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 What role did the MiG-21 jets play? 

  • The MiG-21 was the first supersonic fighter in service of the IAF and was inducted in 1963.

  • More than 800 variants of the supersonic fighter have been inducted into service.

  • The No.4 squadron has served the country for approximately six decades and has significantly contributed to the war effort during Indo-Pak conflicts.

  • It was initially equipped with MiG-21 Type 75 aircraft and later converted to the upgraded MiG-21 Bison in January 2004.

  • The IAF now has two MiG-21 squadrons in service comprising the upgraded Bison variants.

  • The No. 3 squadron ‘Cobras’ at Bikaner and No. 23 squadron ‘Panthers’ at Suratgarh, which will be phased out by 2025.

  • MiG 21 will replace with the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk1A.

  • According to the IAF website, during the 1971 War of Bangladesh, the MiG-21s showed its true grit. 

  • On the 1999 Kargil conflict, the IAF says that night operations were carried out using ingenuity and imagination. 

  • In the course of six decades, the MiG-21 fleet saw over 400 accidents claiming the lives of around 200 pilots. 

  • The IAF was to phase out the MiG-21s much earlier but it was extended as newer inductions especially the LCA Tejas were delayed.

What about the MiG replacement? 

  • The IAF has inducted two squadrons of the LCA Tejas and two squadrons of Rafale fighter jets..

  • In January 2021, the IAF signed a contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 83 LCA Mk1A which it will start receiving from early 2024 onwards. 

  • A larger LCA-Mk2 as well as the fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) are under development. 

  • As they take time to be available in large numbers, it is the LCA-Mk1A which will form the bulk of the force. 

  • Last month, ACM Chaudhari had said that they are looking to procure an additional 97 LCA-Mk1A at an estimated cost of ₹67,000 lakh crore, making a total of 180 Mk1A variants.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: MiG 21 UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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