The Indian Air Force (IAF) has grounded its entire fleet of Russian-made MiG-21 fighter jets.
According to the Indian news channel NDTV, the Indian Air Force has taken this decision due to the plane that crashed in Rajasthan this month. The planes will not be used until the investigation is complete and the cause of the crash is known.
On May 8, a MiG-21 aircraft taking off from the Suratnagar Airbase in Rajasthan crashed in a village called Hanumangarh. Three persons were killed in the crashed.
Senior defence officials told Indian news agency Asian News International (ANI) that the MiG-21 fleet has been grounded until the investigation is completed and the cause of the crash is ascertained. ‘
He said that the Indian Air Force has been using different variants of the MiG-21 for five decades, and now they are on the verge of being phased out. Only three MiG-21 squadrons are operational in the Indian Air Force, and all of them will be phased out by early 2025.
The fighter jet that crashed in Rajasthan was on a routine training flight when it crashed. The pilot sustained minor injuries, after which an inquiry was launched to find out the exact cause of the accident.
The IAF has 31 fighter aircraft squadrons, of which three consist of MiG-21 aircraft. The MiG-21 was inducted into the Indian Air Force in the 1960s.