Iaf: IAF grounds MiG-21 fighter aircraft fleet pending investigation into Rajasthan crash – Times of India


NEW DELHI: 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.
Three people lost their lives in the crash when a MiG-21 Bison aircraft airborne from Suratgarh air base crashed over Hanumangarh on May 8.
“The MiG-21 fleet has been grounded till the investigations are over and reasons for the crash are ascertained,” senior defence officials said.
The MiG-21 aircraft variants started getting inducted into the Indian Air Force over five decades ago and are on the verge of being phased out.
There are only three MiG-21 squadrons operating in the IAF and all of them are going to be phased out by the early part of 2025, they said.
The fighter jet that crashed over Rajasthan was on a routine training sortie when it met with an accident. The pilot suffered minor injuries after which an inquiry had been launched to probe the exact cause of the crash.
The IAF has 31 combat aircraft squadrons including three of the MiG-21 Bison variant.
Around 800 variants of the fighter have been in service.
The crash rate of the MiG-21 has been a cause of concern in recent times as many of them have met with accidents. The IAF is also looking at induction of indigenous aircraft including LCA Mark 1A and LCA Mark 2 along with Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

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