An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed in the state of Rajasthan – New Delhi's fourth loss of an aerial asset in under two weeks – on Friday, reported India Today.
The IAF claimed the jet crashed after suffering from a bird strike while it was on a routine training sortie and added that pilots ejected and were "safe".
A local police official said the MiG-21 crashed around 12 kilometres from Bikaner.
The IAF added in a statement that the MiG-21 had taken off from the IAF's Nal airbase.
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"Today afternoon a MiG-21 aircraft on a routine mission crashed after getting airborne from Nal near Bikaner. Initial inputs indicate the likely cause as bird hit after take off. Pilot of the aircraft ejected safely. A CoI [Court of Inquiry] will investigate the cause of the accident."
The MiG-21 crash in Rajasthan comes at a time of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan.
Indian and Pakistani jets got into a dogfight on February 27 leading to the brief capture of Indian Air Force's Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and the shooting down of two IAF jets.
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