A MiG-21 Bison fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed during training near Barmer, Rajasthan, in western India. 

According to the IAF, the aircraft experienced a technical malfunction after take off. The pilot managed to eject safely and was recovered.

The MiG-21, a Soviet fighter jet designed in the 1950s, was inducted by the IAF in 1962. The ‘Bison’ is a modernized version of the aircraft with upgraded radar, avionics and weapon systems.

It is the fourth incident involving an IAF MiG-21 in 2021. India is currently phasing out the MiG-21 and is running several domestic programs and international tenders to modernize its fighter fleet. 

The IAF formally inducted the Dassault Rafale fighter jet on September 10, 2020. An order for 36 aircraft was placed by India in 2016. On April 21, 2021, the first squadron of 18 Rafales, the Squadron 17 “Golden Arrows”, was completed.

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In a span of several days, Indian Air Force (IAF) confirmed an intention to purchase a number of new fighter jet aircraft, including refurbished Soviet-made Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29s. It also considers buying more Dassault Rafales.