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Summary

In the late 1960’s, the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and a number of U.S. federal agencies undertook a program at Groom Lake to evaluate the MiG-17 to help fight the Vietnam War during a period of anti-Vietnam War protests and the North Vietnamese MiG-17s and MiG-21s having a kill rate against the U.S. air assets was 9:1. These programs were code-named HAVE DRILL and HAVE FERRY under The Defense Intelligence Agency Project “HAVEDRILL.” At Groom Lake a small, highly specialized group of engineers and technicians had just wrapped up the CIA\u2019s A-12 Oxcart program and continued on for Projects HAVE DRILL and HAVE FERRY involving trials of MiG-17F Frescos over the skies of Area 51 at Groom Lake, and Project DOUGHNUT, an USAF evaluation of the MiG 21. In addition to tracking the dog fights staged between the various MiG models against virtually every fighter in U.S. service, and against SAC’s B-52 Stratofortress and B-58 Hustlers to judge the ability of the bombers\u2019 countermeasures systems, they performed radar cross-section and propulsion tests that contributed greatly to improvements in U.S. aerial performance in Vietnam. This group was, during this period, also involved in the early stages of Projects HAVE BLUE (stealth) “SENIOR TREND” (F-117), and TACIT BLUE. What was learned during these projects at Area 51 prompted the U.S. Navy to commence Top Gun exercises first at Miramar, California and then Fallon, Nevada. Shortly thereafter the U.S. Air Force commenced its Red Flag exercises at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

Sources

http://area51specialprojects.com/migs.html