DefenceIndian Air Force

IAF Fighter Plane MiG-21 ‘Bison’ Crashes In Rajasthan’s Barmer, Killing Both Pilots

Story Highlights
  • The old Soviet-origin MiG-21s, the IAF's first truly supersonic fighters inducted in 1963, have had a high crash rate over the years.
  • MiG-21s should have been retired a long time ago. However, due to significant delays in the introduction of new fighters, particularly the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA)

Two IAF pilots were killed in another MiG-21 crash on Thursday evening when their fighter went down in the Rajasthan town of Barmer.

The twin-seater MiG-21 trainer, which took off from the Uttarlai airbase, crashed near Bhimda village around 9.10 p.m. during a night-flying sortie. Both pilots died as a result of their injuries. Images from the scene showed flames spreading across a large area from the wreckage of the fighter.

The Indian Air Force has ordered a court of inquiry to determine the exact cause of the crash, while defence minister Rajnath Singh has also spoken with IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari to inquire about the accident.

Since January of last year, at least six MiG-21s have crashed, killing five pilots. In the last five years, at least 44 military personnel have died in 46 aircraft and helicopter accidents in the armed forces. The old Soviet-origin MiG-21s, the IAF’s first truly supersonic fighters inducted in 1963, have had a high crash rate over the years.

MiG-21s should have been retired a long time ago. However, due to significant delays in the introduction of new fighters, particularly the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), the IAF still operates four MiG-21 squadrons (each with 16-18 jets) after upgrading them to ‘Bison’ standards.

The MiG-21s, which have the world’s fastest landing and take-off speeds of 340 kmph, were designed in the 1960s and are largely devoid of modern systems with built-in safety mechanisms.

Facebook Comments

Related Articles

Back to top button
Translate »