The MiG-21 continues to bare its fangs on its final legs. The most advanced aircraft flaunted by the Pakistan Air Force went down to the IAF's oldest fighter, the venerable MiG-21, in today's aerial duel in Jammu and Kashmir skies.

The MiG-21's' Bison ' version, two of which shot one of the F-16s from an operational readiness platform to intercept four Pakistani aircraft intruding into Indian airspace in the Rajouri sector. The IAF also lost a MiG-21 in the duel, whose pilot was ejected but landed in Pakistan-held territory, where he was arrested. While there is no official word as to how the MiG-21 went down, different theories do the defense circle rounds as to why the pilot may have crossed the Control Line while engaging the hostile aircraft. 

The Soviet-origin MiG-21 was scheduled to retire in stages over the next five years and has been in Indian service since 1963. A total of 847 different versionMiG-21s were purchased by the IAF, many of which were produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The Bison is the upgraded version of the previous' Biz,' then the Soviet Union's latest and final version. Bisons have been upgraded to modern avionics and missiles by Russia, making it a powerful platform for weapons. 

The nimble single-seat fighter served in the forces of around 60 countries and was one of the world's most widely produced aircraft after World War II. It first saw fighting against US-made F-104 Starfighters in the Indian subcontinent in 1965. Although its role in this war was limited, it was its finest hour for the Bangladesh campaign of 1971. During the Kargil conflict, it was also used. At present, the IAF is still in service with about 120 Bisons, with all the other versions being retired. 

Second Jet Shot Down since 1971
This is the second time since the 1971 war that an intruding Pakistani aircraft has been shot down by the IAF, the last time in August 1999, a few weeks after the Kargil conflict An Atlantic maritime patrol aircraft over the Rann of Kutch was shot down. It was also a MiG-21 that time behind the kill