India will decommission all Soviet MiG-21 fighter jets by 2025, Reuters reports citing the Times of India. According to two unnamed Indian Air Force officials, these aircraft were long overdue for decommissioning, but the first thing to do is to decide what to replace these aircraft in service with.
The question of total refusing from the MiG-21s became relevant after two Indian Air Force pilots died earlier this week in a crash with this aircraft. Overall, this is the sixth accident involving Indian MiG-21s since January 2021.
At the same time, a high-ranking official of the Indian Ministry of Defense in a comment to Reuters refused to deny or confirm the information of the Indian publication, but emphasized that discussions about the fate of the MiG-21s are currently ongoing, as it is becoming more difficult for them to receive spare parts from the russian federation due to the war in Ukraine.
The MiG-21 fighter used to be an important tool for ensuring the security of India's military infrastructure, but due to its high accident rate, the Indian press called these jets "flying coffins".
As the Times of India noted, more than 400 of the 872 MiG-21s that were put into service since the 1960s were lost in accidents. The Indian publication emphasizes that four squadrons of these fighters are expected to be decommissioned. the first squadron will be "done" in September this year, and the other three within the next three years.
Defense Express reminds that in January this year, Romania announced intention to abandon the Soviet MiG-21s as well, the country also plans to get rid of 30 jets in three years.
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