IAF claims reduction in Mig-21 accident rate

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New Delhi, Oct 9 (ANI): The Indian Air Force's (IAF) Director General of Inspection and Safety, Air Marshal T.S. Randhwa said on Friday that the accident rate of MiG-21 aircraft has reduced in the current year as compared to the previous year.

Interacting with reporters on the sidelines of an International Flight Safety seminar here, Air Marshal Randhwa said: "Today, touch wood, our accident rate is better than last year. So, I think we are on an improvement curve at this point and time. I think we should see a better end toward the accident rate in this financial year."

Referring to Mig-21 crashes this year Air Marshal Randhwa said: "I must clarify to all of you is that while those accidents happened in a short time frame."

In this year, the IAF witnessed three MiG -21 crashes.

On June 18, a MiG FL had crashed in Chabua in Assam and another MiG-21 had crashed on May 27 near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The pilots of both these flights had bailed out to safely. But on September 10 a young pilot was killed when the third MiG flight was crashed near Muktasar in Punjab.

Air Marshal Randhwa described the MiG 21 aircrafts as reliable.

The media termed the MiG-21 fighter aircraft, as 'Flying Coffins' because of the frequent crashes.

The Russian made MiG-21 aircraft has been used by the IAF since 1963.

Later under license, these aircraft were manufactured in India, out of which 125 MIG-21's were upgraded after a deal worth 300 million dollars was signed with the Russians in 1996.

The IAF plans to replace the MIG-21 with the indigenously built aircraft Tejas, which is being designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) in Bangalore.

Tejas is likely to be inducted into the IAF from 2010 onwards. (ANI)

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