US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin on Saturday condoled the death of an Air Force Group Captain who was in an accident involving a MiG-21 Bison aircraft earlier this week. Mr Austin, who is on a three-day visit to India, said the pilot's death "reminds us of the risk that our brave servicemen and women take each and every day to defend our democracies, people and our ways of life."
The accident took place when the aircraft was taking off for a combat training mission. The Air Force statement did not disclose the location of the airbase.
"I would like to express my deepest condolences for the tragic accident that killed an air force pilot earlier this week. Our heart goes out to his family and friends," said the US Defence Secretary during a joint press meet with Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Mr Austin is in India as part of his three-nation first overseas tour as the Defence Secretary. He visited Japan and South Korea before arriving in New Delhi.
On Friday, the Pentagon chief called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi.
India is a key US ally in the region and the visit comes hot on the heels of frosty first talks between Secretary of State Antony Blinken with top Chinese officials in Alaska.