Indian Air Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa has exposed the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) weakness by saying that they are still flying 44-year-old MiG-21 fighter jets “when no one even drives cars that old”.

Addressing a seminar on the modernisation and indigenisation of the IAF, he said even the Russians were not flying the MiGs, but the IAF was because they had “overhauling facilities”.



Dhanoa also said the basic version of the Russian fighter jet would be phased out this year, “Hopefully, I will fly the last sortie in September, subject to visibility”.

Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and later taken into custody in February this year, was also flying the MiG-21 fighter jet.

Abhinandan’s jet called MiG-21 Bison, however, was an upgraded version of the aircraft.