A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the IAF on a routine training sortie today crashed in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district in Kashmir, killing the young pilot.
"One MiG-21 (Bis) aircraft of the IAF crashed about 10 km short of Awantipur Airbase today at about 1048 hours. The pilot took off from Srinagar and was on a routine training sortie. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate into the cause of the accident," an IAF release said.
The pilot Squadron Leader Saurabh Raghuvanshi was killed in the crash after he had taken off from Technical Airport here this morning.
The new Defence Minister Arun Jaitley condoled the death of the pilot.
"I am extremely sorry to hear about the mishap. It is matter of grave concern and my heart goes out to the family of the pilot who lost his life and I offer my condolences to him," Jaitley said.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while conveying his condolences to the bereaved family of the pilot suggested that the Narendra Modi government address the issue of defence procurement for the armed forces at the earliest.
"Not entirely disconnected from today's crash the new Govt needs to sort (out) defence procurement issue for Navy, Air Force and Army ASAP," Omar tweeted.
Over the decades, India has inducted over 970 MiG series variants and almost half of them have been lost in accidents killing several pilots and civilians.
Due to delays in the acquisition of new fighter aircraft, the IAF will have to continue using the MiG-series planes in its inventory for at least next seven-eight years.