MiG Fighter Aircraft Complete 50 years in India!!!

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by bhramos, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    [​IMG]

    April 21 2013 marks a momentous day for MiG fighter aircraft in India as it completes 50 years of its relationship with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
    Built in 1956, the world’s most common fighter aircraft emerged from the shadows in 1962 when India announced that it would be buying the newly developed Russian jets.
    Designed by Artem Mikoyan, the aircraft served the Indian Air Force well with its participation in the 1965 conflict with Pakistan and again in 1971.
    With the aircraft’s capabilities under the scanner during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, the Russian fighter aircraft played a pivotal role is providing India the upper hand over Pakistan. During the war, the IAF MiG-21s claimed four PAF F-104s, two PAF F6, one PAF North American F-86 Sabre and one PAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The MiG-21s also provided the IAF with air superiority over vital points and areas in the western theater of the conflict.By the end of the 1971 war, the MiGs had emerged as the clear winner against the F-104 Starfighter in the much anticipated air combat.
    It proved its prowess once again during the Kargil war in 1999 when the MiGs shot down a Breguet Atlantique reconnaissance aircraft of the Pakistani Navy with the R-60MK (AA-8 Aphid) air-to-air missile.
    The presence of the MiGs during the Kargil war awarded India with a superior airpower, according to a report.
    “While PAF fighters did fly Combat Air Patrols (CAP) during the conflict, they stayed well within Pakistani air space. On occasions, IAF MiG-29s armed with the deadly R-77 BVR air-to-air missiles were able to lock on to PAF F-16s, forcing the latter to disengage. In the absence of a PAF threat, the IAF was able to deliver numerous devastating strikes on intruder positions and supply dumps,” the report added.India has acquired a total of 120 MiG-21s by 1969 but this number would triple in the coming years when HAL began locally manufacturing 657 jets.
    By 1972, HAL’s manufacturing efforts of the MiG-21FLs had the IAF in possession of about nine and a half Squadrons of the MiG-21FL (Type 77). The first 54 of these were built and test-flown in the USSR, then dismantled and shipped to India for reassembly; the first one built completely from scratch in India was handed over to the IAF in October 1970.
    Another 205 MiG-21FLs were built in India, of which 196 were built entirely in India (the last MiG-21FLs were retired in 2005). In 1971, India took delivery of 65 MiG-21M aircraft with a licensed production of an improved variant unique to India, designated MiG-21MF (Type 88) set to begin in 1973 until 1981 - a total of 158 were built.
    Meanwhile, the production line of the FLs ceased when the IAF in 1974 chose the R-13 powered MiG-21M aircraft and by 1984, India had locally built 220 MiG-21 bis 75A from scratch.


    India’s acquisition of MiG-21s continues well into the late 1990’s when contracts were signed (in 1996) to upgrade 125 MiG-21bis with an option for 50 more. The first two were upgraded by Sokol in Russia, the remainder by HAL; 94 were completed by January 2006.
    Since the induction of 793 MiG starting in 1963, over 350 places have been lost in crashes, killing 170 pilots.
    Popularly known as the "Balalaika" for its planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument, its reign as the largest number of aircraft in the IAFs fleet is due to end by 2016.
    Following a string of accidents and its eventual two year grounding, the IAF, in 2010, revealed that the MiG-21 would be phased out along with the non-upgraded version of MiG-21 fighter aircraft will also be phased out by 2018.
    “Plans to phase out equipment approaching redundancy are in place. Non-upgraded MiG-27 and MiG-21 are being phased out progressively by March 2016 and 2018 respectively,” Defence Minister A K Antony said.

    MiG Fighter Aircraft Complete 50 years in India
     
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  3. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Not sure if to pat someone's back or to hide face in shame. :notsure:
     
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  4. Shirman

    Shirman Regular Member

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    why shame i mean if not for migs our indepedent Indian airforce history would have been incomplete.....Mig-21,23,25,27,29 they have a special place in their own eras....
     
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  5. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    In their own eras... yes.

    Pat IAF on the back as they have maintained operational readiness with these Mig-21s even after 50 yrs.

    Hide face in shame as MoD couldn't get modern fighters to replace Mig-21s for 50 yrs and counting.

