Jodhpur: The Indian Air Force (IAF) today finally bid goodbye to the Soviet-era MiG-27 swing-wing fighter fleet.
The last of the swin-wing fighter planes, MiG-27 has participated actively in various national and international exercises.
It had experienced operations during wartime in 1999 when India carried out a military campaign in Kargil to throw out Pakistan Army regulars who had intruded and occupied positions inside Indian territory.
The IAF’s No. 29 Squadron, ‘SCORPIOS‘, flew the last sortie of the MiG-27 over the Indian skies in a five-plane ‘Arrowhead‘ formation flanked by India’s air superiority fighters, the Su-30MKI, as a mark of respect.
The MiG-27 swing wing fighter aircraft has been the backbone of ground attack fleet of IAF for the past four decades.
The upgraded variant of this last swing-wing fleet has been with the IAF’s strike fleet since 2006. All the other variants, such as the MiG-23BN and MiG-23MF and the pure MiG 27, have already retired from the IAF.
The fleet earned its glory in the historic Kargil conflict when it delivered rockets and bombs with accuracy on enemy positions. The fleet also took active part in Op Parakram, when India mobilised troops for a possible war with Pakistan following the Dec. 2013 terror attack on Parliament of India building.
Following the phase out of the MiG-27 fleet, the No. 29 Squadron will be number platted on Mar. 31, marking the end of the swing-wing fleet era in the IAF.