India's Air Force grounds MiG-21 fleet after a crash

After a fighter jet crashed in Rajasthan's Hanumangarh village, the Indian Air Force (IAF) suspended its entire MiG-21 fleet. Three individuals were killed in the incident on Monday, May 8, 2023, after the Soviet-built fighter plane collided with a house. According to the IAF, the fighter jet took out from a neighboring air force base for a "routine operational training sortie" at the time of the event. 

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"Shortly thereafter, the pilot experienced an onboard emergency, after which he attempted to recover the aircraft in accordance with existing procedures." "After failing to do so, he initiated an ejection, sustaining minor injuries in the process," according to the Air Force. "The aircraft wreckage fell on a house in Bahlol Nagar in Hanumangarh District, unfortunately resulting in the loss of three lives," it continued. Following the incident, the IAF initiated an investigation to determine what caused the crash.


The investigation concluded in a decision to ground the aged MiG-21 fleet on Monday, May 20, 2023. "As per standard procedure, one-time checks are being conducted, for which the fleet was grounded following the crash." "The aircraft are back in the air as the inspections continue," an official told The Hindu. The official stated that the tests on the entire fleet should be done very shortly. The IAF currently possesses three MiG-21 Bison squadrons, which will be retired by 2025.


According to India Today, the government has agreed to purchase 83 Tejas jets from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in February 2021. The IAF has already purchased 36 Rafale planes and is in the process of procuring 114 Medium Role Fighter Aircraft.

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