A MiG-21 of the Indian Air Force crashed in Barmer, Rajasthan while on a routine flight. The fighter jet took off from Uttarlai airbase.
Reports say that the pilots in the two-seater jet were able to eject to safety and that the crash did not injure anyone on the ground.
This is the 10th
major crash since January 2014 and the sixth since 2015. This is also the second major crash involving a MiG of any type since the June 13, 2016 crash of the MiG-27 in Jodhpur
In 2013, a MiG-21 Bison fighter had crashed killing the pilot. This is the fifth crash involving a MiG-21 since then.
With an unusually high rate of crashes, the safety of the MiG has come under questions earning them the dubious name of ‘Flying Coffins’.
Over 170 pilots have died in the last 46 years in MiG crashes. The fighter jet, however, continues to remain in service since 1970.
A court of inquiry has been ordered into the matter. India still has more than 180 MiG 21 fighter jets which, besides the Sukhoi SU-30 MKI, complete the numbers needed for a fast depleting air force fleet. By 2022, India aims to replace all of its ageing MiGs with ingenuously made Tejas fighter aircraft.