New Delhi: Marking the end of an era, MiG-21 Bison fighter jets of the No. 4 squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF) flew for the last time in Indian skies.
The MiG-21 Bison flew over Uttarlai town in Barmer, Rajasthan, alongside the Su-30 MKI, IAF officers said. Soldiers from the three services were present during the ceremony.
The IAF is phasing out MiG-21 aircraft from its fleet, and will replace them with indigenous aircraft including LCA Mark 1A and LCA Mark 2 along with advanced medium combat aircraft.
The Defence Ministry said, “The MiG-21 squadron has served the country for almost six decades. Even during the India-Pakistan conflicts, MiG-21 squadrons have made significant contributions.”
The Defense Ministry says the No. 4 squadron, known as ‘Oorials’, has been operating MiG-21s since 1966. Now this squadron is being equipped with Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft.
According to the Defence Ministry, this change reflects the IAF’s unwavering commitment to modernise its fleet and protect the country’s skies.
Recently, a MiG-21 fighter plane had crashed in Rajasthan. After the incident, the IAF decided not to fly this aircraft. According to the IAF, this ban is in force on the fleet of MiG-21 aircraft until the investigation of the Rajasthan accident is completed.
While the IAF has another modern fighter jet, Sukhoi, the last installment of the modern fighter jet Rafale also reached India in December 2022. With this, the Rafale deal between India and France was completed. There was a deal between India and France for a total of 36 Rafale fighter jets and now India has received all 36 Rafales.