March 5, 2024
Only two Type-76 variant of the MiG-21 exists today - both are located in and around Nashik. This example is in Deolali.

The Indian Army’s School of Artillery is based at Deolali. A bit south of the Artillery Center is the School of Artillery, usually commanded by an officer of Lt Gen rank. Displayed outside the Officer’s Mess was what was originally thought to be a MiG-21FL.

In 2009, Sandesh Kanchan peered at the photograph above and correctly identified the aircraft as no ordinary FL, but a rare Type-76 “PF”. The first MiGs in the IAF were six F-13s (Type-74) followed by six PFs (Type 76s).

This photo was one of the first to be hosted on the Warbirds of India site way back in 2001. Contributed by Sandeep Unnithan. At that time we did not realise the rarity of this airframe.

Type 76s had a very short career in the IAF – only six were inducted, all of them in early 1965, before full-fledged production of Type 77 (the MiG-21 FL) took over. It is believed the few Type 76s that served all carried “BC” prefixed serials – with a few that were upgraded with new engines shedding the “B” prefix.

Two of the six examples were destroyed at Pathankot during the 1965 war. Leaving four survivors.

As goes with rare photographs, BC827 was captured in this photograph from the 60s. The short chord tail fin clearly invisible.

With this particular identification, this is only the second PF in existence in India. The first one, No. C-822 was identified in Ozhar.

In 2012, The aircraft’s identity has been revealed as BC827, the last of the six Type-76 MiG-21PFs inducted just before the 65 War (Via FB user Linescriber).

This photo from the now defunct Panaromio website shows the MiG-21PF in more clear detail. Panoramio website was closed in 2014. (The details of the photographer is not known but the Photo Id number was 48687864)
A more recent photograph of BC827 at the School of Artillery. The base platform has been removed. Thankfully the pole mounting craziness has not inflicted the army yet. (Photo Courtesy – Shivendra Shukla)

MiG-21PF at Arty Center located at lat=’19.89198411751542’|lon=’73.82401585578918′

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