IAF's "lethal" fighter aircraft Mig 27, which proved to be "ace attacker" during the 1999 Kargil war and earned nickname of 'Bahadur' from pilots, are all set to pass into the glorious history of country's air force on Friday when their last squadron of seven planes will have its last sortie from Jodhpur airbase.
“The squadron of seven MiG 27 will have its last sortie from Jodhpur Air Base on December 27. 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 on Tuesday, announcing the scheduled decommissioning of Russian-made MiG 27 aircraft from the South West Air Command.
A New Delhi-based IAF officer said the Jodhpur-based squadron of MiG 27 is the last one not only in SWAC but in the entire country.
"After decommissioning of MiG 27's last squadron from Jodhpur airbase, the aircraft will pass into history not only in India but in the entire world. No other country operates MiG 27 now," said the officer, requesting anonymity.
Col Ghosh said though the exact fate of this MiG 27 squadron planes is not yet known, but mostly after decommissioning, the planes are either used as souvenirs or returned to the base or depot or even could be given to some other country.
Jodhpur had two squadrons of MiG 27, of which one had been decommissioned earlier this year, he said.
This is the only squadron left now known as Scorpion 29 comprising seven upgraded MiG 27 at Jodhpur Air Base, he added.
Before this, two squadrons of MiG 27 had been decommissioned from Hashimara airbase in West Bengal.
According to Ghosh, a ceremonial adieu would be accorded to this glorious and "lethal fighter aircraft" of the Indian Air Force at Jodhpur.
Sources said all fighter pilots of MiG 27 will assemble at the base to fly the last sortie of the plane in various formations and a salute will be accorded on landing.