A MiG-21 “Bison” belonging to the Indian Air Force crashed on Tuesday evening in the Rajasthan state, western region of the country.
The aircraft was on a routine training mission and departed from Suratgarh Air Force Station, situated in Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. It was a part of No. 23 “Panthers” fighter squadron of the Air Force.
The organisation confirmed that the pilot ejected successfully and recovered by rescue team.
“During a training sortie in the western sector, a MiG-21 Bison aircraft experienced a major technical malfunction this evening. The pilot ejected safely at about 8.15 pm. There is no loss of life,” the official Twitter handle of Indian Air Force tweeted.
This is first such crash incident to be reported in year 2021, and is the first of the type after 15 months. The last incident related to MiG-21 was reported in September 2019 when a MiG-21UM Type 69 belonging to Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE), a specialised training unit within Indian Air Force, crashed in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh state. Surprisingly, Indian Air Force only lost a MiG-29UPG in 2020. This marked the year with lowest crash rate since past 2 decades.
MiG-21 “Bison” is a single-engine supersonic fighter aircraft with delta wing configuration. It is a Type 93 upgrade based on MiG-21BIS airframe and inducted in Indian Air Force in 2002. The aircraft is expected to be replaced by India’s homegrown LCA Tejas by 2023-25.