Air Chief defends Mig-23 exit
Jamnagar, Mar 20 (UNI) Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi today defended the ''honourable exit'' of Mig-23 MF from the Indian Air Force after serving it for 24 years.
The fighter, dubbed '' flying coffin'' by defence analysts because of frequent crashes, today bid adieu when four aircraft made the last flight and transitted into the annals of military aviation history, marking an end of era with IAF at its frontline station here under the South-Western Air Command.
Denying that frequent crashes of what have been popularly known as 'Warlords' of the IAF, the Air Chief said ''In fact, crashes of Mig-23 in last three years were on decline. Last year only nine incidents of Mig crash were reported, compared to 11 and 16 in 2005 and 2004, respectively.'' Air Chief Marshal Tyagi said the vaccum caused by the exit of Mig-23 would be filled up by UK-made Advance Jet Trainer, adding 24 AJTs will reach India in July-August and start flying sorties in September.
He said Mig-23, during their 24-year service in the IAF, logged nearly 32,580 flying hours.