The Indian Air Force lost yet another Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft, the second one in 10 days. The plane, on a routine sortie, crashed at around 12.30 pm in Rajasthan after taking off from Gwalior.

The pilots Squadron Leader Raj and Flight Lieutenant Kanav ejected safely. There was no reported damage to civil property or life.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident, Allahabad-based Defence Ministry spokesman Group Captain Amit Mahajan said.

“Preliminary checks have been ordered to check the aircraft and all of its systems. The fleet of Mirage-2000 will start flying after the checks are over.” IAF officials said here.

On February 24, a Mirage 2000 crashed during a routine sortie in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh. The pilots included Air Marshal Anil Chopra, Air Officer (Personnel) and Wing Commander Ram Kumar, Commanding Officer of the Gwalior-based Mirage 2000 squadron. They all ejected safely.

In July last year, India had signed a contract with French firms, Thales and Dassault Aviation, to upgrade 51 Mirage-2000s. The first two planes are in France while the remaining will be upgraded by HAL.

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