Jaipur, Dec 26 Indian Air Force’s (IAF) MiG 27s swing wing fighter aircraft will fly their last sortie on Friday from Jodhpur Air Base before retiring from service.MiG-27 squadron has been the backbone of ground attack fleet of Indian Air Force for the past four decades.
The upgraded variant of this last swing-wing fleet has been the pride of Indian Air Forces strike fleet since 2006. All the other variants, such as MiG-23 BN & MiG-23 MF and the pure MiG 27 have already retired from Indian Air Force,” Rajasthan-based Defence PRO Col Sombit Ghosh said. The aircraft have made immense contribution to the nation both during peace and war.
The fleet earned its glory in the historic Kargil conflict when it delivered rockets and bombs with accuracy on enemy positions. The fleet also took active part in Op-Parakram, he added. The upgraded version because of its survivability has also participated in numerous national and international exercises.
Presently, Number 29 Squadron is the only unit in the Indian Air Force which has been operating MiG 27 Upgrades. Number 29 Squadron was raised on March 10, 1958 at Air Force Station Halwara with Ouragan (Toofani) aircraft. Over the years, the Squadron has been equipped with numerous types of fighter aircraft such as MiG 21 Type 77, MiG 21 Type 96, MiG 27 ML and MiG 27 Upgrade.
The Squadron is now slated to be number plated on March 31, 2020 with December 27, 2019 being its last flying day thereby making the swing wing fleet a part of IAFs glorious past, the PRO said. South Western Air Command Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal SK Ghotia would be presiding over the wind down ceremony. India had 165 MiG-27s, all made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited under licence.
Only 15 remain now. While some of these will be gifted to various interested institutions, a majority will be used as decoys in multiple air bases in the Western Air Command. (UNI)