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Indian Air Force Phases Out Mig-21 Bison Squadron based at Uttarlai

In a significant milestone, the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted a ceremony at the Uttarlai Air Force Station in Rajasthan’s Barmer, marking the phase-out of another squadron of the iconic Mig-21 Bison fighter aircraft. This action has reduced the active number of Mig-21 Bison squadrons to just two.

Sukhoi-30 MKI Fighter Squadron Replacement

  • During the ceremony, a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter squadron was officially introduced to replace the retiring Mig-21 Bison squadron.
  • This transition demonstrates the IAF’s commitment to modernization and upgrading its fleet.

Flypast Over Barmer Skies

  • The ceremony featured a captivating flypast by both the Su-30MKI and the Mig-21 Bison fighters in the skies over Barmer, symbolizing a farewell to the legendary aircraft.

End of an Era

  • The number 4 squadron (Oorials) of the IAF, based at Uttarlai, had been operating the Mig-21 Bison fighters since 1966.
  • This event marks the end of an era, as these aircraft made their final appearance in the skies of Uttarlai in Barmer district, Rajasthan, on October 30, 2023.

IAF’s Target: Complete Phasing Out by 2025

  • The Indian Air Force has set a clear objective to phase out all the squadrons of the Mig-21 Bison by 2025, emphasizing its transition to more advanced and modern fighter aircraft.

About the Mig-21 Bison

Historical Significance and Service

  • The Mig-21, known for its historical significance, was the first supersonic fighter aircraft to be inducted into the Indian Air Force’s service in 1963 during the tenure of then-Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Participation in Major Conflicts

  • Throughout its service life, the Mig-21 actively participated in all major conflicts, including the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars, as well as the 1999 Kargil conflict.

Backbone of the IAF

  • The Mig-21, a single-engine fighter, played a pivotal role as the backbone of the Indian Air Force for over four decades, reflecting its long and illustrious history in safeguarding the nation’s skies.

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