IAF’s Mig 27 Aircraft: Indian Air Force Friday retired formidable ground attack aircraft Mig-27 after more than 35 years of glorious service with the force. Russian made Mig-27 was the last of the swing-wing aircraft operated by the force and it formed the backbone of air to ground attack capability of the force, alongside the British Jaguars that are still in service. The aircraft was retired in a formal ceremony at its home base in Jodhpur in western state of Rajasthan. The Mig-27 have participated actively in various national and international exercises and undertaken numerous operational missions during Kargil war and Operation Parakram, said the ministry of defence in a statement.
The aircraft was operated by IAF’s Squadron No. 29, also known as Scorpios, which retired them on December 27 after their last flight in the arrowhead formation of five Mig 27 aircraft. These Mig 27s were flanked by Sukhoi 30 MKI in their last flight as a mark of respect.
MiG 27 swing-wing fighter aircraft has been the backbone of ground attack fleet of Indian Air Force for the past four decades.
The upgraded variant of this last swing-wing fleet has been the pride of Indian Air Forces strike fleet since 2006. All the other variants, such as MiG-23 BN & MiG-23 MF and the early MiG 27 have already retired from Indian Air Force.
“These aircraft have made immense contribution to the nation, both during peace and war. The fleet earned its glory in the historic Kargil conflict when it delivered rockets & bombs with accuracy on enemy positions,” said the defence ministry.
The fleet also took active part in Operation Parakram when Indian and Pakistani military were pitted against each other following an outrageous terror attack on Indian Parliament in 2001.
The upgraded version of Mig 27 aircraft also participated in numerous national and international exercises because of its survivability.
What is a swing-wing aircraft?
Wings of these fighters retract backward for high-speed manuouver following the take off that is why such aircrafts are called swing wing aircrafts.
US Air Force also operated F-14 Tomcat swing wing aircraft which gained worldwide popularity after it was featured in Tom Cruise’s Top Gun film.
History of IAF’s Squadron No 29 – Scorpios Squadron:
Squadron Number 29 was the only unit in the Indian Air Force which has been operating MiG 27 Upgrades.
Number 29 Squadron was raised on 10 March 1958 at Air Force Station Halwara with Ouragan (Toofani) aircraft.
Over the years, the Squadron has been equipped with different kinds of fighter aircrafts such as MiG 21 Type 77, MiG 21 Type 96, MiG 27 ML and the upgraded version of MiG 27.
The Squadron is now slated to be number plated in March 2020 with December 27, 2019 being its last flying day thereby making the swing wing fleet a part of IAFs glorious past.
Air Marshal SK Ghotia, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command, Air Marshal B Suresh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command and Air Marshal Amit Tiwari, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Air Command and several other serving and retired officers were present on the occasion.