No one even drives cars that old: IAF chief on MiG-21 jets

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Indian Air Force (IAF) chief BS Dhanoa said on Tuesday that people didn’t even drive cars that were as old as the MiG-21 fighter jets given to the IAF.

Addressing a press conference with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh by his side, the IAF chief said,”We are still flying MiG-21 which is 44-years-old but nobody driving cars of that vintage,” he said. The Indian air chief was speaking at a seminar related to the modernization and indigenisation of the IAF.

He expressed the hope that the MiG-21 would be phased out and he would be the one to fly the last sortie in September. Dhanoa said that Indians were flying the planes because of overhaul facilities.

“Over 95 per cent of components required in overhauling is made in India. The Russians are not flying the MiG but we are because we have overhaul facilities,” he said.

Questions have been raised about the upgradation of the IAF jets after Pakistan shot down a MiG-21 Bison–an updated version of the fighter jet–in February after IAF jets intruded Pakistani airspace.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan but released after being held for two days as captive.

Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his release during a session of the joint parliament and said that it was a ‘gesture of peace’ towards India.

Tensions have once again risen between India and Pakistan after the former revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution and illegally annexed occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties, forced the Indian High Commissioner to leave Pakistan and suspended trade with India.