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Indian Air Force Jaguar fighter jet crashes in Uttar Pradesh

An Indian Air Force Jaguar fighter jet crashed shortly after takeoff in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, January 28, media reported.

The pilot ejected safely, PTI reported IAF sources as saying.

The aircraft had taken off from Gorakhpur Air Force Station on a routine mission and crashed in the Hatempur area of Kushinagar district.

“Today [Monday] morning, a Jaguar aircraft while on a routine mission from Gorakhpur, crashed. Pilot ejected safely. A court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the accident,” the IAF said in a statement, according to ANI.

It was not immediately clear what caused the SEPECAT Jaguar to crash. The Indian Air Force has an active fleet of around 150 Jaguars, mostly inducted in the early 1980s. Designed in Europe in the 1960s and 70s, 120 were built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and are known as Shamsher – “Sword of Justice.”

More than 30 fighter aircraft have crashed in India since 2012, with most accidents blamed on ageing jets. More than 170 Air Force pilots have died in accidents in the past three decades, mostly in incidents involving Soviet-era aircraft.

In June 2018, an Indian Air Force pilot was killed after his Jaguar jet crashed in Gujarat near the border with Pakistan, officials said.

A Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter jet crashed in Maharashtra last June, and a MiG-27 crashed in Rajasthan in September, according to Economic Times.

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