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IAF fighter jet crashes in Rajasthan

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An AFP file image of the MiG-21 Bison aircraft

An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 Bison aircraft crash landed in Rajasthan’s Suratgarh on Tuesday, the IAF said in a statement. 

The aircraft experienced major technical malfunction during a training sortie in the western sector. The pilot survived the crash. “A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.”

In 1961, India procured the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau-made MiG-21 Bisons which have a max speed of 2230 km/hr (Mach 2.1) and carry one 23mm twin barrel cannon with four R-60 close combat missiles.

The Russian-origin single-engine, single seater multi role fighter and ground attack aircraft is the back bone of India’s air force. The Indian government used the fighter jets in its February 2019 standoff with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

The PAF shot down a MiG-21 in aerial combat and captured its pilot Abhinandan Varthaman – who was later handed over to India in a peace gesture by the Pakistani government.

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