The Mig-21 was originally built by the Mikoyan and Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union with a NATO nickname Fishbed. No other jet has had as many planes produced as the Mig-21. Depending on the reference source 8,000 - 13,000 planes of all versions were made in the Soviet Union, under license to allied countries and China without license. A small, fast, agile, dependable and most importantly simple making it easy to turn out great numbers of the plane.
The East German Air Force (Luftstreitkräfte der Nationalen Volksarmee – LSK) LSK der NVA" ("Luftstreitkräfte der Nationalen Volksarmee" - "Air Force of the East German People's Army" operated from 1956 until the reunification of Germany in 1990. Since East Germany was the Warsaw Pact’s front line country it was given special treatment by the Soviets and received aircraft and equipment with advanced technology that normally was reserved only for Soviet forces. Throughout the 1960s and 70s the MiG-21 was the primary fighter of the LSK and from 1972 until 1974 the LSK received fifty MiG-21M/MFs.