February 22, 2024
The War memorial at Uttarlai airfield

Uttarlai airfield was first set up just before the 71 War. It was one of the forward airfields that provided facilities to the HF-24 Maruts, Gnats, Hunters, and MiGs during the war. The airfield continued in service even after the war and is today a major airbase. The HF-24 Maruts flew for the first time in combat from this airbase.

The Uttarlai War Memorial dedicated to Flt Lt P V Apte. The Hawker Hunter can be seen in the background. Pic Courtesy: Indian Air Force.

A Hawker Hunter was originally displayed at the Uttarlai War Memorial. This commemorates the role the airbase played in the 1971 War and is dedicated to Flt Lt P V Apte of 221 Squadron who lost his life flying from this airbase. The above picture was dated from the early 2000s. However, the Hunter cannot be located since then on Google Earth imagery and it is believed that this could be one of the aircraft that was moved to the Jaisalmer War Museum

Also on display for quite a long time are an HF-24 Marut and Sukhoi-7 prominently featured as Gate Guardians at the main entrance.

A recent spotting was of one of the MiG-21Ms on display at the Station – MiG-21M C-1546

This aircraft is displayed on the northern side of the railway track / old highway which divides the residential area from the technical area to the south of it.

As with many of the MiG-21s – not too much info on its history. Suffice it to say, this is not the only MiG-21 on display in Uttarlai, another M variant as well as a Bison variant are said to be on display around the station.

Photos : C1546 Left photo : Sanjay Simha / @velocityttl

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