Top Recommended Stories

IAF To Retire MiG-21 Fighter Planes. Details Here

MiG-21 Plane Crash: Due to the numerous crashes, the fighter jet has been dubbed as the 'flying coffin'. It is also known as 'widow-maker' owing to the mishaps. The aircraft has had a very poor safety record of late. 

Updated: July 29, 2022 2:05 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

MiG-21, MiG-21 crash, crash, Rajasthan, Jaisalmer, IAF, Indian Air Force,
Indian Air Force orders inquiry after MiG-21 crashes in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer

MiG-21 Aircraft to Retire: Hours after two pilots lost their lives in the IAF fighter plane crash, the Indian Air Force (IAF) decided to retire one more squadron of the MiG-21 Bison aircraft by September 30 and the entire fleet by 2025. Last night, Flight Lieutenant Advitiya Bal (from Jammu) and Wing Commander M Rana (from Himachal Pradesh) were killed after MiG-21 Type 69 Trainer aircraft crashed in Barmer, Rajasthan. A court of inquiry was ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.

Also Read:

The MiG-21s—the mainstay of the IAF were supposed to be retired a long time ago but delays in induction of the LCA Tejas aircraft have compelled the Air Force to continue flying these planes. “Deeply anguished by the loss of two Air Warriors due to an accident of IAF’s Mig-21 trainer aircraft near Barmer in Rajasthan. Their service to the nation will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of sadness”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had tweeted after MiG-21 crashed yesterday.

Indian Air Force’s MiG-21. Key Things to Know

  • Designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (OKB) of the erstwhile Soviet Union, the MiG-21 is India’s longest-serving fighter plane.
  • India got its first single-engine MiG-21 in 1963, and to bolster its combat potential 874 variants of the Soviet-origin supersonic fighters were inducted.
  • The 51 squadron is famous for thwarting Pakistan’s aerial attack on India on February 27, 2019, and taking out an F-16 in an aircraft flown by Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Abhinandan Varthaman.
  • The IAF has been replacing the MiG-21 fighter jets with more capable aircraft like the Su-30 and the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Why The Fighter Plane is Called ‘Flying coffins’?

Due to the numerous crashes, the fighter jet has been dubbed as the ‘flying coffin’. It is also known as ‘widow-maker’ owing to the mishaps. The aircraft has had a very poor safety record of late.

Over 200 pilots and 50 people (on the ground) were killed as more than 400 MiG-21s have crashed since 1971-72.  In the last five years, a total of 42 defence personnel were killed in accidents involving aircraft and helicopters of the three services . The total number of air accidents in the last five years was 45 out of which 29 involved IAF’s platforms.

Recent Mishaps Involving MiG-21

  • 5th Jan 2021: A MiG 21 Bison aircraft crashed in Rajasthan’s Suratgarh. The MiG crashed while landing.
  • 17th Mar 2021: Group Captain Ashish Gupta, a seasoned fighter pilot, lost his life in a MiG-21 Bison fighter jet crash.
  • 20th May 2021: Sqn Ldr Abhinav Chaudhari died after a MiG-21 crashed in Moga in Punjab
  • 25th Aug 2021: A MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer during a routine training sortie. The pilot sustained minor injuries and was rushed to the hospital by villagers.
  • 24th Dec 2021: Wing commander Harshit Sinha was killed when a MiG-21 aircraft crashed.

For breaking news and live news updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Read more on Latest India News on

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts Cookies Policy.