ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mig-27 to Become History as Last Squadron to Be Decommissioned by Indian Air Force

Updated on January 14, 2020
emge profile image

MG is an air warrior who is an alumnus of the Staff College and a voracious writer on military history

Background

India became free from British rule in 1947. At that time the small Indian air force only had British and American aircraft. The first fighter jet the D Havilland Vampire was introduced in the IAF in 1948. For the next decade, the Indian Air Force continued to operate British aircraft. They purchased the Hawker Hunter, the English Electric Canberra, and the Folland Gnat for the Indian Air Force.

There was a change in the approach of the western powers in the late 50s. Pakistan had become an ally of the United States in the war against communism. Pakistan was not interested in the war against communism and Soviet Russia, as it considered only India as its enemy. It became a member of the various security pacts floated by the USA only to fight India.

The Indians requested the English for the Lightning Mark II fighter but it was refused. The Americans also refused to give the latest fighter planes to India. In such a scenario Nikita Khrushchev the Soviet leader visited India and established rapport with the Indian leadership led by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the left-leaning defence minister VK Krishna Menon. The latter was a strong nationalist and he approached Khrushchev for the latest fighter in the Soviet Arsenal. The Russians agreed and also signed on the dotted line to allow India to manufacture the plane under license in India. This was the MIG-21. Production commenced at two plants at Nasik and Koraput in Odisha.

The Indians had their first introduction to Russian aircraft and for the next five decades, the Russians had a monopoly of supplying military hardware to India. The West led by the USA was aghast but could do nothing much. Almost all the frontline planes from the MIG-21, Su-7, MIG 23, AN -12 and MIG 27 were inducted into the Indian air force was of Russian origin.

The MiG -27 was a pretty fine plane and was christened "Bahadur" by the IAF. Over the decades the MiG 27 served the IAF with distinction. At the moment only one squadron is left. This is the "Scorpion" No 29 squadron, which consists of seven upgraded MiG- 27 planes. They will be decommissioned on 29th of December this year

MIG 27

The MiG- 27 has been given the name "Flogger" by NATO. It is a variable geometry ground attack aircraft. Thanks to Krishna Menon, this plane was also manufactured under license by Hindustan Aeronautics. The Indian version of the MiG -27 was optimized for air to ground attack unlike the other versions of the plane.

The MIG-27 was not widely used by the Air Forces of other countries. It was mostly used by the Indian Air Force and the Russian air force

The MIG-27 did yeoman service for the IAF. It was used with a lot of success during the 1999 Kargil war and only one plane was lost due to engine failure. This happened while it was attacking the Pakistan army positions in POK. However, during the last two decades, the IAF lost 12 planes to air crashes.

The MiG- 27 while in service was used mainly for ground support. It played a critical role in the ground support actions of the IAF

A few statistics on the plane will be interesting for the readers. The plane had a top speed of 1885 km/h. It had a length of 17 m and used the Tumansky- R 29 engine. Nearly 1075 of these planes were built and the first flight of the plane was on August 20, 1970. It entered service with the Indian air force a few years later. The plane had a range of 1553 miles and an operational ceiling of 45,930 ft.

The plane was good but was plagued by many technical issues. That is the reason it has been retired while the MIG-21 which was inducted a decade earlier continues to be part of the IAF arsenal. The MIG- 21 was used in combat with the F-16 in the recent Balakot strike and a MIG piloted by Wg Cdr Vardhaman shot down an F-16.


Nehru and Menon
Nehru and Menon

Into the Sunset

After four decades the MIG- 27 will finally be laid to rest. It has been confirmed that the official ceremony in Jodhpur has been scheduled for December 27, this year. The planes will be flown for the last time and then the Air Force will decide what to do with these planes. Most likely one or two will be kept in the air force Museum at Palam, Delhi. Some will be allotted around the country to children's parks as souvenirs and monuments

During its prime, the Indian Air Force operated 11 squadrons of the MiG 27. The plane was a single-seater ground attack aircraft and had sophisticated avionics and weapons. It was capable of delivering a variety of loads in different modes of attack. It could also carry precision munitions and which could be guided by TV /laser.

The MIG- 27 met the requirement for a tactical air support role. It is learned that once this warplane is retired the only other countries that will be maintaining the MIG- 27, is Kazakhstan.

A ceremonial farewell will be accorded to this plane. All fighter pilots of the base will assemble and fly the last sortie in various formations and a salute will be accorded on landing.

For some reason, the plane was used only by the Russian air force and the Indian air force. It did not get the legendary status of the MiG 21 yet the IAF will miss the plane. The use of this plane by the IAF is a tribute to the foresight of Krishna Menon who forged strong ties with the Soviet state.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      4 months ago from Singapore

      Thank you Liz, yes the Rafale is a great plane and is replacing the MIG -27. The first batch has already been inducted.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      The French aerospace industry has developed a lot in recent years.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      4 months ago from Singapore

      Dear Liz, so nice of you to have commented. The IAF is now going in for the French-made Rafale to replace the MIG-27

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      The length of service of this plane says a lot about its quality. Which planes are replacing it?

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 months ago from Singapore

      Wg Cdr B Singh, thank you for commenting

    • profile image

      Wg Cdr B Singh 

      5 months ago

      I am glad I read this article as after I retired I did not know the MIG27 was being retired. I have flown the plane and can say it was a fine but exacting machine and required high pilot skill. I recollect the aircraft was AOG many times because of technical snags but overall it was a worthy machine.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)