Indian air force MiG-21 crashes in Punjab, pilot killed

TEHRAN, May 21 (MNA) – A Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed during a routine training mission in the northern state of Punjab, killing its pilot.

There have been several accidents involving decades-old MiG-21 aircraft in India, according to the Russian Sputnik news agency. In April, a pilot was killed in a crash in Rajasthan, while in January another MiG-21 Bison jet crashed in the Rajasthan state while landing, although the pilot survived the incident.

Last night, a military pilot was killed after an Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed during a routine training mission in the northern state of Punjab, the Indian Air Force announced on Friday.

An Indian Air Force official said that the accident took place at around 2 a.m., local time, near the Punjab's western sector. The pilot, Sqn. Ldr. Abhinav Chaoudhary, who reportedly ejected, nonetheless sustained fatal injuries.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, the Indian Air Force said.

This year, three single engine MiG-21s of the Indian Air Force crashed in different sectors.

The Indian Air Force received its first MiG-21 in 1963, and progressively inducted 874 variants of the Soviet-built supersonic fighters to bolster its combat potential.

The Indian Defence Ministry plans to phase out the remaining four squadrons of the MiG-21 Bison aircraft - a squadron has 16 to 18 fighter jets - in the next three to four years.

KI/PR

News Code 173729

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