National Defence Bureau,
Jaipur, 26 December 2019
MiG 27 swing wing fighter aircraft has been the backbone of ground attack fleet of Indian Air Force for the past four decades. The upgraded variant of this last swing-wing fleet has been the pride of Indian Air Forces strike fleet since 2006. All the other variants, such as MiG-23 BN & MiG-23 MF and the pure MiG 27 have already retired from Indian Air Force.
These aircraft have made immense contribution to the nation, both during peace and war. The fleet earned its glory in the historic Kargil conflict when it delivered rockets & bombs with accuracy on enemy positions. The fleet also took active part in Op-Parakram. The upgraded version, because of its survivability have also participated in numerous national and international exercises.
Presently, Number 29 Squadron is the only unit in the Indian Air Force which has been operating MiG 27 Upgrades. Number 29 Squadron was raised on 10 March 1958 at Air Force Station Halwara with Ouragan (Toofani) aircraft. Over the years, the Squadron has been equipped with numerous types of fighter aircraft such as MiG 21 Type 77, MiG 21 Type 96, MiG 27 ML and MiG 27 Upgrade.
The Squadron is now slated to be number plated on 31 Mar 2020 with 27 Dec 19 being its last flying day thereby making the swing wing fleet a part of IAFs glorious past. Various functions have been planned towards the de-induction ceremony at Air Force Station Jodhpur.
Veteran air warriors along with serving air warriors in large numbers are taking part in the ceremony. Air Marshal SK Ghotia VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command would be presiding over the wind down ceremony.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.