February 22, 2024
Halwara was the solitary home to the MiG-23BN for years. One of then now watches over the Officers Mess of the Station.
MiG-23BN SM-276, seen at Halwara Air Force Station’s Officers Mess.

Halwara Air Force Station started off its duty with the Indian Air Force in 1951, when the first aircraft, Hawker Tempests of No.3 Squadron started operating from there. Over the course of time, Tempests were replaced by Vampires, Ouragans, Hunters, Sukhois and finally MiG-23 BNs.

Starting from the 80s onwards, Halwara had always been home to MiG-23 BN Ground attack squadrons. These included No.31 Squadron, No.220 and No.221 Squadrons. The MiG-23 BNs have reached the fag end of their career with the IAF and today, the lone squadron, No.221 is the only unit operating the BN.

The MiG-23 BN is displayed in full grey scheme with the wings fully swept back.

Not surprisingly a number of BNs have been retired and found their way to gate guardian duties. Apart from the BN at Maintenance Command, the Officers Mess at Halwara Air Force Station is today a proud owner of another BN. Recently Anandeep Pannu visited Halwara and took pictures of the BN standing proudly in the middle of the lawns at the Officers mess.

Two views of the MiG-23 BN shows the aircraft on concrete pedestals and with full intake covers.

As is usual with many of the ‘current’ Warbirds, not much is known about SM-276 is known. There are no photographs of it in service, nor any information of its active service.

All Photographs © Anandeep Pannu.

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