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MiG-21: A brief look at the history of the IAF's most widely used aircraft

As India was getting ready to scale up its military capabilities after losing to China in the 1962 Sino-India war and facing rising pressures from Pakistan, MiG-21 was acquired by the country in 1963

Mig-21, IAF
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BS Web Team New Delhi
Two Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, wing commander M Rana and flight lieutenant Adivitya Bal were killed on July 28 when a MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed in Barmer, Rajasthan. The pilots were flying a sortie when the accident took place. MiG-21s in India have had a shaky track record.

The IAF first procured the MiG-21 in 1963.  In the last 60 years, over 400 MiG-21s have crashed, killing over 170 pilots, according to data from the Ministry of Defence. It has earned the aircraft grim epithets like 'flying coffin' and 'widowmaker'.

A history of MiG-21 in

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First Published: Aug 01 2022 | 12:34 PM IST

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