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IAF's MiG-27 'Bahadur' takes retirement after 4 decades of service

Air marshal S K Ghotia, the air office commanding-in-chief of South Western Air Command, who was present at the event, said the plane has been at the frontline and has proved its worth in the 1999 Kargil War.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 27 Dec 2019 6:45 AM GMT

IAFs MiG-27 Bahadur takes retirement after 4 decades of service
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Jodhpur: The iconic MiG-27 proudly named 'Bahadur' by its pilots, was decommissioned from the Indian Air Force at Jodhpur air base, in Rajasthan on Friday. The aircraft was in service for over three decades and had played crucial role in IAF operations, most notably that of the 1999 Kargil war.

Jodhpur air base had the squadron of seven MiG-27.

Air marshal S K Ghotia, the air office commanding-in-chief of South Western Air Command, who was present at the event, said the plane has been at the frontline and has proved its worth in the 1999 Kargil War.

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The 'swing-wing' fighter, was inducted into the Indian Air Force fleet in the year 1985. These aircraft were purchased from erstwhile Soviet Union. The MiG was the best fighter aircraft of that era. It was able to fly at a speed of 1700 km/ h and attack air to land. Also, these aircraft were also capable of carrying 4,000 kg of weapons and for its stable weapons platform and TV/laser guidance systems. Once known to have the most powerful aircraft engine in the world, MiG-27 has now been discarded by many countries and it has now been replaced by the MiG-21 fighter aircraft in the Air Force.

Increased incidence of MiG aircraft crashes

Due to the increased incidence of MiG-27 crashes in the last decade, the IAF opted to ground its entire fleet of Bahadur aircraft for checks in February 2010 following a fatal crash near the Siliguri district in Eastern India, in which one of its ace pilots lost his life. The majority of crashes were attributed to technical glitches.

On 31 March this year, the MiG-27 fell near Sirohi in Jodhpur. Then, on September 4, near the Jodhpur, the MiG-27 was said to be the culprit of the crash and as per reports its engine had some technical problems, which could not be fixed.

IAF MiG-27 decommission tweet:

Indian Air Force had announced its retirement on a micro-blogging site where it wrote, "#AdieuMiG27, After more than three decades of remarkable service, the Indian Air Force's MiG-27 fighter aircraft is being decommissioned from the Air Force Station, Jodhpur tomorrow in a grand ceremony."

MiG-27 was inducted in IAF fleet in 1985

Inducted into the Indian Air Force fleet in 1985, this highly capable fighter aircraft, armed with latest technology was the basis of ground attack capability. But in 2002, the MiG-27, along with the MiG-23 and MiG-29, was overhauled, and in 2004, the aircraft had concluded a two-year-long avionics upgrade at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL) Nasik facility, in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Further upgrades to integrate improved navigational technology and a more pilot-friendly cockpit were conducted until 2009.

The aircraft is well known for its instrumental role in Kargil war (1999).

SK Ghotia presided over the decommission function

The decommission ceremony was presided over by Air Marshal SK Ghotia, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command, on Friday, at the Indian Air Force station in Jodhpur.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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