Indian Air Force phases out another MiG-21 squadron

The Indian Air Force has phased out one of its three remaining squadrons of the ageing MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft.

These will gradually be replaced by the HAL manufactured indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk-1A aircraft that are to be inducted next year onwards.

Notably, the latest MiG-21 Bisons to be phased out belong to the No. 4 Squadron based at Uttarlai in Rajasthan.

It was retired a year after IAF phased out the Bisons of the Srinagar-based No. 51 Squadron.

The No. 4 Squadron has been operating the MiG-21 since 1966 and is now being re-equipped with the Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft.

In a statement, the IAF said, “Marking the end of an era, the MiG-21 Bison aircraft were seen for the last time in the skies of Uttarlai in Barmer district in Rajasthan on October 30.”

Besides, the two remaining squadrons, based at Bikaner and Suratgarh in Rajasthan, will be phased out by 2025.

Each squadron has 16 to 18 fighter planes.

To be noted that over the last few years, several MiG-21s have crashed with the accidents turning the spotlight on India’s longest-serving fighter plane, its safety record and IAF’s plans to replace the aging jets with newer ones in the coming years.