April 15, 2024
The IAF's second MiG-23BN [SM202] finds its way to a permanent display at the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. 

Tiruchirappalli , also called Tiruchi or Trichy, is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the administrative headquarters of Tiruchirappalli District. It is located 322 kilometres (200 mi) south of Chennai and 379 kilometres (235 mi) north of Kanyakumari, Tiruchirappalli sits almost at the geographic centre of the state.

Trichy is home to the National Institute of Technology. The National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (NITT), also referred to as National Institute of Technology, Trichy, was formerly a Regional Engineering College (REC), It is a public engineering and technology university located 20 km from Trichy on the road to Tanjore, where a major IAF airbase is located. The institute was founded in 1964.

An alumnus of the college rose to become the AOC-in-C of Maintenance Command. Air Marshal P. Kanakaraj had passed out as a mechanical engineering student from REC (Regional Engineering College) (NIT was then known as REC) in 1977, went on to pursue post graduation in IIT Madras, and then joined the Indian Air Force. It would come as no surprise that the Air Marshal arranged for a MiG-23BN to be donated to the Institute. 

MiG-23BN, SM202 at its platform at the National Instititue of Technology – Trichy. The aircraft faces south towardsd the Trichy-Tanjavor highway.

On 19th March 2014, Air Marshal Kanakaraj visited the NIT and unveiled the MiG 23 aircraft. A golden jubilee student plaza, titled MiGold Plaza, is soon to be developed in the area around the aircraft, placed near the department of architecture, NIT-T. The Air Marshal unveiled the foundation stone for the plaza in the presence of Mr. Sundarrajan and college faculty.

The MiG-23BN with the serial SM202 is the second BN in IAF service.  The aircraft was transported by a trailer truck ahead of time, and an IAF team helped assemble the aircraft. The NIIT commissioned a tender for building the platform for display which was completed at an approximate cost of Rs 5 Lakhs (USD 10,000).

MiG-23BN SM202 arrives at the college on a "Trailer Lorry". Photo Courtesy: www.nammatrichy.com
A student tries a photo-opportunity with the MiG-23BN . Photo Courtesy: Quora.com .
IAF personnel assembling SM202 in front of the Architecture Department building. Photo Courtesy: Instagram

The aircraft is displayed next to the highway leading to from Trichy to Tanjore.

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