Military Aviation

Indian Air Force Bids Farewell to the MiG-27 Bahadur

Seven MiG-27MUs of 32 Wing, 29 Squadron Scorpions took off from Jodhpur AFS for the last time today.

On Dec. 27, 2019 the Indian Air Force (IAF) bid farewell to its fleet of MiG-27 fighter bombers, named ‘Bahadur’ in India, with a water salute at Jodhpur Air Force Station (AFS, state of Rajasthan, India) as the video in this post shows.

Seven MiG-27MUs of 32 Wing, 29 Squadron Scorpions took off from Jodhpur AFS for the last time today.

“All the planes of this squadron will be decommissioned on this day, after which none of them would be flying anywhere in the country,” said defence spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh to The Economic Times.

It had been a historic flight since the type not only flew for the last time in India, but the event also marked the final MiG-27 flight in the whole world.

“After decommissioning of MiG-27’s last squadron from Jodhpur air base, the aircraft will pass into history not only in India but in the entire world. No other country operates MiG 27 now,” said a New Delhi-based IAF officer, requesting anonymity.

Originally Jodhpur had two squadrons of MiG-27 fighter bombers, of which one had been decommissioned earlier this year.

The MiG-27 has been the backbone of the Indian Air Force’s ground attack fleet for the last four decades and proved its worth in the 1999 Kargil War. During that conflict one MiG-27 was lost due to engine failure  while attacking the Pakistan Army Positions in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir region.

Since 2001, the IAF has lost more than 12 MiG-27s to crashes. In mid-February 2010, India grounded its entire fleet of over 150 of the aircraft after a MiG-27 crashed on Feb. 16 of that year in Siliguri, West Bengal. The crash was attributed to issues in the aircraft R-29 engine, suspected to have occurred during the overhauling of the aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Another MiG-27 crashed in the Barmer area on Jan. 27, 2015.

Photo credit: ANI

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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