IAF’s ‘Bahadur’ MiG-27 Takes to the Skies One Last Time

The swing-wing fighter has been the backbone of ground-attack fleet of the Air Force for several decades.

Updated
India
2 min read

The MiG-27, which proved to be an “ace attacker” during the 1999 Kargil War, roared through the skies for one last time on Friday, 27 December, after serving the Indian Air Force (IAF) for over three decades.

The swing-wing fighter has been the backbone of ground-attack fleet of the Air Force for several decades and the IAF will bid adieu to its squadron of seven aircraft from Jodhpur Air Base, officials said.

“The upgraded variant of this last swing-wing fleet has been the pride of IAF strike fleet since 2006. All other variants, such as MiG-23 BN and MiG-23 MF and the pure MiG-27 have already retired from IAF,” the defence ministry said on Thursday.

"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 Operation Parakram," the ministry said.

The Number 29 Squadron is the only unit in the IAF operating the MiG-27 upgrades, it said in a statement. The upgraded version, because of its survivability, has participated in numerous national and international exercises.

The Squadron was raised on 10 March 1958, at Air Force Station Halwara with Ouragan (Toofani) aircraft. "Over the years, the Squadron has been equipped with numerous types of fighters such as MiG-21 Type 77, MiG-21 Type 96, MiG-27 ML and MiG-27 upgrade," the ministry said.

The Squadron is now slated to be number plated on 31 March 2020, with 27 December being its last flying day, thereby making the swing-wing fleet a part of IAF's glorious history.

Various functions were planned for the de-induction ceremony at Air Force Station, Jodhpur. The IAF also tweeted about MiG-27's last sortie on Friday.

The lethal aircraft, for their role during the 1999 Kargil War, earned the moniker ‘Bahadur’ from IAF pilots.

"Veteran air warriors along with serving air warriors in large numbers are taking part in the ceremony. Air Marshal SK Ghotia VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command would be presiding over the wind down ceremony," the defence ministry said.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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