Karol Bagh | IAS GS Foundation Course | 29 May, 6 PM Call Us
This just in:

State PCS

Daily Updates

Internal Security

MiG-21 Crash

  • 02 Aug 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Indian Airforce, IAF Modernization Drive, Flying Coffin

For Mains: MiG-21 Aircrafts, Aircraft Crashes

Why in News?

  • Recently, a MiG-21 Bison aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Barmer, Rajasthan killing the two pilots aboard the trainer version of the fighter aircraft.
  • Currently, the IAF has around 70 Mig-21 aircraft and 50 Mig-29 variants.
  • There are four squadrons of MiG-21 Bison aircraft currently in service in the IAF with each squadron comprising 16-18 aircraft, including two trainer versions.

What drives the Phase out of Aircrafts?

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to phase out the four MiG-21 fighter squadrons with one of them set to retire from service in September 2022.
  • The IAF also plans to start the phasing out of the three squadrons of MiG-29 fighter jets in the next five years.
  • It is part of the IAF's modernization drive.
  • The plan is to retire all four MiG-21 squadrons by 2025.

What is MiG-21?

  • The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21 is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union.
    • MiG is a product of the Soviet Union which entered into service in 1959.
  • Approximately 60 countries on four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations six decades after its maiden flight.
  • India inducted the MiG-21 in 1963 and got full technology transfer and rights to license-build the aircraft in the country.
  • Russia stopped producing the aircraft in 1985, while India continued operating the upgraded variants.

Why so many MiG-21 crashes in India?

  • Over the last ten years, 108 air accidents and losses have taken place involving all arms of the military – IAF, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard.
  • Out of these, 21 crashes have involved the Mig-21 Bison and its variants, though the IAF flies mostly the former now.
    • The high rate of accidents earned the aircraft the nickname of ‘Flying Coffin”.
  • There is no single, common reason for military aircraft crashes. They can range from weather, human error, technical error to bird hits.
  • The MiG-21 is a single engine fighter, and that could also be a cause for some of the crashes.
    • It is a single engine fighter and when it loses that engine, it needs to be re-started. More often than not it re-lights but it takes a finite amount of time to re-light any engine, so if you are below the minimum height, you have to leave the aircraft.

Way Forward

  • Preventing future aircraft accidents lies in the usage of a combination of technology and appropriate and adequate pilot training.
  • The installation of Ground Proximity Warning System in the aircraft will generate early signals that can alert the flight crew to take preventive measures against the onset of CFIT.
  • Effective training of pilots to develop situational awareness and carry out the right intervention must be emphasised in pilot training.

Source: TH

SMS Alerts
Share Page