     
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  6. vram

    vram Regular Member

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    The MIGS in indian service barring the MIG-29 are pretty old airframes.
    The Mig-23 and Mig-25 have all been retired. Each of these aircrafts had their own niche in which they exceled and helped India. Thier time is over now.But that Does not make them bad fighters. The could have stood up to anything thrown at them from their equivalent competitors...They put the lie to the so called superiority of western jets.
    The US liked to fight tin pot dictator nations wielding badly maintained monkey models of soviet weapon and defeat them easily with overwhelming firepower and then brag about american arms being superior. But these very same weapon in our hands with people trained with a proper military doctrine to use them and also effective maintenance showed that they could match what was thrown at them.Witness the patton nagar battle. Also
    COMING to the Mig-21 aircraft I had a niegbhour who flew in the early 80's. He said she was a unforgiving mistress who tested your complete skills as a pilot. He laughingly said it was literally like being strapped on to a raw rocket with prayer that the steering will work. But when handled with experience the raw performance and ability as a interceptor was unmatched in its era..... IT was truly one of the global legendary aircraft's of its era. Imagine a stable and areodynamic MACH-2 fighter in the early 60's. A pinnacle of soviet ingenuity and design. ALso one the maximum built airframes in the world.
    I absolutely hate it when stupid journos name it flying coffins and what not for a mistake on the MOD's part for keeping them flying so long without proper replacement.
    But the time for retirement is long past..not only because the airframes are all old and tired but except for the bison it no longer belongs to this generation. The Time for the LCA has come.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  7. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    MIG-21:: Flying coffin??? is it.... lets compare it.... with f-16, f-104 , mirage-iii , and lightening....

    On December 12, 1971, at the height of the India-Pakistan war, one of the most awaited events in aviation history took place. Two MiG-21 fighters of the Indian Air Force’s No.47 squadron, providing air patrol to sensitive installations in western India, intercepted a couple of Pakistan Air Force F-104 Starfighters approaching the city of Jamnagar. The MiGs drew first blood – while one Starfighter managed to flee in the direction of Pakistan, the other one was shot down over the Gulf of Kutch.

    During the war the MiG-21s played a crucial role in giving the IAF air superiority that played a huge part in India’s victory. Military analyst Edward Coggins writes in Wings That Stay On: The Role of Fighter Aircraft in War that by the time the hostilities came to an end, the IAF MiG-21s had claimed four PAF F-104s, two PAF F6, one PAF North American F-86 Sabre and one PAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The Russian fighter had clearly won the much anticipated air combat between the MiG-21 and the F-104, he writes.

    But that’s not where the story ends. Tom Cooper writes in Arab MiG-19 and MiG-21 Units in Combat: “Because of the formidable performance of the MiG-21s several nations, including Iraq, approached India for MiG-21 pilot training. By the early 1970s, more than 120 Iraqi pilots were being trained by the Indian Air Force.”

    50 years of combat

    The MiG-21 has the distinction of holding a number of aviation records, including the most produced jet aircraft in aviation history, the most produced combat aircraft since WWII, and the longest production run of a combat aircraft. Over 11,000 MiG-21 aircraft, derivatives and copies have been built since 1959 and have served with 50 air forces. Because of its low cost and ease of maintenance, even by poor countries, it came to be known as the “people’s fighter”.

    Today, in the age of stealth aircraft, over 20 countries continue to operate this plucky Russian fighter. Namibia became the most recent country to induct the interceptor in its air force when it acquired two MiG-21s in March 2005, proving that age is no handicap for a good plane.

    No fighter can survive this long and in so many air forces if it is not combat worthy. For comparison look at the MiG-21’s Cold War rivals – the F-104, the French Mirage III and British Lightning are now seen only in museums or airplane boneyards.

    Crash rate: MiG-21 vs Rivals

    Of the 793 MiG-21s inducted into IAF since 1963, well over 350 have been lost in accidents, killing 170 pilots. However, labelling it a “flying coffin” is plain wrong. This is being done by misinformed (or incompetent) and under-pressure journalists. In fact, during my days at India Today magazine we stopped using such expressions when confronted with facts. The then IAF chief called us and said our cavalier use of the term “flying coffin” was causing trauma to the families of pilots flying the aircraft. He supplied us data to show the MiG-21 wasn’t a dangerous aircraft at all.

    Former Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis has said the higher number of crashes (not to be confused with the crash rate) is because the “MiG-21s are most in numbers and in use operationally”.

    Now let’s take a look at the MiG-21’s chief rivals. Between 1960 and 1987, the German air force flew nearly a thousand F-104s and lost 292. In a similar time frame, the Canadian air force lost over 100 of their 200 Starfighters. The highly experienced pilots of the British air force didn’t fare any better, crashing over a hundred of their 300 Lightnings over a period of 25 years.

