New Delhi: Indian Air Force (IAF) bids adieu to its swing-wing MiG-27 fighter jets that played a key stellar role in the 1999 Kargil War. The MiG-27 fighter jets have the backbone of the IAF's ground-attack fleet for several years, but they will fly for the last time on Friday (December 27).
The MiG-27 fighters will take the last flight at the Air Force Station, Jodhpur where the last MiG-27 UPG squadron is based. The de-induction ceremony will be participated by veteran air warriors along with serving air warriors. Air Marshal SK Ghotia VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command would be presiding over the wind-down ceremony.
Currently, the MiG 27 in operation is an ungraded version inducted in 2006. It has been operating as part of the IAF's strike fleet. All the other variants, such as the MiG-23 BN & MiG-23 MF and the pure MiG 27 have already retired from the IAF.
#AdieuMiG27 Indian Air Force bids farewell to the mighty MiG-27 tomorrow. The aircraft will be decommissioned in a grand ceremony to be held at Air Force Station Jodhpur on 27 Dec 19. pic.twitter.com/hgTmvltEJ9
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 26, 2019
According to the Ministry of Defence, "These aircraft have made an immense contribution to the nation, both during peace and war. The fleet earned its glory in the historic Kargil conflict when it delivered rockets & bombs with accuracy on enemy positions. The fleet also took an active part in Op-Parakram."
Because of its survivability, the upgraded MiG 27 participated in numerous national and international exercises, but after a series of crashes, the IAF decided to finally decommission its last MiG-27 fighters.
The MiG-27 ground strike aircraft, named 'Bahadur' in India, has had an impeccable track record in its more than three decades of glorious service to the nation. Procured in the 1980s from the then Soviet Union, the fighter jet has proved its worth in various operations, including Kargil, and earned rich accolades in numerous international exercises held in India.
The formidable strike aircraft has the single most powerful engine in the world and variable geometry wing which allows the pilot to change the wing sweep angle while flying as per the mission requirements to achieve optimum flying characteristics. It was one of the main strike aircraft of the IAF.
With good forward visibility and an all-around view, this strike aircraft could drop bombs, or fire rockets, precision munitions guided by TV/laser and also air-to-air missiles for self-defence, thus making it a lethal and a potent weapon platform. Its pilots proudly call themselves `Swing Wingers` and have always vouched for the aircraft`s precise weapon delivery and rapid acceleration.
(With Agency inputs)