Nashik: End of an era, as last MiG-29 aircraft take flight

Indian Air Force

New Delhi. In a farewell flight, the last of the two MiG-29 Legacy aircrafts on September 28 carried out a flypast as they would be upgraded at the 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD) at Ojhar at Nashik.

The aircraft flown by commanding officer group captain JS Patel was received by the 11 BRD officials where it will be overhauled.

In order to mark the historic event, Air Commodore Samir V Borade, who is a Vishisth Seva Medal Air Officer Commanding of the Depot, presented a souvenir to the commanding officer of the 28 Squadron.

Indian Air Force officials said that landing of the last MiG-29 legacy aircraft marked the end of an era. The aircraft has proved its mettle in various operations including Kargil and recent post Pulwama attacks. “It was an emotional moment for the officers as they saw the legend roaring up in the skies for the last time. Before it came back to guard the skies after getting the all-important upgrades making it more lethal a weapon in the IAF,” a senior officer said.

The 28 Squadron has been awarded Battle Honours in the 1971 Indo-Pak war for its significant contribution during Governor House attack in Dhaka, which compelled the Pakistani forces to surrender and was the turning point of that war.

The MiG-29s were inducted into the Indian Air Force in 1986. The Air Superior Fighter underwent mid-life upgradation and was converted into the multi-role fighter. After undergoing structural retrofit and being equipped with advanced avionics and enhanced endurance, the upgraded version would be more potent and a formidable weapon system.

The 11 BRD was established in 1975 and it is the only fighter aircraft repair depot of the IAF. It has overhauled more than 500 fighter aircraft including Su-7, MiG-23, MiG-29 and Su-30MKI. Overhaul of MiG-29 aircraft commenced at the depot in 1996.

Presently, upgradation of MiG-29 and repair and overhaul of Su-30 MKI are being undertaken at the depot. Earlier in October 2018, the first IAF overhauled Su-30MKI aircraft at 11 BRD was handed over to an operational squadron.