This is the fourth crash of MiG-29Ks since 2019 and the government is looking to replace the Russian made fighter jets

A Indian Navy's MiG-29K fighter aircraft crashed over the sea on returning to a base in Goa on Wednesday but the pilots ejected safely. This is the fourth crash of Russian made MiG-29Ks, which have been operational for Navy since their induction sometime in 2009, in less than four years.

The twin engine aircraft was on a routine sortie over the sea off Goa and it developed a technical malfunction while returning to base, informed the Navy in an official statement.

“The Pilot ejected safely & has been recovered in a swift SAR op; the Pilot was reported to be in stable condition." said Indian Navy.

The Navy said it has ordered a Board of Inquiry (BoI) to investigate the cause of the incident.

The MiG-29s, which are deployed in Goa at the naval base INS Hansa, are set to be replaced with the Indian Navy going through trial test reports of French Rafale and American's F-18 to declare L1 for about 26 combat jets in a contract that is worth $ 5 million.

The MiG-29Ks deployed at the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier which was commissioned into the Navy recently in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kochi, too will be replaced by aircraft which emerges winner in the bidding exercise.

Two years ago in November, a fighter pilot lost his life while the other was rescued following a MiG-29K crash. In February of 2020, the fighter jet crashed after taking a bird hit but both the pilots showed flying skills to steer the MiG-29K beyond the habitation before ejecting to safety. A MiG-29K trainer aircraft crashed outside a village in Goa in November 2019, but both the pilots catapulted themselves out to land safely.