First MIG-23 MF public display in the country
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 20:32 IST
Chiloda traffic circle on the outskirts of the state capital got a “Gate Guardian” as the Indian Air Force put on public display a MIG-23 MF. ‘Gate Guardian’ MIG-23 MF fighter-bomber aircraft of the IAF is mounted on a pedestal set against the backdrop of the towering power station chimneys.
This is the first – 23 MF aircraft to be ever mounted anywhere in the country for public display. What makes this display more important is the fact that the aircraft, a fighter bomber, is still operational.
The MIG-23 MF aircraft capable of Mach2.35 was inducted in the IAF in 1982 to meet the enhanced threat. This Russian swing-wing aircraft formed two squadrons at Adampur in Punjab. The aircraft actively operated in Siachen Glacier for ‘Op Meghdoot’ till 1997.
It was the first supersonic fighter aircraft of the IAF to land at Leh airfield at a height of 10682 feet above mean sea level. After proving its worth in the rugged and difficult terrain of the Himalayan mountain ranges, it moved to the plains of Jamnagar in Gujarat. During ‘Op Parakram’ in 2001-02, this aircraft operating from Jamnagar was actively involved in keeping vigil over borders.
At a special ceremony held coinciding with the SWAC Commanders’ Conference currently underway in Gandhinagar, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, Chief of the Air staff today unveiled a plaque for the MIG-23 MF (SK-402) fighter bomber at the venue.