New Delhi: Hours after a MiG-21 combat trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Gwalior, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa regarding the incident and inquired about the condition of both the pilots who had ejected successfully.
According to reports, a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the crash incident. Early on Wednesday morning, a MiG-21 combat trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Gwalior and both the pilots managed to eject safely.
“The two pilots ejected safely, according to the information passed to us from the village head from the spot, some 60 km from the district headquarters,” Rudolf Alvares, Bhind Superintendent of Police, told news agency PTI.
According to IAF sources, the aircraft crashed soon after taking off for its routine training mission from the Gwalior airbase. Both the pilots of the aircraft, including a group captain and a squadron leader, ejected safely. The aircraft was a part of the IAF’s Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) school.
This is not the first time, a MiG-21 is crashed, Earlier in March, another MiG-21 crashed in Bikaner in Rajasthan. The pilot managed to eject successfully as well. The incident happened after the aircraft took off on a routine mission and the engine developed some technical snag in the air.
A Soviet-era single-engine multirole fighter/ground attack aircraft of the Air Force, MiG-21 was first inducted into the IAF in the 1960s just after the Indo-China War. It was upgraded to the MiG-21 Bison version in 2006.
Upgraded with multi-mode radars, better avionics and communication systems, the MiG 21s are now capable of transporting a wide range of guided munitions.
The MiG-21 Bison – the upgraded one — was being used by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in February when he shot down Pakistan’s F-16 during Balakot airstrike.