Friday, October 23, 2009

Mig 27 crashes in India

NEW DELHI, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - An Indian Air Force (IAF) MIG-27 Flogger ground support aircraft crashed Friday in northeast India, the country's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The aircraft was on a routine training flight when it went down near the Hashimara Air Force Station in the state of West Bengal.

The pilot ejected safely and there were no casualties on the ground. An inquiry has been ordered to investigate the causes of the accident, the ministry said.

The incident is the second MiG-27 crash and the ninth IAF aircraft accident this year. Another MiG-27 crashed in northwest India in May, injuring seven people on the ground.

The MiG-27 aircraft was originally built in the former Soviet Union in the mid-1970s before it was licensed to be produced in India.

Known as the Bahadhur (Brave) in the IAF, the MiG-27s form eight operational squadrons.

According to the military, the current upgrade program will keep the MiG-27 operational for another 10 years.

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