The MiG-27, the 1999 Kargil War-fame fighter aircraft took off for its last sortie and soared into the skies of Jodhpur on Friday after serving the IAF for over three decades.
The aircraft, proudly named 'Bahadur' by its pilots, has been in service for over three decades, playing crucial roles in IAF operations. The Indian Air Force finally bid goodbye to the formidable MiG 27 swing-wing fighter fleet. Based at the at Jodhpur Air Base, Scorpion 29 was the only remaining squadron comprising seven upgraded MiG-27. And on Friday also 29 Squadron had the proud privilege of flying the aircraft into the sunset. Before this, two squadrons of MiG-27 had been decommissioned at the Hashimara Air Base in West Bengal.
Commissioned into the Indian Air Force in 1985, the MiG-27 remained an integral part of the Indian Air Force's combat strength The MiG-27 (Last of the swing-wing fighters) have participated actively in various national and international exercises and undertaken numerous operational missions during Kargil war and Op-Parakram.
To commemorate the historic occasion, the Squadron flew in a five aircraft ‘Arrowhead’ formation flanked by Sukhoi 30 aircraft as a mark of respect. The event was befittingly graced by IAFs ‘Akash Ganga’ parachutists who painted the sky with their magnificent colourful parachutes flying the national flag and the Indian Air Force ensign.
The Air Warriors Drill Team thrilled the audience with their synchronized drill movements. The grand finale was marked by scintillating formation aerobatic display by the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team of Indian Air Force. The event was witnessed by Air Marshal SK Ghotia, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command.
Among the dignitaries who graced the occasion include, Air Marshal B Suresh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command, Air Marshal Amit Tiwari, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Air Command along with numerous serving and retired officers who were part of 29 Squadron or had flown the swing-wing fighter aircraft during their stint with Indian Air Force.