Home Air Pilot dies in crash of Indian Air Force MiG-21 fighter

Pilot dies in crash of Indian Air Force MiG-21 fighter

Illustration: Indian Air Force file photo

An Indian Air Force pilot has died in the crash of a MiG-21 fighter aircraft during a regular training sortie.

The air force said the crash occurred in the evening hours of December 24, in Rajasthan’s city of Jaisalmer near the border with Pakistan.

A second statement released by the service identified the deceased pilot as Wing Commander Harshit Sinha, without providing further details.

The air force briefly said the accident was currently under investigation.

The accident is the fifth of its kind this year for India’s longest-serving fighter. The five crashes claimed the lives of three Indian Air Force pilots.

Over the past 60 years, India has operated well over 800 Soviet-designed MiG-21s, with over a half of them license built locally. The country is poised to retire the last of its upgraded MiG-21s over the next few years as it receives more Rafale fighters from France and Russian MIG-29s and Su-30s, as well as the locally-developed Tejas.