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IAF to stop flying MiG-21 by 2025, aircraft to take part in last IAF Day parade this year: IAF chief
New Delhi: Amid the efforts to replace its ageing Russian-origin aircraft, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to replace all MiG-21 squadrons with the LCA Mark 1A by 2025, said Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Tuesday.
He was addressing a press conference in Delhi ahead of the Air Force Day that is to be celebrated on October 8 in Prayagraj.
Responding to a question by ANI on MIG 21, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said, "We had signed a contract for 83 LCA Mark-1As. The contract is to be supplemented with 97 additional aircraft. So, it will bring the total to 180 LCA Mark 1As."
"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," he said.
During the press conference, it was announced that the legendary MIG-21 will also participate in probably the last flypast by MIG-21s anywhere in the world.
MiG-21, which has been in service with the IAF for more than 60 years now, has met with several accidents in the recent past.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari also said that the IAF is constantly monitoring the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), especially in eastern Ladakh.
The Indian Air Force is celebrating its 91st anniversary on October 8 with the theme-"IAF-airpower beyond boundaries"
"Keeping with the new tradition, this year's air display will be held in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. IAF will showcase its strength and diversity of air assets over the scenic surroundings of the Sangam area," said an IAF official.
The official added that about 120 aircraft of various types ranging from heritage aircraft like Tigermoth and Harvard to the newly inducted C-295 will be participating in different formations and displays.
In the event, over 20,000 school children are planned to witness the air display towards an outreach to young minds.