MiG 21s, which have often been involved in frequent crashes, will start getting phased out from 2014 setting the stage for giving the Indian Air Force (IAF) a “new look” with the induction of modern next generation aircraft.
“MiG 21s which constitute around 40 per cent of the IAF fleet will start getting phased out from 2014... With the induction of modern next generation aircraft such as the FGFA and MMRCA, the IAF will be a new look force,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony said.
IAF is on course to induct Su-30MKI, Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and 126 new medium-multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA).
Mr. Antony was addressing a meeting of Parliament’s Consultative Committee of the Defence Ministry on the State-owned aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The IAF has already begun the process of phasing out the older variants of the MiG 21s and it is expecting to complete the process by the end of 2017.
Last year, a total of seven fighter aircraft had crashed of which six were MiG 21 variants.
The IAF has inducted a total of 946 MiG-21s in its fleet and 476 of them have been lost in various accidents over the past 45 years.
In a recent report, the ministry acknowledged that most of these accidents had occurred due to obsolete technology.