MiG-21 aircraft, once known as ‘flying coffins’, are now not only among the safest flying machines but are more lethal for the enemy.
The number of mid-air crashes is now almost zero since these have been upgraded. And induction of a training schedule for pilots has brought down human error while maneuvering.
This year, 2 combat aircraft have crashed, but none of them is MiG-21 Bison, the upgraded version of the old MiG-21. IAF officers said “The MiGs are safer than ever before. Only 4 MiG-21 Bison aircraft have crashed since their induction in 2002. IAF plans to fly the Bisons – which it describes as an almost brand new fighter, with the latest avionics, improved gearboxes, and other advanced systems – till 2017.”
The latest technology in aviation registers 0.5 accidents every 10,000 hours of flying and the old technology touches 1.75 crashes in a similar number of flying hours.
MiG-21 Type 75, MiG-21 Type 93, and MiG-21 Bis have been upgraded to MiG-21 Bison with altogether new avionics and onboard electronic systems apart from night-vision devices and mid-air refueling capabilities, making it more competitive than American F-16 Fighting Falcons, sources in Western Air Command added.
The introduction of a new training schedule for pilots to improve man-machine relationships has helped bring down human errors.
“The main reasons for aircraft accidents are human error and technical defect. A continuous and multi-faceted effort is always underway in the IAF to enhance and upgrade flight safety. Measures to enhance the quality of training to improve the skill levels, ability to exercise sound judgment, and situational awareness of pilots are being pursued,” sources said.