The MiG-27 fighters, which were grounded in February after a crash, have resumed operational flights following clearance by the Indian Air Force.

“The aircraft were cleared for flying operations after certain checks were carried out on the engines of the aircraft by us and the original equipment manufacturers from Russia,” IAF sources told PTI here.

The IAF had to ground its fleet of MiG-27s for around four months following a crash near Hashimara in West Bengal on February 16 in which an ace fighter pilot was killed.

After the crash, over 100 single-seater variants of the fleet were grounded due to problems in the R-29 engines of the aircraft.

The two-seater trainer variants of the aircraft remained operational as they are equipped with different engines than in the single-seater variant.

The IAF operates eight squadrons of these Russian-origin swing-wing aircrafts for both air-to-air and ground attacks.

After the crash in February, the IAF had ordered an investigation to look in the causes behind the mishap and the preliminary findings suggested that it could have taken place due to failure of “low pressure turbine blades” in the engine.

The aircraft were inducted into the IAF in the 1980s and are likely to be gradually replaced by the 126 multirole combat aircraft.

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