India retires its ageing spy planes

NEW DELHI, May 1 (AFP) – The Indian Air Force Monday retired its four ageing spy planes and said military satellites will take over the role of the Soviet-era aircraft, local media reported. “The nature of warfare is changing with satellites taking over the act of spying,” Air Chief Marshall S.P. Tyagi said at a ceremony at an air base in Uttar Pradesh state, the Press Trust of India said.

“The MiG-25s no longer have a strategic use to India and besides, the planes are no longer cost effective,” Tyagi said.

Tyagi said INSAT 2B multi-purpose satellites would assume the role carried out by the 30-year-old Soviet-built aircraft. The MiG-25 could travel at three times the speed of sound and at an altitude of more than 80,000 feet (24,242 metres).