IAF to retire all MiG-21 fighter jets later this year
avten.asia - India plans to retire all the non-upgraded of its MiG-21 Fishbed fighter jets by the end of this year. The statement was revealed by the India Air Force (IAF) Chief, Marshal Birendra Singh Dhanoa, Tuesday (8/20/2019).
The legendary fighter jet made by the Soviet Union (now Russia) has at least has been serving to strengthen the IAF for more than four decades.
"We are still flying MiG-21s which are 44-years-old, but nobody is driving cars of that vintage," Dhanoa said, as quoted from sputniknews.com.
The fighter jet is alleged to have shot down Pakistan's F-16 AU in dogfight recently in the Line of Control (LoC).
Dhanoa hopes he can still fly the MiG-21 (a basic version) for the last time in September.
In the country of his birth, this jet fighter is no longer used. India has its own overhaul facility for this type of aircraft, of which 95 percent of its components are made by India.
Further explained, a total of 10 Squadrons (18-20 jets per squadron) consisting of MiG-21 and MiG-27 jets are scheduled to be retired in 2024, after their completing TTC (total technical life).
The MiG-21 was first introduced to the Soviet Air Force in 1959. In the following years, an export version was released and strengthened the national airpower of a number of countries, including Indonesia.
The Indian version of MiG-21 has been upgraded and has a special code, MiG-21 Bison, which was produced until 1985.
The plan, in September, the IAF will arrival the first batch of Rafale fighter jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation, France. This newer generation of warplanes will become India's new airpower.
In total, India will be strengthened by 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets purchased with a contract value of 7.8 billion Euros.