NEW DELHI, September 10 (RIA Novosti) - A MiG-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in India's northwestern Punjab state on Thursday during a training flight, killing the pilot, national media reported.
The accident, which was the seventh Indian Air Force plane crash since the start of the year, occurred in Punjab's Muktsar district. The pilot, Lt. Manu Akhori, was unable to eject on time, the India Today web site said.
In the past nine months, six other planes have crashed in India, including a Kiran trainer aircraft, SU- 30MKI, MiG-27, MiG-21 fighter jets, an unmanned aerial vehicle, and a transport An-32.
Accidents involving Soviet-designed MiG-21 fighter jets, which were produced in India under a licence and have been used for several decades by the Indian Air Force, are frequent in the country. However, work carried out by Russian specialists since 2003 to improve the planes' reliability has significantly reduced the accident rate.
There are currently 200 MiG-21 fighter jets in service in the Indian Air Force.