A MiG-21 fighter jet belonging to the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed while on a routine training mission in the city of Gwalior, located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday morning.
The MiG-21 was a trainer aircraft of the IAF. The crash took place around 10 am. According to sources both pilots ejected safely, local media reported.
The accident-prone MiG-21 fighters have been dubbed as “flying coffins” by some defence experts as they are living way past their initial service life.
According to the Indian Ministry of Defense, over 400 MiG-21s have crashed since the 1970s and many of them were due to technical snags. The jets had been purchased from Russia in the 1960s. During 1980s, IAF introduced the Tejas programme to replace the ageing jets. But due to delays, India decided to extend the Total Technical Life (TTL) of its MiG-21s by upgrading their turbofan engines, radars, avionics, etc.