Sunday, 27 January 2013

Fishbed and Fulcrum

The MiG-29 Fulcrum has completed 25 years of glorious service with the IAF. 28 Sqn was chosen to tame this lethal combat aircraft. The sqn operated initially in Pune and subsequently moved to Jamnagar. Today the sqn guards the skies over Saurashtra and Kutchh. Even till date, the MiG-29 remains largely unmatched in terms of thrust and maneuverability, and with its ongoing upgrade, it will continue to be one of the most potent fighters in the air.

IAF's tryst with the MiGs started when No-28 sqn was raised in 1963 to fly USSR's latest supersonic fighter - the MiG-21 Fishbed, hence giving the sqn its name. The fighter not only proved itself in its intended role of an interceptor, but also as an attack aircraft. The First Supersonics proved the potential of this fighter by carrying out accurate strikes on heavily defended targets in 1971 war. Although 28 sqn converted to the MiG-29 from their Type-77s, the IAF continues flying its MiG-21s which are still a handful for any fighter in combat.

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