MiG-21 fighter jets

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Recently, the MiG-21 fighter jets of the No. 4 squadron ‘OORIALS’ of the Indian Air Force (IAF) flew one last time over Uttarlai in Rajasthan.

About MiG-21 fighter jets

  • It was the first supersonic fighter in service of the IAF and was inducted in 1963.
  • It was designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (OKB) of the erstwhile Soviet Union.
  • More than 800 variants of the supersonic fighter have been inducted into service.
  • The IAF now has two MiG-21 squadrons in service comprising the upgraded Bison variants, the No. 3 squadron ‘Cobras’ at Bikaner and No. 23 squadron ‘Panthers’ at Suratgarh, which will be phased out by 2025.

What is 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.

Q1) What is a supersonic fighter?

A supersonic fighter is a high-speed military aircraft designed for combat and capable of flying at speeds greater than the speed of sound, often referred to as Mach 1 or faster. These aircraft are designed for air superiority, interception, ground attack, and other combat roles.

Source: How are the MiG-21 fighter jets being phased out? | Explained