    In a report prepared for the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, C.J. Knapp and R. Johnson revealed that during a 19-year period from 1975-93 there were 190 Class A – or major – mishaps involving 204 F-16s and 217 aircrew.

    Compared to this, India’s MiG-21 has a much better record.

    Causes of crashes

    As we have seen, 20 air forces around the world continue to stick with the MiG-21. MiGs are not tumbling out of the air in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Algeria, Finland or Bulgaria. China has cloned and flies over 700 of these fighters and has supplied 150 to Pakistan. Among these countries, India alone trains its pilots to Western standards. This involves intense peacetime training, which means potentially more accidents. A former air force chief has gone on record that he would rather lose pilots during training than during war.

    But several other factors are involved in accidents. Let’s see which ones are directly responsible and which have only a minimal role.

    India: A harsh environment

    Tropical and crowded, India is an unforgiving environment for any aircraft. The hot air means aircraft engines produce less thrust and the wing produce less lift compared to similar aircraft flying in European skies. Sun baked runways are also known to impact landing safety. These are factors IAF pilots have to live with.

    Bird hits are another huge factor in aircraft accidents over India. Most IAF bases are located near populated areas, where birds are a constant menace. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

    Economic collapse and spare shortages

    It is true the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the chaos that followed played havoc with Russia’s command economy. The closure of Russia’s armaments factories stopped the free flow of spares from the country. Desperate to keep its main interceptor force flying, the IAF managed to get spares from East European countries, which were cannibalising their MiG-21s for cash.

    Russian defence experts, including MiG officials, have blamed these grey market purchases for the IAF’s crashes. However, the argument has no legs because firstly, the IAF is one of the world’s most professional fighting forces; it will not put its pilots’ life at risk by such reckless purchases. Two, it was buying genuine spares from the standardised air forces of the former Warsaw Pact. The Russians backtracked when confronted with IAF data. However, it remains true that spare parts made by HAL are not as good as the Russian ones.

    Arrival of modern aircraft in the IAF

    The MiG-21s formed the backbone of the IAF in the 1960s and ’70s. But the situation changed with the arrival of newer aircraft, which drew the most experienced pilots from the MiG-21 squadrons. There was nothing wrong with it because that’s how the system is supposed to work. But the MiG-21 now became the jet that rookie pilots graduated to. In tandem with another factor, it spelled trouble for the IAF.

    Training – out of kilter

    Despite acquiring its first supersonic jet in 1963, the IAF did not get a jet trainer until 2004 because it took decades for the proposal to make its way through the defence procurement bureaucracy.

    For close to 40 years rookie pilots went straight from propeller driven and subsonic trainers to the supersonic MiG-21. At a MAKS air show in Moscow, Russian test-pilot Andrey Shishov described how it felt flying a supersonic jet at 30,000 ft: “At a height of several thousand kilometres, a nine-unit strong G-force means you feel like you weigh nine times more than you really do, so not 75 kilos for example but 600-700 kg.”

    In an article in Indian Aviation magazine, IAF Wing Commander K.S. Suresh says in air combat manoeuvres, inexperienced pilots flying the MiG-21 have got into trouble without realising it. When the aircraft develops a high rate of descent, it cannot be arrested with the power available. Worse, “there is no protest from the aircraft like severe shudder, wing rocking etc prevalent in other types of aircraft. This gives a feeling of well-being and a number of pilots did not recognise the danger in time to take recovery action or eject”.

    Essentially, young pilots were pitchforked into an aerial meat grinder, resulting in a high loss rate from peacetime accidents.

    Caught in the MiG’s crosshairs

    More than half a century after its first flight, the MiG-21 packs a lethal punch. At the Cope India exercise held in 2004 at Gwalior, Indian pilots flying MiG-21 Bisons (upgraded with Russian Phazatron radar, Vympel R-73 missiles and the beyond visual range Vympel R-77 air-to-air missiles) blew away the F-15 and the F-16 fighters of the USAF on one-on-one as well as in mixed exercises. The USAF acknowledged the MiG-21 Bisons and Su-30MKIs were tough opponents.

    In the next Cope India exercise in 2005 at Kalaikundi, Indian pilots operating the MiG-21s and Sukhois emerged victorious most of the time.

    Kargil was another theatre where the MiG-21 showed it was still a threat. The Pakistan Air Force’s director of operations during the war acknowledged afterward that the GPS-assisted high-altitude bombing by the MiG-21, MiG-23BN and MiG-27 was a game changer. This is corroborated by aviation historian and author Pushpindar Singh in Himalayan Eagles: “…targeting pod imagery observed by IAF pilots in real time showed enemy troops abandoning their positions at the very sound of approaching fighters.”

