Weird: India Sent a Really Old MiG-21 to Battle an U.S. Made F-16. Why?
On Feb. 26, 2019 Indian planes crossed the line of control at India's border with Pakistan and bombed what New Dehli described as a terrorist training camp near Balakot.
The Indian air force defended its decision to send old MiG-21 fighters up against much more modern Pakistani F-16s during recent aerial skirmishes.
Several days of aerial fighting followed the bombing raid. On Feb. 27, 2019, Pakistani F-16s and other planes crossed the line of control to attack Indian forces, New Delhi claimed.
Indian MiG-21s and other fighters intercepted the Pakistanis and shot down one F-16, killing its pilot, according to the Indian government. Islamabad claimed its forces shot down two MiG-21s, but New Delhi copped to losing just one jet.
Pakistani forces captured the MiG-21 pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, and held him for two days before handing him over to Indian officials.
"The MiG-21 is in our inventory, why will we not use it?" Indian Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa rhetorically asked reporters when questioned about the aerial disparity.
But the main reason India sent the MiG-21 into battle is that the type is still one of the most numerous in Indian air force service. "We fight with all the aircraft in our inventory," Dhanoa said.
Louis Sifer12 hours ago
" Since the first of 874 MiG-21s entered Indian service in 1963, around 490 have crashed, killing around 200 pilots."
Says all you need to know about russian aircraft. In June '82, Israel shot down about 85 syrian jets (all soviet) over Lebanon without losing a single to air-to-air combat.
Pilot skill is definitely the main reason, but aircraft quality and technology also plays a role.
David B12 hours ago
The MiG-21s, in particular, are accident-prone. Since the first of 874 MiG-21s entered Indian service in 1963, around 490 have crashed, killing around 200 pilots.
With that ratio, who would ever want to fly one?
SS-N-19 Shipwreck12 hours ago
They have a poor understanding modern technology. India built a nuclear submarine and almost sank it after leaving the hatch open while diving beneath the waves.
Balu12 hours ago
You have a Mercedes and a Corolla in the driveway. You have used them both only for local errands and both are good shape. Long trip came up, you don't want to perturb your Mercedes...
Richard B12 hours ago
Bow and arrow still in inventory...whynot use it?
Lakeshore13 hours ago
It was a calculated move on India's part because they were saving the good stuff for later but later didn't happen so no big loss.
ShopperOne7 hours ago
That was the only jet available...
billy12 hours ago
India has lost by far, more Mig 21s and pilots due to crashing than war. Hope they learned not to buy Russian anymore.
My name13 hours ago
Pakistan said they did not use F16, though
Blah12 hours ago
Being Cheap Gone Wrong
Zakaria10 hours ago
They were ready to LOSE the MiG-21 and its pilot in order to WIN the elections four months later.
Stinky Davis9 hours ago
Back in the 60s,MIG 21s were the top line fighters,for Egypt,syria,and North Vietnam! The USSR was giving them away,to all their friends.
CWHATIMEAN6 hours ago
Why does Pakistan have F16s at all?
geetha13 hours ago
Is it confirmed that one F16 was shot????
Mike11 hours ago
India knows that it has lots of people to spare.!!
Anonymous9 hours ago
You would think that India's Air force should be very modern since India is the biggest recipient of US economic assistance over a 66-year period.
Bob H9 hours ago
a mig 21 for an f16? india came out on top in that trade
Anonymous12 hours ago
It's called, "use what you got."
Stinky Davis9 hours ago
But they still have no indoor plumbing, for the masses!
Lineaus3 hours ago
Simple. For the IAF Generals to convince MOD morons and Modi to buy the F35 and end this Mig charade.
Jimmy11 hours ago
India has a huge technological gap and in spite of being second world population and largest democracy, they are very limited in their capabilities and economy...
Just the facts13 hours ago
Even a blind dog gets lucky sometimes.
Sinh12 hours ago
Because that's all they have. No money bro....
vooded5 hours ago
They don't even use toilet paper.
joe mook5 hours ago
India still doesn't have enough toilets for half of their population.
Even the army practices open defecation.
So what kind of planes do you have?
Shenthen12 hours ago
This is old war tactic. "Show weakness to make enemy under estimate your strength."
Frank12 hours ago
I'm told the MIG dropped 1000 Kg of Curry, in an attempt to jam the Pakistani radar.
Truth always wins9 hours ago
Apparently they wanted to collect the insurance so they can buy new planes. Ha ha!
Go go gophers11 hours ago
India has a Air Force?
mark b10 hours ago
I'd say India did pretty good considering it was 8 to 24.