India Today

JET LAGGED

- By PRADIP R. SAGAR

On July 28, two pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF)—Wing Commander Mohit Rana and Flight Lieutenant Advitiya Bal—lost their lives after their MiG-21 jet crashed in the Barmer district of Rajasthan. The peacetime deaths have reignited the debate around how safe it is to fly MiG-21s—considered the IAF’s workhorse—beyond their life. The IAF says it has no choice, because the world’s fourth-ranked air force (in terms of number of military aircraft) simply doesn’t have enough fighter jets in its fleet.

 ?? ?? The Soviet-era MiG-21 was designed to fly at a high altitude as a highspeed intercepto­r to shoot down US bombers, but the IAF has been using it for everything else too
The Soviet-era MiG-21 was designed to fly at a high altitude as a highspeed intercepto­r to shoot down US bombers, but the IAF has been using it for everything else too
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