The MiG-17 had one main limitation that was of interest to F-105 pilots. It had a maximum speed of 570 knots at any altitude. This was a limitation that could be exploited in a defensive situation (i.e. the F-105 could simply fly away from the MiG-17 if facing a tactically disadvantaged situation).
The primary factor that had to be remembered about the MiG-17 was its low wing loading compared to the F-105. That gave it the capability to maintain 2Gs beyond what the F-105 could do at any airspeed up to the MiG-17's maximum airspeed. (Note: This meant the MiG-17 could turn in much tighter circles than the F-105.)
For air-to-air armament, the MiG-17 had internal guns and externally carried rockets and missiles. It had either three 23mm cannons or two 23mm cannons and one 37mm cannon. The 23mm cannon had a firing rate of 800 rounds per minute with enough ammunition carried for six seconds of firing. The 37mm cannon had a firing rate of 400 rounds per minute and carried enough ammunition for five to six seconds of firing. The MiG-17 was capable of carrying two Atoll missiles on external pylons. These were exact replicas of USAF Sidewinders and had about the same launch parameters and limitations. The MiG-17 also had the capability to carry air-to-air unguided rockets, which were similar to the USAF 2.75-inch FFAR (folding fin aerial rocket), and 4 Alkali missiles, a beam rider (i.e. radar guided) with very restrictive launch parameters designed primarily for bomber interception. These last two types of ordnance had a marginal effectiveness at best, and the F-105 pilots concentrated tactical planning on countering the cannons and Atoll missiles.
SPECIFICATIONS (Data for the MiG-17F "Fresco C"): Span: 31 ft. 7 in. Length: 36 ft. 5 in. Height: 12 ft. 6 in. Weight: 13,380 lbs. maximum Armament: One 37mm and two 23mm cannons in the lower nose plus 16 rockets in underwing pods or 1,100 lbs. of bombs (externally) Engine: Klimov VK-1F jet engine of 7,452 lbs. thrust with afterburner
PERFORMANCE: Maximum speed: 711 mph Cruising speed: 535 mph Range: 510 miles (1,160 miles with external tanks) Service ceiling: 57,000 ft.
Source: National Museum of the United States Air Force, 388th TFW Tactics Manual, 1967 version, Rolling Thunder Digest Photo: Rolling Thunder Digest #2