MiG-21 trainer aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force (IAF) Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) school crashed near its Gwalior Air Force Base in Madhya Pradesh this morning.
According to reports, both the pilots of the MiG-21 trainer aircraft including a group captain and a squadron leader managed to eject safely before the crash.
Crashes involving fighter planes are not uncommon in India which is in the midst of upgrading its Soviet-era military.
Most of the accidents involve the MiGs that India bought decades ago from the Soviet Union, earning it the unflattering “flying coffin” tag.
This is thought to the 12th IAF crash in this year alone. The Air Force has ordered an inquiry into the incident to ascertain the cause of the crash.
However, India’s ageing MiG-21 fleet is expected to be partially phased out by the introduction of 36 Rafale aircarft, French-made all-weather multirole fighter jets.