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MiG-21 squadrons to be retired by 2025: Indian Air Force

As a result of recent fatal crashes involving Soviet-era fighter jets, authorities are being forced to speed up the introduction of LCA Tejas aircraft, which is why the Indian Air Force will phase out the remaining fleet of MiG-21 Bison aircraft by 2025 and retire one more squadron by September 30. Wing Commander M Rana and Flight Lieutenant Advitiya Bal were killed in yesterday’s MiG-21 Type 69 Trainer crash in Rajasthan.

‘The 51 Squadron based out of Srinagar air base is being number plated on September 30,’┬áIAF sources told ANI, adding that after that, only three squadrons of the planes would be left in service and they would be phased out by the year 2025.

For a long time, the IAF relied heavily on MiG-21s, and the 51st squadron is famous for successfully repelling Pakistan’s aerial assault on India on February 27, 2019. The MiG-21 fighter jets, on the other hand, had a very poor safety record. As a result, the air force has begun replacing them with more powerful aircraft such as the Su-30 and indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

In the last 20 months, five pilots have died in six MiG-21 crashes. The LCA Tejas aircraft were supposed to replace the MiG-21s a long time ago, but delays in their introduction forced the IAF to continue using them. According to the officer, the IAF conducts thorough inspections of these aircraft before flight, and all safety precautions are taken.

The officials announced that the number-plated squadron will be reactivated soon with a more capable aircraft. The MiG-21 aircraft crash has once again drawn attention to the IAF’s ageing fleet of Soviet-made MiG-21 aircraft, which have been involved in approximately 200 accidents since their introduction in the early 1960s. Because the MiG-21 fighter planes had a poor safety record, the Indian Air Force has begun replacing them with more capable planes like the SU-30 and homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).




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