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MiG 21 FL variants to fly into history on 11 Dec

‘The deafening roar of the MiG-21 FL afterburner, an iconic delta-wing fighter aircraft that heralded the “supersonic era” in IAF will no longer be heard after 11 December, the day it is set to fly into the annals of military aviation history,” an IAF release said here.

On the occasion, four MiG-21 FL aircraft flown by pilots from the Operational Conversion Unit in the north-east will fly a ‘box formation’ IAF chief NAK Browne will salute at the ceremonial parade, it said.

The aircraft will be accompanied by the formations of MiG-27 ML and Sukhoi-30 MKI will also join the MiG 21 FLs in the flypast. It remains the most widely exploited platform in IAF history and also saw action in the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971.

Being limited in numbers, the Mig-21s played a restricted role in the 1965 war but played a crucial role in the 1971 war giving IAF the air superiority over vital points and areas.

In the first ever supersonic air combat that ensued over the sub-continent in 1971, an Indian Mig-21 FL claimed a PAF F-104 Starfighter with its internal twin-barrelled guns alone and by the end of hostilities the IAF Mig-21s had claimed 4 Pakistani F-104s, 2 F-6s, one each F-86 Sabre and Lockheed C-130 Hercules, it said.

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