An Indian Air Force Jaguar combat aircraft has crashed in Kushinagar town in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) on Monday, Jan. 28.
According to local reports, the pilot – Wing Commander Rohit Katoch – ejected before the crash and is safe. The jet immediately caught fire after the crash in the field, the reports added.
The crash happened barely 15 minutes after the aircraft took off from Gorakhpur Air Force Station along with two other Jaguars for routine exercise. Gorakhpur AFS is the home to the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s Ground-Attack and Close Air Support squadron, the No. 27 Squadron “Flaming Arrows” and counter-air and interdiction unit, No. 16 Squadron “Black Cobras” which operates Jaguar IS and IB (two-seat trainer version) aircraft.
A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered ordered by the air headquarters to investigate the cause of the crash.
SEPECAT Jaguar is a British-French twin-engine, ground attack jet aircraft originally used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in the close air support (CAS) and nuclear strike role. It is still in service in significantly upgraded form with the Indian Air Force.
The airframes were manufactured by SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l’avion Ecole de Combat et d’Appui Tactique), a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAe), one of the first major joint-Anglo-French military aircraft programs.
Jaguar has a maximum speed of 1,350 kmph, (around Mach 1.3). The aircraft was exported to India, Oman, Ecuador and Nigeria.
The aircraft can penetrate deep behind enemy lines on bombing runs and is used by the Indian Air Force in the Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft (DPSA) role. The aircraft was inducted into the Indian Air Force in 1979, almost four decades ago.