The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to retire the majority of its MiG series fighter aircraft by 2017 and to replace them with modern aircraft, Defence Minister AK Antony has said.

The Russian-origin squadrons of MiG 21s and MiG 23s will be replaced with Su-30 MKI, light combat aircraft (LCA) and medium-multirole combat aircraft (M-MRCA).

The IAF has received initial operational clearance for LCA and it will be inducted ‘very soon’.

Antony said a large-scale acquisition of Sukhoi-30 MKI, LCA and the MMRCA would take place within the next few years.

The IAF induction of 126 M-MRCA will take place before 2020, reports the Indian Express.

India, which has taken the decision to phase out MiG aircraft on the backdrop of air crashes involving the fighters, chose the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 supersonic jet fighter aircraft in 1961 because Russia offered full transfer of technology and rights for local assembly.