Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 has crashed at HAL airport. Aircraft crashed a few minutes after takeoff from HAL Airport. Both occupants ejected, but neither survived.
The aircraft was being flown by two test pilots of the Indian Air Force. Squadron Leader Siddhartha Negi and Squadron Leader Samir Abrol were taking the plane for an acceptance test flight after it had been upgraded by the HAL there. Both pilots were from the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment.
The plane was undergoing its acceptance trial by the IAF Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) after the “TI” upgrade was carried out. The plane crashed at the edge of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) airport compound
The plane burst into flames immediately after the crash.
A rescue operation was launched by the authorities. One of the two pilots died after managing to eject from the plane but he fell on the debris itself. The other pilot was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries, senior IAF sources told ANI.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known. An Air Force spokesperson did not have an immediate comment.
India had signed a $2.4 billion deal with France in 2011 to upgrade 51 Mirage 2000 fighters, which were purchased in the mid-1980s, with new electronic warfare systems and radar.
Last week, the Economic Times daily said the upgrade of the multi-role aircraft had been hit by production delays on part of HAL.