MiG 21 is one of the strongest fighter planes in Indian Air Force squadron which is considered to serve Indian Air Force for as long as 100 years. The actual name of MiG-21 fighter plane is Mikoyan-Gurevich, which is acronym as MiG. There are many interesting facts about MiG-21 fighter plane that will make you feel proud.
How MiG-21 Commissioned in Indian Air Force:
India is one of the three largest operators of Mig-21 fighter planes. The other two largest operators include Russia and China. In the year 1961, Indian proposed to buy an advanced fighter aircraft. Among multiple competitors, Indian Air Force opted Mig-21 as the best performer.
In 1964, Indian Air Force gets its first Supersonic fighter jet plane. But in the initial tenure, there were not a good strength of pilots who can take charge of MiG-21. Even in the initial purchase a few of the fighter jets were purchased. But after the analyzing the valuable performance and expected output from Mig-21 during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Indian Air Force decided to own more MiG-21.
Interesting Facts about Mig-21 Fighter Plane:
- Since its development in the year 1959, the Mig-21 Fighter aircraft was owned by multiple countries over the globe and hence served their front lines for decades. It’s been more than 5 decades that it has been serving many counties.
- Throughout the history, Mig-21 has the longest production history i.e. 1959 to 1985. During this tenure, there were multiple variants introduced with better performance and other enhancements.
- Making another history, the total production of Mig-21 aircrafts was expected to be nearly 13,000. This makes it the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation.
- There are more than 40 Air Forces throughout the globe that owned this air warrior. In some of the countries, it is still being used as a frontline fighter jet.
Contribution of MiG-21 in Indian History:
1965 Indo-Pakistan War: During the India Pakistan war in 1965, there were limited MiG-21 fighter planes. So, not much contribution was made by them. But even being limited in count, it displayed its role with the best of its potential. During the 1965 war, even the Indian Air Force pilots were not much trained to fly MiG-21.
After the positive review of MiG-21 fighter plane in 1965 India Pakistan war, the Indian Air Force invested a heavy amount in establishing its maintenance unit as well as different training programs.
1971 India Pakistan War: The 1971 India Pakistan war was the best time to make judgments on the performance of Mig-21 fighter aircraft. And as expected, this supersonic fighter jet claimed a high level of human and ammunition causalities from Pakistani’s end.
And because of the high-level performance of MiG-21 fighter pilots, Iraq approached Indian Air Force to train their pilots.
1999 Kargil War: The contribution of MiG-21 fighter aircraft is also recalled during the 1999 Kargil war. During the Kargil war, the Indian Air Force professional pilots destroyed a large number of Pakistani military positions and supported Indian Army to take lead over Pakistani military.
Pitfalls of MiG-21 that Resulted in its Decommissioning:
With the inclusion of many other competitor planes, the MiG-21 encountered multiple safety issues that were not anymore able to be upgraded. Apart from this, MiG-21 fighter plane has resulted in a high number of the military as well as civilian causalities that resulted in its decommissioning after the completion of 50 glorious years in the Indian Air Force. The causalities data shows that:
- Nearly 170 Pilots of Indian Military, as well as 40 civilians, are reported to be killed in multiple MiG-21 accidents. Between 2010 and 2013, minimum 14 MiG-21 fighter planes have been crashed.
- The most interesting fact about these MiG-21 fighter planes is that out of all the planes manufactured between 1966 and 1984, nearly half jet planes are lost in various crashes.
How The Reign of Mig-21 Fighter Plane Ended:
On 30th December, the Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa took the final flight of the fighter plane which was serving the nation since long. The glorious tenure of this Type 96 variant fighter plane will always be recalled whenever we remind the era of post-independence and the contribution of Indian Air Force in different wars, during that tenure.