Seasoned fighter pilot dies in MiG 21 ‘Bison crash India
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NEW DELHI: In yet one more crash within the IAF, a senior skilled pilot was killed when his MiG-21 `Bison’ fighter went down quickly after taking off from the Gwalior airbase on Wednesday morning, as soon as once more underlining the pressing must section out these ageing fighters.
Group Captain Ashish Gupta, who was posted at IAF’s `Top-Gun’ college Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) at Gwalior, had taken off in his MiG-21 for a “combat training mission” when the accident happened at about 10.50 am. He was slated to take over because the commanding officer of a MiG-21 squadron in Rajasthan.
“A court of inquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of the accident,” mentioned an IAF official. Another MiG-21 `Bison’ had additionally crashed close to Suratgrah in January this 12 months.
The IAF, Army and Navy have misplaced no less than 60 plane and helicopters in crashes simply since 2015-2016, which have claimed properly over 70 lives, in a grim reminder of the unacceptably excessive navy crash fee in India.
The outdated Soviet-origin MiG-21s, the primary really supersonic fighters to be inducted by the IAF in 1963, particularly, have had a excessive crash fee over time and may have been retired way back. Of the 872 MiG-21s progressively inducted by IAF, over 400 have crashed since 1971-72.
The large delays in induction of latest fighters, particularly the indigenous Tejas gentle fight plane (LCA), has meant the IAF nonetheless operates 4 MiG-21 ‘Bison’ squadrons. Their retirement has been delayed until 2024.
The IAF at present has simply round 30 fighter squadrons (every has 16-18 jets) when no less than 42 are required to sort out the “collusive” menace from China and Pakistan.
Apart from the continued induction of 36 Rafale fighters from France, below the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked in September 2016, the IAF can be transferring forward to obtain 21 extra MiG-29s and 12 Sukhoi-30MKIs from Russia, as was earlier reported by TOI.
The IAF may even get 83 new Tejas jets between February 2024 and December 2028 below the Rs 46,898 crore deal inked with Hindustan Aeronautics final month, which is able to add to the 40 such fighters ordered earlier. The LCA challenge, by the way, was first permitted in August 1983 to interchange the MiG-21s.

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