The tragic death of India's Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife in a helicopter crash Wednesday has once again brought to the light the frequent air accidents involving military aircraft in the country.
Over the past five years, India has lost 34 aircraft, mostly Russian-made MiG planes, and seven helicopters in different accidents.
Replying to a question in parliament in March 2020, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said from 2016 to 2019, the country had lost 25 aircraft and four helicopters.
The planes which met accident included 10 MiG, three Sukhoi multirole fighter aircraft, four Jaguar jets, two transport planes, and six trainer aircraft.
Over the past two years from 2020 to 2021, India lost another nine aircraft and seven helicopters, according to data available on open sources.
In 2013, then Defense Minister A.K. Antony said that since 1963, as many as 482 MiG-21s had been involved in accidents leading to the death of 171 pilots, 39 civilians, and eight personnel from other services.