MiG-21 Aircraft

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A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed recently in Rajasthan.

History of MiG-21 Aircraft

  • The MiG-21 is India’s longest-serving fighter plane. It was designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (OKB) of the erstwhile Soviet Union.
  • The Soviet Union was willing to sell this fighter aircraft to India on extremely favourable terms and even agreed for licensed production by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • The 1962 war with China and growing hostility from Pakistan had lent urgency to efforts to rapidly scale up India’s military capability.
  • India got its first single-engine MiG-21 in 1963, and progressively inducted 874 variants of the Soviet-origin supersonic fighters.
  • The plane has seen several updates and modifications since then.

About MiG-21 Bison:

  • The MiG-21 Bison is an upgraded version of the MiG-21bis which had been first inducted into service in 1976.
  • The MiG-21 FL, which was an older version of the aircraft and which joined service in 1963, had been phased out of IAF in 2013.
  • The IAF received the first upgraded MiG-21 Bison in 2001 and the last of these upgraded fighters was received in 2008.

How many MiG-21 Bison aircraft are in IAF?

  • There are four squadrons of MiG-21 Bison aircraft currently in service in the IAF with each squadron comprising 16-18 aircraft, including two trainer versions.
  • These four squadrons will retire from service, one by one, by the end of 2025.


Q1) What does hindustan aeronautics limited do?

The company develops, designs, manufactures, and supplies aircraft, helicopters, avionics, and communications equipment for military and civil markets