ANI Photo | MiG-21 Bisons fly for the last time over Barmer, IAF No 4 Squadron to get Su-30MKIs

Marking the end of an era, Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison fighter jets flew for the last time over Barmer town of Rajasthan on Monday.
The MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft of the No 4 squadron of the IAF took a sortie and flew for the last time over the Uttarlai town in Barmer, Rajasthan.
“On this occasion, the MiG-21 Bison flew alongside the Su-30 MKI,” IAF officials said.
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The Indian Air Force is phasing out the MiG-21 squadrons and set to replace them with the indigenous LCA Mark-1A fighter jets.
As per plans, the No. 4 squadron will be getting the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets in its inventory and may move to a new location in the desert sector itself by the end of this month.
Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on October 3 said “We will stop flying the MiG-21 fighter aircraft by 2025 and we will replace the MiG-21 squadron with the LCA Mark-1A. The same proposal is in place. In another month or so, the second squadron will get number-plated and we will follow with the third one sometime next year. The induction of the LCA Mark-1A will fill the gap of these outgoing MiG-21s.”
The MiG-21 entered service in 1965 on a trial basis. It formed the backbone of India’s fighter fleet from 1970 to the mid-2000s till the Su-30MKIs were pressed into action.
The final variant to serve with the IAF was the MiG-21Bison which had upgraded electronics, better navigation & and communication systems. The MiG-21, had met with several accidents in the recent past.
The 51 squadron that operated the MiG-21 fighters during Balakot operations, is famous for thwarting Pakistan’s aerial attack on India on February 27, 2019, and taking out an F-16 in an aircraft flown by Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Abhinandan Varthaman.
This was the only instance when a MiG-21 aircraft brought down an F-16 in air-to-air combat

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