    Flying into the sunset?

    Bowing to pressure from Parliament after the trial by media, the IAF has announced it will be retiring its entire MiG-21 fleet by 2017, by which time the Indian-built Tejas light combat aircraft would hopefully be ready for combat. But with the Tejas not exactly experiencing beginner’s luck, the smart money is on the MiGs flying well into the next decade.
     
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  8. vram

    vram Regular Member

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    @bhramos good stuff there..is this your article or have you reproduced it from another link...can you provide the link if so please...will be really suprised if this is by some Indian journo :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  9. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    thats not my source, but i posted it from FB : Photos of IAF Su-30MKI | Facebook
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  10. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    MiG Marks 50 Years With India

    [​IMG]

    Seen in this picture in Moscow are Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra, Air Attaché Air Commandore Vikram Singh, Naval Attaché Commodore Ajay Vinay Bhave, with senior RAC-MiG officials. India's tryst with Mikoyan-Gurevich began in 1962 with a first agreement for the supply of MiG-21 fighter jets. Deliveries of the first MiG-21F-13s began the following year. The first license built MiG-21 was delivered to the IAF by HAL in 1967. Lots on the MiG-21 coming up here on Livefist.

    Livefist: MiG Marks 50 Years With India
     
  11. Austin

    Austin Regular Member

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    Celebrated 50 years of successful cooperation RAC "MiG" with India

    The Embassy of India in Moscow, a meeting dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the start of deliveries of MiG-21, the Ministry of Defence of India. This historic event marked the beginning of cooperation between the two countries in the military-technical sphere.

    [​IMG]

    In connection with the anniversary, the General Director of JSC "Russian Aircraft Corporation" MiG "Sergei Korotkov presented to the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, Mr. Ajay Malhotra (Ajai Malhotra) model of the MiG-29K and MiG-29UPG

    The event was air attaché at the Embassy of India in the Russian Air Commodore Vikram Singh (Vikram Singh), the Naval Attaché at the Embassy of India in Russia Commodore Ajay Bhave Vinaya (Bhave Ajay Vinay), Deputy Director of Marketing of the "RSK "MiG" Mikhail Globenko.

    Speaking at the meeting, Ajai Malhotra said that half a century of experience working together on the aircraft "MiG" - is a good example of the effectiveness of the Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation, which is based on friendly relations of the two states.

    Sergei Korotkov said that the Indian Air Force was among the first foreign customers receive the most advanced aircraft grade "MiG".

    A characteristic feature of the key projects for the fighters "MiG" was the consistent development of the scientific and industrial cooperation and technology transfer. In particular, combat aircraft MiG-21 and MiG-27 produced corporation Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) under license.

    The head of the RAC "MiG", in modern designs, such as MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29UPG, Indian national structures act as full participants in all phases of the programs.

    "Corporation" MiG "is interested in expanding the cooperation with government, military, scientific and industrial structures of India", - Sergey Korotkov.

    Chronicle of cooperation with India through the RAC "MiG"

    1962 - An agreement on the supply of MiG-21
    1963 - the first deliveries of the Indian Air Force MiG-21F-13
    1964 - The Company HAL mastered production of the MiG-21FL
    1965 - Delivery of the Indian Air Force MiG-21FL, MiG-21U
    1967 - The Company has transferred the Indian Air Force HAL first MiG-21, built under license
    1971 - HAL mastered production of the MiG-21M
    1973 - The Company has transferred the Indian Air Force HAL first MiG-21M
    1977 - Delivery of the Indian Air Force MiG-21bis
    1980 - Delivery of the Indian Air Force MiG-23
    1982 - Delivery of the Indian Air Force MiG-25RB and MiG-23MF.
    1983-1987 years. - Serial production of the MiG-21bis factory HAL under license
    1986-1995 years. - Delivery of the Indian Air Force MiG-29
    1988-1997 years. - Serial production of the MiG-27ML factory HAL under license
    1996-2005. - Modernization of MiG-21UPG with HAL and the plant "Sokol"
    2004-2006. - Integration of components on board MiG-29K/KUB Indian development
    2009-2011. - The supply of aircraft of the Indian Navy contract MiG-29K/KUB 2004
    July-August 2012 - flights MiG-29K/KUB from aboard the aircraft carrier "Vikramaditya"
    December 2012 - Indian Air Force delivery of modernized MiG-29UPG
    December 2012 - the beginning of deliveries of aircraft of the Indian Navy contract MiG-29K/KUB 2010
     
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