Third Crash of Indian MiG-21 in 2021

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:30 AM, May 21, 2021
  • 3859
Third Crash of Indian MiG-21 in 2021
IAF MiG-21 jet

An Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashed near Moga in Punjab in the wee hours of Friday, making it the third such incident this year.

The aircraft was on a routine training sortie when the accident happened. It crashed at Langiana Khurd village around 1am.

IAF said the pilot, Sqn Ldr Abhinav Choudhary, sustained fatal injuries.

A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.

In March, a MiG-21 met with a fatal accident, killing the pilot. The aircraft crashed while taking off for a combat training mission at an airbase in central India.

Another MiG-21 crashed near Suratgarh in January in Rajasthan during a training sortie due to a technical malfunction. The pilot managed to eject safely.

The accident-prone MiG-21 fighters have been dubbed as "flying coffins” by some defense experts as they are living way past their initial service life.

According to the Indian Ministry of Defense, over 400 MiG-21s have crashed since the 1970s and many of them were due to technical snags. The jets had been purchased from Russia in the 1960s. During 1980s, IAF introduced the Tejas programme to replace the ageing jets. But due to delays, India decided to extend the Total Technical Life (TTL) of its MiG-21s by upgrading their turbofan engines, radars, avionics, etc.

As per older reports, Indian Defense Ministry plans to decommission MiG-21 and MiG-27 jets in a phased manner by 2024.

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