New Delhi: The MiG-27, one of India’s most prominent fighter jets, will roar through the skies for one last time today, after serving the Indian Air Force for over three decades.
Earlier this week, the Indian Air Force (IAF) announced it would decommission its MiG-27 aircraft and the only remaining squadron, located in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, will fly for the last time on December 27.
Notably, the swing-wing fighter aircraft has been the backbone of ground attack fleet of Indian Air Force (IAF) for the past 35 years. The lethal aircraft, which proved to be ‘ace attacker’ during the 1999 Kargil war, was proudly named ‘Bahadur’ by the pilots and the IAF has decided to give it a befitting and grand send off, as a tribute.
”The upgraded variant of this last swing-wing fleet has been the pride of IAF strike fleet since 2006. All other variants, such as MiG-23 BN and MiG-23 MF and the pure MiG-27 have already retired from IAF .The fleet earned its glory in the historic Kargil conflict when it delivered rockets and bombs with accuracy on enemy positions. The fleet also took active part in Operation Parakram,” the Defence ministry said.
The IAF, which was evidently nostalgic, tweeted about MiG-27’s last sortie today:
To mark the occasion, various functions have been planned for de-induction ceremony at Air Force Station Jodhpur.
“Veteran air warriors along with serving air warriors in large numbers are taking part in the ceremony. Air Marshal SK Ghotia VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command would be presiding over the wind down ceremony,” the defence ministry said.
MiG-27, originally designed and manufactured by the former Soviet Union, was inducted into the IAF in the 1980s. Considered the best air-to-ground attack aircraft, each aircraft can carry 4,000 kilograms of weapons while flying at a maximum speed of 1700 kilometers per hour.