Congress Bought MiG-21 – High Crash Rate, Pilot Deaths: Fact Check


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Congress Bought MiG-21 - High Crash Rate, Pilot Deaths

Story:

Congress Bought MiG-21 Have High Crash Rate, Causing Many Deaths of Pilots and Civilians

Since 1963, Congress bought 1200 MiG-21’s.
By 2013, 840 crashed. 70% crash rate
170 IAF pilots died. 40 civilians

Did 1 Journo Ques any Gandhi a single ques for 840 crashes?

Why did Congress buy substandard MiG-21?
MiG 21’s are nicknamed “flying coffins” by IAF

Other Versions

(Telugu)
1963 నుంచి 2013 దాకా కాంగ్రెస్ మిగ్-21 విమానాలు కొనుగోలు చేసింది!!
అందులో 2013 వరకు 840 మిగ్-21 విమానాలు గాల్లో కూలిపోయాయి!!
170 మంది ఎయిర్ ఫోర్స్ పిలోట్స్ 40 మంది సాధారణ పౌరులు చనిపోయారు!!
కానీ ఒక్క మీడియా కూడా ఆ వార్త ఎక్కడ రానివ్వదు ఎందుకంటే కాంగ్రెస్ బిస్కెట్లు అలవాటు పడి!!

Fact Check:

A message in circulation on social media claims that the Indian National Congress bought MiG-21 Fighter Jets with high crash rate, pilot deaths and loss of civilians as well. The message further points media for not raising question on the hundreds of MiG-21 crashes over the decades. So, let us examine how Congress bought MiG-21 aircraft and in later years how they became infamous as ‘Flying Coffins’.

The scrutiny about MiG-21 fighter jets in Indian Air Force (IAF) surfaced again in February 2019 after Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan, shooting down a MiG-21 Bison aircraft he was flying. Earlier, the MiG-21 combat pilot locked and shot down a F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan along the Line of Control. It happened during the aftermath of terrorist attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. However, note that the MiG-21 Bison aircraft is a modern, upgraded version of MiG-21, inducted into IAF in 2002.

Image of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and MiG-21 Crash
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and MiG-21 Crash

How Congress Bought MiG-21 Aircrafts

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a Supersonic Jet Fighter and Interceptor Aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. India inducted its first supersonic jet fighter aircraft MiG into the IAF in 1963 and they followed up in large numbers during Congress government rule. In the beginning, the MiG’s were manufactured in Soviet Union. The manufacturing license was transferred domestically to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in an agreement with Soviet Union in 1980s. In early years, MiG fighter jets served as backbone of Indian Air Force. The low operational and maintenance cost has earned MiG-21 the nickname ‘The People’s Fighter’. However, in decades later, they earned grim tags like the ‘Flying Coffin’ and the ‘Widow Maker’ for their crash record.

In 2012, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony of Congress Party reported in Parliament that more than 170 pilots and 40 civilians have died in 482 MiG aircraft accidents till then. He reinforced the ageing, Congress bought MiG-21 aircrafts from Soviet-era had shockingly been on a wing and a prayer for such a long period but still not grounded. The minister went on to state that the cause of the accidents was “both human error and technical defects”. Earlier in 2011, IAF analyzed 1,000 fighter crashes over the past several decades and revealed some statistical data. Accordingly, 39 per cent of all crashes is attributed to pilot error, 39.5 per cent to technical faults, 9 per cent to bird hits, 1.5 per cent to human error on ground and 0.6 per cent faults in production by HAL.


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Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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