A MiG-27 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in an open area in Jodhpur on Tuesday morning. The pilot of the aircraft managed to eject safely before the crash.
Following the accident, a Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered to investigate what led to the crash.
This was the 27th MiG aircraft India has lost in just last three years. 40 people have lost their loves in these crashes.
If we go back four decades, the figures are shocking. In 2012, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Rajya Sabha that India had lost more than half of its total 872 MiG aircraft to crashes. These crashes took extensive toll on Indian Air Force with nearly nearly 171 pilots losing their lives. The crashes also killed nearly 40 civilians.
Once considered backbone of Indian fleet Russian-made MiG fighter jets have seen maximum number of accidents than any other aircraft. No wonder, the aircraft has earned ominous titles like ‘flying coffin’ or the ‘widow maker.’
Experts attribute growing number of MiG accidents to the ageing fleet’s diminishing performance and obsolete hardware. However, many opine India’s is slow in procuring advanced defence technology and in phasing out of obsolete military hardware. Controversies and allegations of corruption have also shadowed many defence deals.
Currently, MiG-27 aircrafts are in the process of being phased out from service.