Friday, July 20, 2018

MiG-21 a relic that continues to fly

New Delhi: The crash of the MiG-21 fighter jet near Kangra in Himachal Pradesh again shows how slow-decision making had led to the obsolete MiG-21 staying on in Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet.
Another well-trained pilot, Squadron Leader Meet Kumar lost his life in peace-time flying on July 18.
India purchased 874 MiG-21s since 1963 the avionics, missiles and radars vary in each of the versions.  Of these nearly 490 were involved in accidents or crashes killing almost 200 pilots.
Some 120-odd MiG-21s continue to be in service. These will be retired in phases till 2021-2022. 
Russia stopped producing these machines in 1985, 33 years ago -- and Indian planes have been kept flying by refurbishing or upgrading -- them.
20/07/18 Ajay Banerjee/Tribune