These machines were designated La-17MM and went into service in 1964.A number of old ramjet-powered La-17s were updated for ground launch, with the twin RATO boosters and some airframe reinforcements. Early on, development work was initiated to use the ramjet-powered La-17 as the basis for an air-launched reconnaissance drone, but because of the models's deficiencies, it did not happen.

To address these problems, Lavochkin engineers came up with a ground-launched variant, the La-17M, which performed its initial flights in 1959 and went into service in 1960.

The La-17M was launched using a RATO booster under each wing root, from a four-wheel towed launcher derived from the carriage of a standard 100 millimeter antiaircraft gun.

The Sokol design bureau (OKB) began production of this reengined La-17 in the late 1970s.

To the armed services went, it was still an La-17MM, but it had an internal OKB designation of La-17K.

The Chinese also obtained the La-17, and in fact built it themselves, though not under a license agreement.

In the late 1950s, a number of La-17s had been handed over to the People's Republic of China.

It apparently remains in lingering use in Russian service.

It does not appear that the La-17 family was widely exported, though La-17RM reconnaissance drones were exported to Syria in the 1980s.

In order to rationalize production and logistics, a target drone designated the La-17UM and a reconnaissance drone designated the La-17RU were manufactured that were designed for the maximum parts commonality.