Tucked away in Ojhar, 25 miles off Nasik on the Mumbai- Agra highway is 11 Base Repair Depot, one of the eight base repair depots of the Indian Air Force under overall control and supervision of the Maintenance Command, Nagpur. Since 1987, No. 11 BRD has set off an ambitious programme to overhaul the MiG variants with indigenous knowhow.
Ozhar in recent days has been the source for many warbirds. Most MiGs that come here towards their retirement age are stripped down, and then prepared for dispatch to various locations for gate guardian duties. In recent years, many MiG-21Us, FLs, and MiG-23 MFs were prepared by Ozhar for display purposes.
|MiG-23MF SK419 acting as a gate guardian at the entrance road to AFS Ozhar. The road to AFS Ozhar's entrance also leads to the entrance of 11 BRD, AF. Photo Courtesy : Umesh P / Panoramio|
In May 2009, a MiG-23MF was first noted as doing gate guardian duty at the entrance road of the AFS Ozhar. The aircraft, bearing number SK419 was previously observed in a target tug role at Jamnagar where its rear fuselage was painted in bright day-glo orange. By now however that orange paint has been replaced with standard grey.
While in its last operationa role, the ventral fin under the rear fuselage was removed to allow it to tow the target, the fin had been replaced back in its display configuration, and all the movable surfaces like the rudder have been bolted with plates to prevent them from moving in the wind.