An MiG-21 Bison aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) met with an accident on Wednesday morning while taking off for a combat training mission at an airbase in central India. The Indian Air Force (IAF) took to Twitter to announce the same, revealing that the aircraft’s pilot – Captain A Gupta – had lost his life in the crash.
A MiG-21 Bison aircraft of IAF was involved in a fatal accident this morning, while taking off for a combat training mission at an airbase in central India.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 17, 2021
However, the exact location of the airbase was not revealed by the IAF. The IAF has extended its condolences to the family members of Captain A Gupta and added that a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of the accident.
The IAF lost Group Captain A Gupta in the tragic accident. IAF expresses deep condolences and stands firmly with the family members. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of the accident.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 17, 2021
According to reports, a similar crash involving a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane happened in Rajasthan in January. The fighter plane crashed at Suratgarh air base of Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan while landing. According to the IAF, there was no loss of lives during that crash.
What is MiG-21?
The MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in Russia. The MiG-21 Bison, one of India’s six fighter jets, is of Russian origin. It is a single-engine, single-seater multirole fighter aircraft.
It has a maximum speed of 2,230 km/hr and carries one 23 mm twin-barrel cannon with four R-60 close combat missiles. It was inducted into the Indian Air Force in the early 1980s.
It is also known as the “backbone of the Indian Air Force”. It is noteworthy that these planes played a major role in the 1971 Indo-Pak War and are currently being used by the IAF as interceptors.