Yesterday at around 1815 hours , a MiG-21 Bison aircraft of Indian Air Force crashed near the Suratgarh in Rajasthan due to technical malfunction, fortunately pilot ejected safely.
Within 5 days of 2021, IAF experienced the crash of one fighter aircraft jet, meanwhile despite being the worst year for the whole world, 2020 was the safest year in Indian Air Force history with the loss of only one aircraft in 2020.
Indian Air Force had lost 42 fighter aircrafts in between 2020-21. Out of 42 aircrafts, 12 were MiG-21 Bison which is around 28 per cent of total fighter aircraft crash.
Considering the data of last 9 year (2012-20), 2019 was the un-safest year for IAF with the lost 8 fighter aircrafts in accidents. Meanwhile 2020 is the safest year in the history of Air Force with the loss of only one aircraft.
During the same period Indian Air Force reported loss of 12 MiG-21 Bison, 10 Jaguar, 7 MiG-27 (retired in 2019), 3 Mirage 2000, 3 MiG-29 UPG and 7 Sukhoi Su-30MKI.
Tejas MK1 inducted into the service of IAF in 2016 is the safest aircraft for Air Force with zero accident, while MiG-21 is the un-safest aircraft for IAF.
In last 9 year, IAF reported Four fighter aircraft crash in 2012, Six crash each in 2013 and 2018, Three in 2014, Seven loss in 2015, Five in 2016, Two in 2017, Eight in 2019 and only One in 2020.
Total 8 pilots died in all fighter aircraft crashes since 2012.
Why IAF nned to replace MiG-21 Bison ASAP
MiG-21 is the only aircrafts in the service of IAF which has a love & hate relationship with the generation of pilots.
Since 1970, around 180 IAF pilots and 40 civilians killed in MiG-21 crash. From 1963 MiG-21 has had a total number of 285 accidents, which is around 25 percent of IAF total fighter aircraft accidents.
This is how, MiG-21 earned its famous title of ‘Flying Coffin’ and its need to replace as soon as possible by Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
LCA Tejas took its maiden flight in 2001, since then LCA didn’t experienced any crash. Tejas is the only fighter aircraft in the world who didn’t reported any major accident during trials.
LCA Tejas is considered as the one of the most safest fighter aircrafts in the world. Apart from safety, LCA also impresses us as a combat platform.
Tejas MK1A will come with advance Uttam Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and a unified Electronic Warfare suite.
Integration of Beyond Visual Range Astra MK1/2/3 and Astra IR, Smart Anti airfield weapon and BrahMos NG will add more teeth to LCA platform.
The combo of low Radar Cross Section and long range Astra MK3 Air-to-Air Missile will going to significantly increase the BVR capability of Tejas.
There’s no doubt that Tejas is the solid replacement for MiG-21, but HAL also required to increase the production rate of LCA to fill gap quickly.