Top
Millennium Post

Adieu, Bahadur!

Adieu, Bahadur!

With the flight of the last squadron of the MiG-27 as it soared into the skies of Jodhpur for its last sortie, an era was brought to an end on Friday. One of the soaring stars of the Indian Air Force, MiG-27 was the formidable ground attack fighter aircraft that was in service to the Nation for over three decades. The mainstay of IAF's ground attack capability, MiG-27 was inducted in 1985 and participated in all major air operations, and has particularly played a stellar role in the 1999 Kargil War. On 27 December, 2019, all seven planes of this squadron Scorpion 29 were decommissioned in a grand ceremony held at Air Force Station, Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Based at the at Jodhpur Air Base, Scorpion 29 was the only remaining squadron comprising seven upgraded MiG-27. Before this, two squadrons of MiG-27 had been decommissioned at the Hashimara Air Base in West Bengal. The MiG-27 was an integral part of the Indian Air Force's combat strength and it was the jet's heroics during the Kargil war that the aircraft earned the nickname "bahadur" from Air Force pilots. In the very significant span of thirty-four years—which might be the entire length of a high-ranking officer's career—Mig-27 had a special place in India's defence system. A day before its scheduled decommissioning, the defence ministry said in a statement that, "The MiG-27 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." This aircraft is a single-engine, single-seater tactical strike fighter aircraft that was initially developed in the erstwhile Soviet Union and later indigenously manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in India. With a maximum speed of 1,700 km/hr, it carries one 23 mm six-barrel rotary integral cannon, and could further carry up to 4,000 kg of other armament externally. The special significance it holds for the Indian Air Force comes aptly articulated in what the air force said about the jet in its farewell message on Thursday in a series of tweets. "Lethal" and "mighty", are some words that also do justice to its role in the air force over the past three decades. Its reputation has earned the air craft more nick names besides Bahadur; known as Balkon (balcony), this moniker was conferred to the MiG-27 by its test pilots, the reason being that the aircraft's cockpit provided an enhanced view compared to the previous variants of MiG planes. Also known as Utkonos (platypus), this was a rather strange nickname that Mig-27 apparently earned from Russian pilots, the reason perhaps being its long nose, resembling a platypus. While this plane was a major strength to IAF, it was also infamous for frequent accidents. In the last 40 years, as many as 482 MiG aircraft are known to have been involved in accidents. The Air Force is a crucial component of the Indian defence system and a good aircraft equipped with necessary safety measures is the most basic need.

Next Story
Share it