The MiG-21 (codenamed Fishbed by NATO) was one of the most widely produced fighter aircraft in history. Capable of nearly Mach 2, it was designed as a high-altitude interceptor with an excellent climb rate. In the dogfighting arena, the aircraft’s small size made it difficult to spot and it boasted excellent turning capability. Naval aviators first engaged MiG-21s in the skies over North Vietnam, with 17 confirmed kills. The aircraft on display is painted in the markings of the Iraqi Air Force. On the first day of Operation Desert Storm on 17 January 1991, two Navy F/A-18C Hornets shot down a pair of Iraqi MiG-21s.