The Indian Air Force (IAF) will reportedly retire one more squadron of the MiG-21 Bison aircraft by September 30. This news comes a day after two pilots lost their lives in a mishap involving a MiG-21 fighter aircraft.
“On September 30, the 51 Squadron, headquartered at Srinagar Air Base, will get its numbers. After this, there would only be three squadrons of the aircraft left in service, and they would be phased out by the year 2025, according to IAF sources quoted by the Defence Aviation Post.
MiG-21 fighter jets have been replaced by Su-30 and indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, which are more competent aircraft (LCA). 5 pilots had died in crashes involving 6 MiG-21 aircraft during the previous 20 months, according to Defence Aviation Poat
The Indian Air Force (IAF) lost both of its pilots on Thursday night when a MiG-21 fighter jet crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer district. According to Lok Bandu, the Barmer District Collector, the IAF plane crashed close to Bhimda village in Baytoo.
The twin-seater MiG-21 trainer plane took out for a training sortie this evening from Rajasthan’s Utarlai air base, according to an IAF tweet. Near Barmer, the aircraft had an accident at about 9:10 p.m. Injury to both pilots resulted in death.
The IAF expressed its sincere sympathy for the lives lost and stated that it stood firmly by the grieving families. An investigation to determine the accident’s cause has been mandated.
After the tragedy, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari talked with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The IAF head gave Singh a thorough briefing on the situation.
Singh expressed his sorrow on the passing of the two pilots and his condolences to their families. “Deeply distressed by the passing of two Air Warriors during an IAF Mig-21 training aircraft accident near Barmer in Rajasthan. We shall never forget the contribution they made to the country. In this difficult time, my thoughts are with the grieving families, the defence minister wrote.
The crash shines a spotlight once more on the IAF’s ageing fleet of Mig-21 aircraft, which are of Soviet origin and have been in up to 200 mishaps since they were originally introduced in the early 1960s.