Soviet Polikarpov I-153 fighter, introduced in 1939
It saw its first combat the same year during the Soviet-Japanese Battle of Halhin Gol in Mongolia. The Japanese Army Air Forces' Type 97 Fighter Nate proved a formidable opponent for the I-15bis and I-16, but was more evenly matched with the I-153, which retained agility inherent to biplanes while featuring improved performance. It fought against the Luftwaffe in 1941 and 1942. I-153 has a distinction of being one of the first warplanes armed with air-to-air missiles (unguided, of course). From 1939 to 1941, 3,437 I-153s were built.