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MiG crash mix-up

New Delhi, May 2: A.K. Antony today goofed up in Parliament by citing MiG crash figures which gave the impression that over half the fleet was involved in accidents.

Although the bloomer went largely unnoticed in the Rajya Sabha, the mix-up came at a time the government is facing questions on defence preparedness after army chief Gen. V.K. Singh claimed critical shortages in a letter to the Prime Minister. A full debate is likely in Parliament soon.

The defence minister said 872 MiG aircraft were bought from 1966 to 1980 and added that 482 of these — or 55.27 per cent — were involved in accidents till April 19 this year.

But air force sources pointed out that the figure of 872 related only to MiG21 and did not include MiG25, MiG27 and MiG29 — each an entirely different class of aircraft. The total number of all types of MiG aircraft is around 1,252, the sources said.