The Indian Air Force (IAF) will disband the MiG-21 supersonic jet fighter aircraft by 2017 and replace the fleet with advanced jet fighters, such as Su-30MKI and indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA).

PTI quoted Indian minister of state for defence MM Pallam Raju as saying, “The MiG 21s will get phased out by 2015-16. I think the last of the squadrons of the aircraft will be phased out by 2017.”

“The MiG 21s constitute the majority of our squadrons and they will gradually be replaced by the Light Combat Aircraft (LCAs) and the Su-30MKI,” Raju added.

Out of a total of 946 MiG 21s in its fleet, the IAF has lost 476 aircraft in various accidents over the past 45 years.

Following the phasing out of the MiG 21s, the IAF will retain the LCA, SU-30MKI, Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft and the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), which is being developed in cooperation with Russia.