X-20 Dyna-Soar.