- Sep 26, 2018
- Reaction score
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has grounded its fleet of MiG-21 fighters in the wake of a recent crash that claimed the lives of three civilians in Rajasthan.
The IAF currently has around 50 MiG-21s in service.
The tragedy occurred when a MiG-21 fighter aircraft, engaged in a routine training sortie, crashed in Rajasthan's Hanumangarh.
Fortunately, the pilot managed to escape the incident with minor injuries. An official inquiry has been initiated to investigate the cause of the crash.
The MiG-21 jet had taken off from Suratgarh.
The Soviet-origion aircraft has played a significant role in the Indian Air Force's operations for the past 60 years, participating in various missions including the 1971 Bangladesh war, the 1999 Kargil conflict, and the recent air duel following the Balakot airstrike.
However, considering the tragic event and the need for safety, the IAF has made the decision to ground its remaining MiG-21 fleet.
The aircraft has gained unfortunate monikers like the "widow-maker" or the "flying coffin" due to a history of accidents since their induction into the IAF in the 1960s. With over 400 MiG-21 crashes in the last 60 years, the toll includes the lives of more than 200 pilots and 60 civilians.
A MiG-21 crashed in Rajasthan around two weeks ago. Three civilians in the house where the plane crashed were killed. The pilot ejected safely.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has grounded the entire fleet of MiG-21 fighter aircraft till the checks are carried out and investigations into the reasons behind the crash over Rajasthan earlier this month are ascertained.