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IAF going to retire one more squadron of MiG-21 Bison aircraft in next two months, entire fleet by 2025

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Air Force is going to retire soon a squadron of MiG-21, which was a victim of an accident in Barmer, Rajasthan. The demand for retiring this aircraft, which was a victim of the accident many times, has once again started rising rapidly. According to the report, the Indian Air Force will remove a squadron of MiG-21 Bison aircraft from the fleet by the end of September, i.e. after September, a squadron will not serve in the Air Force.

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This turning point comes after the Barmer incident on Thursday, in which the MiG-21 Type 69 trainer aircraft crashed. In this incident both the pilots- Flight Lieutenant A. Bal and Wing Commander Rana were killed. Air Force sources told news agency ANI that 51 Squadron, based out of Srinagar airbase, is being retired on 30 September. After the retirement of this squadron, only three squadrons of this aircraft will be left in the fleet. Those who will be retired step-wise by the year 2025.

The Air Force said that a squadron of these aircraft will be retired every year. IAF will replace MiG-21 fighter jets with more capable aircraft like Su-30 and indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Significantly, in the last 20 months, 6 MiG-21 aircraft have crashed, in which five pilots have died.

It is worth mentioning that the MiG-21 was being said to be retired long ago. But due to the delay in joining the fleet of LCA Tejas aircraft, the Indian Air Force continued to fly MiG-21 aircraft. Officials said that the Indian Air Force always conducts a thorough examination of these aircraft on a large scale before taking off. All the safety aspects are taken into consideration in these aircraft before the pilot takes off. Officials said that the number plated (retired) squadron will be reactivated soon with more capacity aircraft in the future. Let us tell you that the MiG-21 joined the Indian Air Force fleet in the year 1963. Since joining the Air Force, at least 400 MiG-21 aircraft have crashed so far. More than 200 pilots lost their lives in these incidents.

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