By Vineet Dikshit

NewsGate Press Network

Monday the 31st of October 2023 at Air Force Station Uttarlai in Barmer was very special – the last of the MiG-21 flew its final sortie.

The Number 4 Squadron  – Oorials – of the Indian Air Force at Uttarlai was fully  converted from the MiG-21 to the Su-30 MKI, marking a watershed moment in the history of the squadron which was operating the MiG-21 since 1966.

The MiG-21 was the first supersonic fighter in service of the IAF and was inducted in 1963.

It has participated in all major conflicts since then. This change signifies the unwavering commitment of the Indian Air Force to modernise and at the same time protect the skies of the nation.

The formal induction of the new aircraft was marked by a ceremony at Air Force Station Uttarlai on 30 October 2023.

The ceremony featured a combined flypast by the MiG-21 and Su-30 MKI, which marked the last MiG-21 sortie for the squadron. The ceremony was witnessed by the various military and civilian dignitaries in attendance.

The conversion of this squadron to Su-30 MKI implies that the IAF now operates only two squadrons of the MiG-21.

The IAF remains committed to phasing out the MiG-21 aircraft by the year 2025.