A MIG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force has crashed at Nal near Bikaner in Rajasthan.
24-year-old Flying Officer Suraj Pillai was on training exercise when his MiG crashed into the ground resulting in the death of the pilot. Flying Officer Suraj Pillai was recently commissioned into the Indian Air Force.
Nal is being used by the IAF as its forward base in the area. This is the 2nd crash of the very old Indian MiG-21 fighter jet this year. In February, another MIG-21 has crashed due to the suspected engine snag.
Last year, 10 fighter aircrafts of the Indian Air Force has crashed. According to the Indian defense minister A.K. Antony, a total of 25 fighter aircraft of the IAF has crashed during the last three years, out of which only 23 % were due to the human error.
Replacement of the accident prone MIG-21 fighter aircrafts has been delayed number of times due to the delays in development of the Indian LCA aircraft. Now India is looking to purchase over 126 medium multirole combat aircraft under MMRCA contract.
If everything goes as planned, IAF will order either Eurofighter Typhoon or French Dassault Rafale for replacing its MIG-21 Fighter jets.