IAF’s ‘Young Ones’ begin phase-out of MiG-21s

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    KOLKATA: The 'Young Ones' will finally shed the tag of flying the oldest supersonic fighter jet in the Indian Air Force's fleet. 'Young Ones' is the name given to the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) of the IAF, entrusted with providing the final phase of training to rookie pilots after they have earned their wings.

    Based at present at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Midnapore, the rookies now receive training in the MiG-21 FL (Type-77) aircraft that was inducted into the IAF nearly 50 years ago.

    In the next few months, the OCU will get Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs) to convert the greenhorns into flying aces.

    "What is important is that this is the start of the phase-out of the MiG-21s. These aircraft used to be the mainstay of the IAF and were flown the most. No wonder, most accidents in the IAF were attributed to these fighters that have one of the highest take-off and landing speeds in the world. We prefer to compare these aircraft with the Maruti - the most-spotted car on Indian roads. It would be no surprise if statistics revealed that the largest number of road accidents involved these cars.

    "This wouldn't mean that there was anything wrong with the cars. However, the MiG-21s have served the IAF well and it's time to phase them out," a senior IAF official said.

    The ministry of defence had set 2014 as the target year for the phase-out.

    The largest number of MiG-21s is based in the eastern and northeastern sector. With strategic concerns shifting focus from Pakistan to China in the last few years, Delhi has realized the need to replace these with more advanced ones. Su-30 MKI aircraft have already been stationed at the IAF base in Tezpur. "The OCU will fondly remember the MiG-21s due to its long association with the aircraft. For those who mastered the art of flying the MiG-21 swear by the capability.

    The cigar shaped aircraft is designed to achieve speeds of Mach 2 and are extremely manoeuvreable in the sky - a prime factor that earned it the reputation of being one of the best interceptors in the world.

    "However, this is not a fit aircraft to train in. The take-off speed of the trainer aircraft that the rookies fly before moving to OCU are nothing compared to the MiG-21s. Moreover, this aircraft doesn't possess the superior avionics that modern aircraft have. The AJTs will actually help in providing better training," another official said. It is probably apt that the Young Ones are the first to phase out the MiGs.

    The OCU may be a training unit but comprise some of the best pilots in the IAF. It was the OCU that operated from Jaisalmer with Hunters during the Battle of Longewala in the 1971 Indo-Pak War and decimated Pakistani tanks.

    IAF's 'Young Ones' begin phase-out of MiG-21s - The Times of India
     
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  3. vishwaprasad

    vishwaprasad Regular Member

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    The ministry of defence had set 2014 as the target year for the phase-out.

    What is the target year set for defense ministry for signing contract of replacement tool MMRCA???
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
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  4. acetophenol

    acetophenol Regular Member

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    Had LCA been in service,this role would've gone to it,I guess.
     
  5. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    No, it would have been Hawks.

    Even IN is replacing their Sea Harrier training unit with Hawks.
     
  6. rugved

    rugved Regular Member

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    Finally IAF and MoD's tryst with Mig-21 comes to an end. :hail:

    Compare them with Maruti cars for it is the oldest and the most involved car in road accidents? And this statement comes at the cost of the death of hundreds of fine IAF pilots :fkidding:
     
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  7. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    there were lot of conflicting reports and dates concrete date and finalization of the contract yet to be announced
     
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  8. acetophenol

    acetophenol Regular Member

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    I thought the Hawks will complement and replace the Kirans in IN and IAF.

    Earlier our program was like:-
    Deepak>>Kiran>>Iskra>>MiG-21
    Later,Iskra was retired,and that stage eliminated. However had IJT and LCA been on service,
    Pc-7>>IJT>>Hawk>>LCA. Now,due to the absence of IJT and LCA,we are forced to have like,
    Pc-7>>Kiran>>Hawk.
    (feel free to disagree bro!)
     
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  9. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hawks are to replace the Mig-21 FLs in training roles.

    This is how it goes.

    Yesterday,
    Deepak >> Kiran/Iskra >> Mig-21

    Tomorrow,
    PC-7 >> Sitara/foreign equivalent >> Hawk

    Today, as you said,
    PC-7 >> Kiran >> Hawk ... Kiran will be replaced with Sitara

    Hawk will take over all aspects of advanced training, including conversion and LIFT.

    Since the initial 40 LCA Mk1s have little combat utility, they will be used for training once ADA finishes all development work by 2018. But that's yet to be seen, since the govt should allow it. But that doesn't mean pilots need to fly the LCA before moving to better aircraft after Hawk. Pilots will merely move from Sitara to LCA for third stage training if the 40 units become training squadrons and skip the Hawk. Or LCA may be used to convert experienced pilots from one platform to another rather than simply be a Stage III trainer. For all of this to happen, we need to wait and watch.

    Hawk requirement existed before LCA was even thought of. IAF wanted Hawk a few years after Hawk started flying.

    Iskra wasn't a different stage. It trained pilots for Stage IIA along with Kiran. Meaning pilots who flew Kiran didn't have to fly Iskra for clearing IIA.

    Until Hawk came our training was very limited.
    We had three stages, Stage I was basic, Stage II was intermediate and Stage IIA was advanced, but with intermediate jet trainers like Iskra and Kiran. Then trainees moved to Mig-21 and got themselves killed. Hawk replaces the Stage IIA with a proper full-fledged Stage III and removes the need for Mig-21FL.
     
  10. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    One correction though. Sea Harriers will be replaced by LCA. My bad.
     
  11. acetophenol

    acetophenol Regular Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015

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