Click to EnlargeAjeet [E-1956] is displayed on a platform outside the Hangar where No.2 Squadrons MiG-27s are based.

No.2 Squadron, IAF, the "Winged Daggers" had a long period of association with Kalaikunda that goes back to the late 70s. No.2 Squadron was in the Punjab area around Adampur and Halwara during the 1965 and 71 wars. The Squadron moved to Kalaikunda in the late 70s and flew its Gnats till 1977 or so when it started requipping with the upgraded version - the Ajeet. It flew the Ajeet till 1991, when the last example was flown to the IAF Museum in Palam, New Delhi.

the distinguishing marking of No.2 Squadron, the number '2' painted on the Rudder of the aircraft. In the far background can be seen the ATC Tower and one of the Gnats at the DJ Memorial display.Click to Enlarge
Click to EnlargeE-1957 too had a change in display style , as seen here mounted on two metal 'stands'. Photo by Sanjay Simha

The Squadron has several notable milestones at Kalaikunda. It flew the only two examples of the Two-Seater Ajeet, for type conversion. The Squadron provided the aircraft for all the flying sequences in the TV Serial "Param Vir Chakra", for the episode featuring Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon. A Navy Officer flying the Ajeet from KKD also earned a Shaurya Chakra for an incident involving him flying out of a populated area and crash landing the aircraft on the ground. Perhaps to remember this association with the Ajeet, No.2 Squadron has one of its last aircraft displayed on a platform outside its Hangar.

E-1957 is in quite good condition and is still in its original metallic finish similar to the Gnats at ATC. Though no ejection seat is there in the aircraft nor any engine, the fuselage is quite intact. The undercarriage oleo legs also seem to be maintaining their attitude unlike the recent spate of Gnats observed that had their nosewheels 'sunk' in due course of time.

The Squadron has since then requipped with MiG-27s and is still based in Kalaikunda.

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